Western Sydney writer, trier of new things and lover of food
Published September 11th 2014
Mouth-watering Indian cuisine and sweets
Passage to India, situated in the heart of Blacktown, are purveyors of delicious Indian cuisine and sweets. Upon walking into the premises, I was greeted by two big glass food display cases of delectable Indian sweets and a menu board full of specialty dishes. I have never tried Indian sweets before except gulab jamun (which is a very sweet dumpling made with milk and lots of sugar) so the colourful and exotic array of sweets on display had me mesmerised for a few minutes before I remembered I was there to buy lunch.
As I am only intending on buying take-away, it was a hard decision to pick something I wouldn't normally buy from a standard Indian take-away. I settled on chicken hyderabadi as soon as I saw the description for it – a dish made for royalty! It is a mildly spicy dish from the south of India made with spices, chilli, coconut cream and nut paste. Apparently it originated in the palace kitchen of Mughal royalty. How can I not try it, with that type of history. I also decided to try the dessert "ladoo" which is a ball made with chickpea flour, sugar and spices.
The wait for the food only took about 10 minutes, which wasn't very long. The restaurant caters for diners as well as providing a take-away and home delivery service. As I waited, I watched the food being cooked in a semi-open kitchen at the back of the restaurant – it was nice to see a clean kitchen and knowing that the food was freshly cooked.
The restaurant premises itself was clean throughout, with lots of tables for dining customers to sit at. The decorations weren't overly done and the music was a soft Bollywood boppy music which the waiter turned down when I walked in (which was good because I don't like loud music in a restaurant). As I waited there were a few people who came in to dine and various people who came and went to order take-away meals – it's always a good sign when a restaurant is busy (but not too busy).
When I finally received my meal I was surprised that it came in two containers – one container with rice (which was complimentary) and one container with the chicken hyderabadi. It's quite substantial and big enough for two people. It's another plus for me as I don't like stingy servings.
The chicken hyderabadi didn't disappoint – it was nutty, spicy and creamy. The spices weren't overwhelming and didn't make my eyes water. The chicken was also very tender, and the rice perfectly fluffy. I didn't get to finish everything as it was a very big meal, but it was worth the money for the price I paid ($14.90). The ladoo on the other hand, was an unusual one. It was nutty and sweet (but thank goodness not as over-sweet as the gulab jamun), and it had some whole spice seeds mixed in (not sure what spice it was though) that I didn't think meshed well with the other ingredients (but then again, I'm not an expert on Indian sweets). Each ball was sold for $1.50 which I also thought was a little pricey, but for a one-off purchase, I didn't mind.
Overall though, the food was good quality and I'd like to come here again to dine in and try their other dishes.