Talk about the welcome to Masala Theory in Surry Hills! I'm not just on about the amazing artwork in this restaurant; I'm talking about the wonderful staff here, such friendly polite gentlemen! My host was Vittal who explained the food and concept to me and was extremely attentive. Now, I'm a bit of a funny old bird, I actually prefer to do restaurant reviews by myself because I can just focus on the food flavours and my photos. The downside to this is that I don't actually eat a lot so I feel bad when the plate goes back only half eaten. Vittal told me not to worry, he would send me home with what I didn't eat! Well then, that's dinner sorted!
So back to the artwork..... see the gallery slider below. There is so much to explore on the walls of Masala Theory Surry Hills, that you could almost mistake the restaurant for an art gallery. The murals are all hand painted from designs created in India. Each tells a story. It's not all just paintings either, all sorts of items adorn the walls including a neon bike and authentic urns that are used in India to transport food. This venue is seriously hip!
I was pleased how wonderfully clean the menus were considering they are laminated and for a germ phobic person like me that makes me very happy. The restaurant is BYO however has an amazing range of non alcoholic drinks.
I had a Rose Lemonade and seriously this drink is a great substitute for cocktails. In fact anyone participating in Dry July, would benefit dining at Masala Theory for dinner as the non-alcoholic drinks are very creative. You could almost trick yourself into believing it's a cocktail!
Now it was time to try the Famous Three Sisters! At first I thought it was a dish fashioned on the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains. DOH! It's actually to do with one of the murals on the wall of three sisters. Now this was an interesting dish. THREE SISTERS CHAT - Crispy-fried English spinach, garbanzo beans, black chickpeas, sweetened yoghurt, date-tamarind chutney, mint chutney. Firstly, the presentation is amazing and I am in awe how any chef can cook delicate spinach in batter so it's crispy and can stay upright! I expected this dish to be hot, however it's a cold entree, and be warned there is a lot of it! The flavours together are awesome and the texture of the soft chickpeas mixed with the crispy spinach makes for a great combination.
My next dish was two sliders and prawns. I must point out here that Chef prepared this plate especially for me as I didn't want full sized dishes so the photo is a combination of 3 entrees. PRAWNTINI Crispy fried prawns, puffed rice, vermicelli, tomatoes, onions, chutneys. KEEMA PAV Lamb mince, onions, tomatoes, mint, garam masala. WADA PAV Potato dumpling, garlic-chilli chutney, mint chutney, chillies. I am not quite sure how they get the slider buns so soft and tasty but believe me it makes for a good bite! The lamb was quite spicy and very flavoursome which I put down to the tomatoes, mint and garam masala. The same goes for the potato dumpling, seriously good vegetarian meal. Vittal explained to me that the food was based on Indian Street Food, not that I have ever been to India but I am guessing what I was eating was quite authentic. The prawns were fabulous, quite spicy and I must mention that the bed of puffed rice mixture was very interesting; i've never tasted anything like it and I give it a big tick.
Next up the curries! Again I will point out chef just gave me a sample of each, when you order these individual curries they are full size of course. SALLI BOTI Chef ’s special goat curry, black cardamom, cinnamon, onion-tomato gravy, match-stick potatoes. EFFIE’S VEGETABLE CURRY Indian cottage cheese and garden vegetables cooked in a rich, creamy tomato gravy, roasted coriander seeds. DHANSAK (CHICKEN/VEGETARIAN) Traditional Parsi dish of lentils and vegetables or chicken; served with traditional Parsi brown rice, it combines elements of Persian and Gujarati cuisine.
Very hard to decide which is my favourite but I am going with Effie's. I think because the rich creamy tomato gravy and roasted coriander seeds was a winner combination. The Goat was also sensational with extremely tender meat, obviously slow cooked for hours and a definite hint of cinnamon. The vegetarian was also delicious and you won't go wrong ordering any of these three. If dining with friends I would suggest do share plates! I was also served CHEESE CHILLI CORIANDER NAAN ....choose this one! Very nice! In fact I might just go heat up my take home piece now for a snack!
To end the meal I had a lovely cup of Traditional Chai Tea served in an authentic Indian cup.
There was just one more dish to try! DECONSTRUCTED MOTICHOOR LADDOO with saffron rabdi and dry fruits. I seriously thought I could not eat anything else and then I took a spoonful of this beauty! It reminded me of my mum's rice pudding for some reason. I found this dessert to be light, not too sweet and the perfect end to my meal. Vittal informed me that Laddoo is given as a gift to Ganesha.
Next to me were a party of happy gorgeous customers having a good time as you can see.
Finally thank you to Vittal and the staff of Masala Theory for hosting me for this lovely lunch today.
I dined as a guest of Masala Theory. I only write a true account of my experience and I am not influenced because I was invited. Please read Sydney Chic's full DISCLAIMER.
Thanks again to Yashpal Erda (owner) and his lovely team for a very enjoyable meal.