Location: East Victoria Park
Today is Australia Day and I’m not sure how you spent your day celebrating but I spent mine out at dinner at Spicy Affair. Yes, Australia is a melting pot of cultures and dinner out along the popular dining strip along Albany Highway is where many people were. I’m not sure how I missed this place as Spicy Affair is just two restaurants across from The Prophet Lebanese Cafe and opposite V Burger Bar.
Stepping inside, the restaurant is much like The Prophet – quite large and open, minimal decoration but enough to present an inviting environment. There was a pedestal fan close by to keep us cool but it was more than comfortable inside. After a look at the menu, we ordered the following:
- Hara Bhara Kaba – mixture of spinach, potato and cheese, Indian spices, served with mint chutney. The entree comes with a serve of 4 though someone helped themselves before I could snap a photo. They are a little dry but are moistened with the mint chutney. They’re soft in texture and quite intense in flavour with the spices coming through nicely. I’ve not eaten this before and I enjoyed it.
- Non-Veg Mixed Entree – Fish Amritsari, Chicken or Lamb Seekh Kabab, Chicken Tikka. The mint chutney is exactly the same as in the other entree. It is a little runny and could be slightly thicker but good flavour. The other sauce goes well with the seekh kebabs, adding a moistness and sweetness to the strong meaty flavour of the kebab. The kebabs were well cooked and still retained a certain moistness and smoky flavour from the grill, however, while it had a nice flavour, it was well short of a typical Seekh kebab. The chicken tikka was lovely and moist, and had that tandoor roasted impact which was apparent in the flavour. The fish amritsari was excellent. Tender, moist fish encased within a batter that had gone just short of soggy from the steam but contained a lovely mix of spices presenting great flavour.
- Malai Kofta – vegetarian dish containing grated cottage cheese potato dumplings cooked in a mild, creamy sauce. I thought this looked interesting when I saw this on the menu. The dumplings were quite nice having a softness to them with ample flavour. The creamy curry was delicious with a strong potato flavour, fairly good thickness, and a little bit of bite to add that little chilli hit. The curry is tasty on it’s own.
- Butter Chicken – a specialty of the restaurant, tandoor roasted chicken cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. A particular favourite of mine and no doubt many Australians, the butter chicken is one of Spicy Affair’s specialties. True to form, this version of butter chicken was superb! The chicken still had a strong tandoor roasted flavour, was moist and tender, and the creamy tomato curry was fantastic. The curry was thick and contained that typical sweetness but not too sweet. Excellent flavour, I noticed that each of the curries (the ‘sauce’) were quite thick, but not gluggy or runny, containing great flavour and was nice and creamy. I could have just kept eating this.
- Fish Goan Curry – fish cooked in goan style sauce with crushed herbs. Very distinctive flavour compared to the other dishes, the curry wasn’t too fishy but had a strong flavour due to the presence of the herbs which gave this curry it’s character. Tender fish, good serving as with the other dishes, good quantity of protein present.
- Specialty Goat Curry – baby goat with bone cooked in chef’s special recipe. This was fantastic! Very tender baby goat which has been removed from the bone and placed in another thickish, creamy, flavoursome curry. This curry had a more meaty character to it than the other dishes.
- Saffron Rice – saffron flavoured basmati rice. An excellent vehicle for transporting the delicious curries present, they will definitely stick to the grains. The rice is loose and flavoursome.
- Garlic Naan – I had a little taste of this and it has a subtle garlic flavour and was tasty.
- Cheese Naan – naan stuffed with ricotta cheese and light spices. This was what I ordered and the naan was thick and very filling. There was ample filling of ricotta and the choice of cheese gave a certain light cheese flavour without it being too cheesy. Despite being stuffed, the naan itself was very thick, but still light and tasty even at the end of the meal. I notice naans I’ve eaten at other restaurants have a tendency to be soft when served but chewy when they cool. Not this one.
An order of gulab jamun was shared for dessert – 2 golf ball sized dumplings in syrup, which were pretty good. I know we ordered a lot of food, but one quarter of a naan would be ample instead of 4 quarters. With a little rice and a quarter of a naan to mop up the delicious curries, a few pieces of meat from each of the curries, you’ll be very full. We had a fair amount left over so we asked for it to be packed up and took it home. We also took home an order of chicken biryani and shahi paneer (paneer is an Indian cheese cooked in a creamy tomato sauce). They were both excellent. The biryani is not authentic but I’ve yet to eat a really good version at any restaurant thus far but I have had a slightly better version than Spicy Affair’s. This version was tasty and flavoursome but still short of the real deal. I was certainly stuffed with all that was served and really enjoyed the food presented.
Spicy Affair Food Review Summary
Verdict: One of the few Indian restaurants I’ve been to where the pricing of dishes is very reasonable. For some reason, Indian restaurants price their dishes more towards the upper end of what I’d expect and I don’t believe they can justify their pricing. However, at Spicy Affair, the well priced dishes deliver more than decent servings, containing a good amount of protein in their dishes with plenty of thickish, creamy curries carrying lots of flavours which are very mild. I didn’t notice any dishes containing any chilli hit of note so if you can’t tolerate the heat, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy the food served here. I like mixed platters which are a great way to start a meal off with a variety of offerings. Right from the start, the individual components were tasty and flavoursome, although, the Seekh kebab needs a little bit of work. The curries that followed were excellent. I particularly enjoyed the goat curry which was fantastic and I love butter chicken and was not let down by Spicy Affair’s specialty dish which was superb. The herb influenced Goan fish curry presents a different contrast while the vegetarian Malai kofta was something different. The naans were thick, soft, and filling and required along with rice, to mop up the delicious, thickish, creamy curries. While the curries are very consistent in terms of their consistency and texture, one may criticise the lack of variety in that all of the curries are very creamy despite carrying different flavours. I guess this is their style and if this isn’t what you’re after then you might not like it. But for me, Spicy Affair present excellent flavours at excellent prices, great value dishes that didn’t skimp on protein or their servings. I think this restaurant would shoot to the top of the best Indian restaurants in Perth in my opinion. It might not have the flashy interior, but they deliver on taste which is ultimately what people come to a restaurant for.
Recommendation: Highly Recommend
Spicy Affair Restaurant Details
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