This venue is permanently closed and no longer trading
Tasty Thalis with Bollywood Playing in the Background
Daawat Indian Restaurant is located in a small cluster of about 12 shops exactly opposite Westmead Train Station. Exit the train station, cross the pedestrian crossing and you have arrived at your destination. In this mini shopping complex is a newsagents and a small supermarket.
Daily lunch specials are listed on a small blackboard outside the restaurant. I was drawn in by their thalis, which at $14.90 for a vegetarian thali and $15.90 for a non-vegetarian thali, seemed excellent value.
Thali at Daawat Indian Restaurant. Photo credit: Nicole James
From the outside I was initially worried as the inside looked very dark so I wasn't sure if they were open. The decor is not posh but to me it is all about that food. In one corner there was a basin and tap to wash hands. There is space for about ten tables and none have tablecloths. This is a casual joint. There didn't appear to be a toilet. I got the impression the restaurant relies on takeaway for a large chunk of their business. The man behind the counter was friendly enough and invited us to take a seat at a window table.
To whet our appetite, we started with the Samosa Plate which were stuffed with potato and green peas. Samosas are my one weakness and they didn't disappoint. They took a while to arrive, but I heard clanking noises coming from the kitchen, so they were obviously making them fresh.
A thali is a round platter with a selection of Indian dishes (raita, curries, pickles, etc.). For mains we tried one $14.90 Vegetarian Thali and the $15.90 a Non-Vegetarian Thali which were both excellent value. Each thali consisted of seven small dishes and were served with basmati rice, a plain naan and a popadom. The Vegetarian Thali was the winner but that is not to say the meat thali was not enjoyable. Rather, every single curry in the Vegetarian Thali was a stunner. .
I particularly enjoyed the coconut barfi sweet which came as part of the thali. It was full of cardamom and condensed milk goodness.
Service was polite although not super friendly. The set-up looks like a family-run business. I saw an older man who appeared to be the Dad come out of the kitchen after the lunch time service. He sat down and started helping an older lady, who I assume to be the Mum, sort through some herbs at the tables. There was a Bollywood movie playing on TV and they both looked engrossed as they prepared the coriander for dinner service.
The location of Daawat is convenient, the prices are inexpensive and the food was authentic home-style cooking. I think the best Indian food I have ever eaten is in India and then the UK. However I was pleasantly surprised to find this restaurant and I will definitely be making a return visit on the train even though I don't live in the area.
If you live locally, they will deliver in the Westmead area. It is easy to pick up a takeaway on your way home as the restaurant is 20m from Westmead Train Station. BYO only $4.50. All food is halal.
I am definitely going to go back myself. It is convenient and the best Indian Iíve had so far in Sydney. Although many in Westmead/Pendle Hill are apparently good too. So much Indian food so little stomach space.