Specialising in Indian cuisine along with a few Indo-Chinese dishes, Swadesh along Main North Road in Prospect is the first branch to be opened in Adelaide. There are already two branches in Victoria. The plates that were placed on our table were notable for having been warmed, helping to ensure the food stayed warm while we dine.
We liked that the dosa in their Masala Dosa dish was light and crisp with a slight spiced flavour and the potato filling was cooked just right. The potato filling also had enough spices to prevent it from tasting too bland. The sauces that accompanied the dish were quite unique, consisting of a groundnut sauce, lentil soup and a pickled ginger sauce that provided a surprisingly spicy kick.
Befitting its name, Swadesh's Gongura Chicken made use of the Indian plant of the same name; an ingredient which we had not seen used prior to dining here. The plant is known for its sour taste, which imparted a tangy flavour to the dish. The succulent chunks of chicken were of a generous size and the spice level of the gravy was suitable for most tastebuds.
Gongura Chicken (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
While the pieces of chicken in their Chicken Biryani still had bones in them, it was an easy task to separate the tender flesh from the bone. A notable part of the dish was the topping of half a hard-boiled egg; something which we had not seen at other Indian restaurants. The dish was actually quite spicy so be aware if you are not into spicy foods. In addition to the usual raita to balance the spiciness of the dish, there was also a peanut and sesame sauce to add richness to the dish.
Chicken Biryani (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
As expected, the restaurant offers Naan and Roti that can be ordered to accompany your curries. Both of them had a plain flavour that was a good foil to their stronger tasting dishes. The Naan has a delightful fluffy texture while the Roti is great for those that prefer something with a firmer texture.
Naan (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Roti (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Having enjoyed Swadesh's Indian dishes, we returned for a second time to try some of their Indo-Chinese dishes. The somewhat unusual name of Chicken 65 refers to the large number of spices that is used in the dish. The pieces of chicken were cooked just right with the degree of spiciness being suitable for most tastes. If you would like to add a bit of tanginess, you can squeeze the lemon over the chicken before consuming it.
Chicken 65 (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Compared to Chicken 65, the degree of spiciness of the Chilli Gobi is a bit milder with a slight smoky taste. The pieces of cauliflower used in the dish were also of a generous size and still had a bite to it. Slices of capsicum were included in the dish to balance out the spicy cauliflower with their slightly sweet taste.
Chilli Gobi (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
A good aspect of the restaurant is that you can order some of the dishes to be prepared slightly different from the menu. The chef was of the opinion that we needed some sauce to go with our rice so he suggested that the Fish Manchuria be cooked with more sauce than usual to balance our other two "dry" dishes. The pieces of fish were easily cut with a spoon and the flesh was set off nicely by the crispy batter coating. The sauce helped to lift the flavour of the fish without being too spicy.
Fish Manchuria (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
We would recommend Swadesh for both their Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes. The décor of the restaurant gave it a bit of a formal setting and the place had a quiet ambience. The lighting was bright enough to ensure that the place did not feel too gloomy. If you are looking for delicious Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes, consider giving Swadesh a try.