We stayed in a hotel in central Adelaide for a few days (waiting for a train, believe it or not!) and one of those days, tired after long hours of sightseeing, we ordered a take away from what we thought would be a good bet – an Indian restaurant. This showed British kind of thinking (I have been consistently disappointed in Indian food in Australia, New Zealand and, to lesser extent, Canada too), as IMHO it’s hard to completely mis-cook a curry, and as the few reviews on Google were good, we thought we would be fine with Bollywood.
We should have ordered a pizza: we have never, ever, in our whole, long lives of curry eating (and that included some really not-that-great British take awayas, many fairly mediocre restaurant meals and quite a few imperfect products of our own cooking) we ever had such a horrible Indian (?) meal. What we received from Adelaide’s Bollywood was not only the worst curry take away I have ever had, it was quite possibly the worst (and I only hesitate due to a memory of some horrible, cheese-flooded, oil-soaked Polish pizza) take away I ever had, and in the league down there with the worst meal I have ever had a misfortune to pay for.
Considering that it also happened to be possibly the most expensive take away we ever had (we paid 75 Australian dollars for the abomination, which at the time was close to 50 pounds), I am less than happy with our Bollywood experience.
We ordered three curries: a beef Bhuna, a beef Madras, and Dal Ghost (lamb). We also had onion bhaji and mix vegetable pakoras, plus naan and rice.
Well, the rice was OK, and the naan was pretty good, although not outstanding. Of the rest, the onion bhaji, although made with spring onions and coming in a rather strange loose format (i.e. individual strings of the stuff fried in chick pea batter) was just about edible, though a bit stringy and not quite what I expected – but then maybe Aussie onion bhajis are different.
But the curries? The curries, that, according to my own opinion, are so hard to completely muck-up?
They were inedible. I don’t exaggerate: not inedible as not-particularly-enjoyable-but-that’s-all-we-have so-it-will-do, not even just not-worth-the-money. Inedible, as in: throw-in-the-bin and-take-downstairs-and-we’ll-have-some-dried-bread-please.
Now, I am not a fussy or overtly sophisticated eater (which is amply demonstrated by my ample girth). I like nice food, but can enjoy junky fast food, and will forgive a lot if a sauce is laden with spices and chilli. And I tried all three of the curries: and they were all below par. This shows clearly that it could not have been an accident of mis-matched taste or one-off cock-up. All three dishes we had were bad.
The “Madras” takes the prize for Bollywood horrors. The sauce (the “sauce”?) was thin and runny, but with a gooey stringiness to it. It was pale in colour, and tasted as if it was cooked by throwing a lot of ready-made Madras curry powder into the pot, boiling once and then throwing in some more, possibly with extra turmeric for bitterness. The meat was in thin, slimy slices that tasted plain wrong. This was left completely uneaten.
The Bhuna was just a little better. The meat was the same (as thin, as slimy and as horribly-tasting), but the sauce was thicker than the excuse for Madras and bordered on edible, in small quantities and with a big dollop of rice or a chunk of naan. Still, it was too tomatoey and lacked any subtlety or development of flavour. Some of this (sauce only) was eaten, most went in the bin.
The Dal Ghost was the best of the three, as in this one the meat was – just – edible, although not exactly nice, consisting of cubes of (not slimy, yipee!) lamb that was, however, too gristly to be enjoyable. The thick, green-brown lentil based sauce would have been interesting if it wasn’t as bitter as it was, but mixed with some rice it wasn’t as bad as the other two. This one was mostly eaten (but without enjoyment).
On the initial bite into the pakoras I though they were a saving grace for Bollywood, as the outside was nicely fried, well spiced and a bit chewy. The inside (as in: about half of each fritter) was, however, and very disappointingly, uncooked, with a cold and bitter blob of raw chickpea batter sitting in the middle.
Altogether, an unmitigated disaster.
I would have gone or phone to complain (and I don’t do it normally just because I don’t like the food) but we were leaving and thus I am using this review to warn potential customers: do keep away, and if you want to risk it, go inside and check first (the good reviews were of the eat-in, maybe they give the yesterday’s rejects to take away customers), but whatever you do, do not on any account order a take away!
17 Leigh St
Adelaide SA 5000
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