I moved to Brisbane in 2009 having through the years lived in The Netherlands, UK, South Africa, Qatar and now Australia. I'm a single mum with three kids always looking for penny pinching ways to have fun and discover new places and things to do.
Published May 16th 2013
On the hunt for the best British Indian curry
After living in England for 10 years I better understand why it is said that curry has taken over as the British Nation's national dish. You will be hard pressed to find a yummier curry than those sold in most curry houses over there. Of course everyone has their favourite favourite, and when it came to finding a replacement for my favourite curry house here in Brisbane, I was stumped (and highly disappointed for a good three years!)
I've visited all the big franchise ones, loads of the small independent ones and the odd dodgy looking one all in desperate pursuit of hitting that spot that could only be filled with a good hot but flavoursome curry. And that's why I was so pleased to find, right in my back garden, ZYKA! An understated little Indian Restaurant in Mango Hill. Quietly tucked away behind the Mango Hill Tavern this Indian promises to be the Real Taste of India - And delivers every time!
I've been delighted in the service both dine in and take away. Amar and his partner live to satisfy your culinary desires and go out of their way to make sure you feel welcome and leave there with a sense of curry fulfilment. They are happy to discuss what type of curries you like and make suggestions as well as adjust most of the curry's hotness to your desires.
I've tried the butter chicken – and I love it! It's exactly like it was made in England. You can taste the flavorsomeness of the tandoor oven in every bite of rich creamy chicken. (forget the diet for this one!) My kids' favourite is the chicken korma. They loved it in England but we have found that most curry houses here make the korma too hot for them. Unfortunately this meant that the kids were reluctant to visit curry houses since we've been in Brisbane. That is since we found Zyka. Their naans are delicious and they have a special kids' request naan ... a chocolate naan. I would say my kids' request to return to Zyka regularly might stem from the existence of the chocolate naan but I have kept that secret away from them.
Their dosa – a street food in the Southern Parts of India - which I would highly recommend is a fabulous start to the meal if you would like a change from poppadoms. It is a fermented pancake (the batter is made the day before) and is served with chutney or raita.
I have become a great fan of the garlic chicken – which I always request to be made extra hot. It's rich in flavour and they are not shy about portion size. There is always enough chicken in it to actually satisfy your hunger and with every curry you receive a reasonably sized free basmati rice or you have the option to upgrade to the regular offerings like saffron rice, coconut rice and the likes at a small fee.
The lamb dhansak promises to excite with the creaminess of the dhal and soft tender lamb cooked to perfection in rich red sauce. (They are a bit sketchy on the details of the recipe. I think they want us to come back for more rather than make our own!) . It's a delight to eat and I find myself struggling to choose between the dishes which are all fast becoming favourites.
I have to admit that I've never actually tried their desserts although I would like to and plan to every time I visit. It's just that I am so stuffed and can't stop myself from finishing every last bit of my serving, which doesn't leave much space for trying the yummy sounding mango kulfi or gulab jamun. Definitely on my Zyka to do list!
So next time you are after a taste delight and want to be transported to India (via Birmingham England) try one of their chicken tikka masalas, beef madras or lamb rogan josh. Or for a new and exciting taste adventure try some of their specialities like chicken chettinadu (another personal favourite), beef dopiaza or maybe aachari lamb.
We do have a lot of curry houses here. There are two right next to one another in my town. Ive only been to one of them, but the food is delicious. You're kids might like chocolate naan's but the Peshwari naan at Chutney's is to die for. I wrote a review of it, if you're interested -https://www.weekendnotes.co.uk/chutneys-restaurant-wimbledon/