Location: East Fremantle
Other Notes: BYO, no corkage charge, cash only, “medium” heat dishes are pungent
One of my reader’s had asked if I had visited Mother India in East Fremantle. No I had not and had a quick look on Urbanspoon and thought, what the hell, might as well give it a go. Open only for dinner from 6pm on Wednesday to Sunday, we managed to make a booking and headed there.
The restaurant is actually a converted house situated near Home Long Reserve so there’s plenty of parking. It’s surrounded by plenty of houses so it kind of seems like driving down any street in a residential area. Walking in, the place is very dimly lit and not a place that carries any ambience as such. Nevertheless, the place was packed with locals and plenty of people coming and going with their takeaway orders. This restaurant has been running for the last 5 years.
We were taken to our table set for 2 even thought the booking was far 3 so another chair was quickly added with cutlery. A little cramped, it became a bit difficult straining in the dim light to see the menu. We were brought glasses and a plastic container of cold water (a bit tacky, where’s the glass bottles?) but the good thing about this place is it’s BYO and no charge for corkage.
There’s a reasonable selection of entrees and mixed platers plus various curries of meat and vegetarian variety. We decided to order:
- A platter for 2 @ $26 which consisted of 2 samosa’s (can choose onion bhaja’s instead); 2 shahi medium sized prawns; and 3 reasonable pieces of tandoori chicken
- Lamb Palak @ $19.50 – very generous serve of tender lamb pieces cooked with spinach
- Chicken Tikka @ $19.50 – medium sized chunks of chicken pieces cooked in a creamy tomato sauce
- Saffron Rice for 2 @ $5
- Plain Naan @ $4
- Garlic Naan @ $4.50
Plates were brought out fresh from the dishwasher as they were nice and warm and being dried with a tea towel. Then we were brought the mixed platter. I was a bit taken aback wondering is there supposed to be another platter given there wasn’t much on the plate. I divided up the items by 3 and all items were delicious. The tandoori chicken didn’t have that typical smoked flavour of the tandoor though. For the price, either provide more such as more prawns or lower the price.
We waited quite awhile for our mains to be brought out but when they did, the curries were in smallish dishes of deceptive depth, however, they were well filled with a generous serving of curry and meat. The rice had actual saffron strands which was visible and had a slight yellowish colour. The rice grains were well cooked, loose and tasty. Although for $5, not a great deal of rice was served. There was still a wait on the naans. After some time, a basket of the plain naan was brought out with the garlic naan arriving much later. I thought this was poor. The mains and naans should have been served at the same time.
The lamb was very tender, flavoursome and pungent. I really enjoyed this curry with a little bit of the rice. The chicken tikka was also tender and pungent. The flavour was different from the versions I’ve eaten previously at other Indian restaurants but still quite tasty. The pungency certainly had me reaching for the water and while I can handle heat, this was a little unnerving. Both dishes are listed as “medium” heat so if you can’t handle the heat, ask for something milder. I really enjoyed the plain naan which is probably the best I’ve eaten. A lovely smokey flavour, soft and melt in your mouth. The garlic naan was much flatter, crunchier, had a nice flavour of garlic, but was easily outshone by the plain naan.
After eating all that I was really full but there were desserts to be ordered by the other members of my dining party. To my surprise, before we could even place an order, 3 glass dishes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, mango kulfi, and pistachio kulfi with slivered almonds were brought out as complimentary desserts. I’ve never visited Mother India nor know anyone connected to the restaurant. I’m not sure if they knew I was a blogger or it was just a generous gesture. Anyway, we tucked into the ice creams which were quite nice.
Mother India Food Review Summary
Verdict: For most of the night, we were served by a nice friendly, quiet spoken, humble guy. There are certain aspects that could be improved upon to lift the overall dining experience of the restaurant but we enjoyed the food we ate which was tasty. I particularly enjoyed the lamb palak and plain naan and rice. The platter needs more items added or the price dropped. If you’re in the mood for Indian, it’s worth dropping by though I’d favour the take away option. By now I’ve probably stopped sweating. Cash only, BYO, no corkage charge, and “medium” heat is quite pungent.
Mother India Restaurant Details
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