Location: Osborne Park
Disclosure: I received a 50% discount.
I received an invite from the proprietor of Festival India Indian Restaurant in Osborne Park to come and try his restaurant’s cuisine. I don’t always accept these reservations but I like Indian food and I happened to be in Osborne Park so I thought I may as well kill two birds with one stone and pay a visit. Once you step in you will notice the restaurant is decorated in north Indian designs, reflecting the theme and cuisine of the restaurant. We were greeted by the friendly waitstaff and taken to our table. We looked through the menu which has a range of dishes to choose from, some dishes that I’ve not seen before. After having a look, we settled on the following dishes:
Butter Chicken $22.50
Tender chicken cooked in a tandoori oven in a specially blended tomato sauce with butter and cream
I wasn’t particularly hungry, unfortunately, so I was hopeful the food wouldn’t be served too quickly. Instead we got the opposite. The food took quite some time to be delivered out of the kitchen which didn’t bother me as I wasn’t too hungry but probably isn’t the greatest. Someone had walked in just after us who it appears had phoned ahead with a takeaway order. Let’s just say they got their food well after we got ours which was sad. Maybe it was one of those days in the kitchen when things don’t go to plan.
Anyway, aside from that, no dramas so how was the food? We normally would order entrees but skipped over them and went straight for mains. While we waited, a basket of really large pappardums wee presented with a runny but sightly chilli hot mint chutney and also a small dish of tamarind sauce. I really love butter chicken so we ordered this dish. The butter chicken contained lots of tender succulent chicken immersed in a thick creamy sauce. I’d liken the curry to that served at Spicy Affair, very thick creamy curries. In terms of flavour, this is not representative of a butter chicken. It lacked the tomato base normally associated with a butter chicken, the touch of sweetness, and maybe a touch of acidity from the tomatoes. It was more nutty and rich from what could be cashews. A little disappointing, but having said that, the curry itself was delicious, just not representative of a butter chicken.
Goat Curry $24.50
Goat meat cooked on the bone with coriander and tomato base and a touch of garam masala with chef’s special choice of spices to make this a rich and favourite dish
There’s several pieces of goat cooked on the bone which always adds to the flavour when it comes to curries. However, I would have liked to see a little more goat flesh in the curry. The goat came away easily from the bone and seemed tender, but was a little chewy. The curry was a little unusual in flavour, even with steamed basmati rice. I felt they have over spiced the curry and it was a tad bitter or burnt. I can’t say I enjoyed this dish, I really didn’t like it and something went wrong in the preparation.
Fish Grilled in Banana Leaf $24 (Fish Pollichathu – an in-house specialty)
Fish marinated in a delicate blend of shallot based masala mix and grilled both sides by wrapping it in a banana leaf. An authentic South Indian (Kerala) delicacy
A nice neat parcel lay on the plate with a little salad, presenting very nicely. Once you unwrap the banana leaf watching out for the hot steam, a pile of mush lays in the centre! Ok, it might not look particularly appetising at this stage but it’s all about the taste. The fish was cooked well, nice and tender and breaking away easily. It did start to harden up as it cooled but it still tasted good. There’s plenty of the soft spice mix the fish was cooked in and it lends a nice flavour to the fish. However, this spice mix has become a little too intense and even eating the fish without the spice mix has left too strong an intensity in the fish. I think the flavour is nice if it’s toned down a tad, but a little bit of work required for the dish to reach it’s potential. And when it does I’m sure it will be excellent.
Poori (set of 2) $6
Made of whole wheat flour, is a delicious fried bread puffed up with steam and goes with any Indian curry
I was most pleased to see poori’s on the menu. I really love them and have eaten them many a times when growing up at home. They are a dough that is lightly rolled out, very thin, and then deep fried. They puff up and are crunchy yet soft. These were huge! I haven’t seen pooris this large before. Excellent value at $6. They tasted delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed them. As with Indian breads, they’re used to break and pull apart to mop up the curries. Or, you can just eat them on their own. Speaking of which, I’m not really sure why nearly all Indian restaurants present a fork and knife as cutlery. There is nothing to cut! Why is there no spoon? You need a spoon to scoop up the rice and curry.
Chappathi (set of 2) $6
This famous Indian flat bread made of whole wheat flour and cooked on both sides on a hot plate. A very healthy delicacy to go with any spicy curry
Chapattihs are another Indian bread I’ve grown up with. I had a little taste and the chappathi is soft and tasty. Chappathis are made with wholemeal flour so they are slightly heavy and they are pan fried.
Festival India Food Review Summary
Verdict: Festival India Indian Restaurant presents diners with a lovely interior decorated in North Indian designs, reflecting the cuisine, north Indian. We were well looked after by the friendly waitstaff and there’s plenty of dishes to choose from, including some which you don’t normally see on the menu of your typical Indian restaurant. However, while service was excellent, the kitchen was very slow to deliver. The butter chicken wasn’t representative of a typical butter chicken, lacking the tomato base and sweetness, but offering a cashew based creamy curry which was delicious. The goat curry contained slightly chewy meat despite coming off the bone easily but was over spiced, negatively affecting the flavour. The fish grilled in banana leaf fell short of it’s potential as the spice mix was too intense. A toned down version would seep into the tender fish and deliver a flavoursome dish. On a bright note, I really loved the huge pooris which puffed up strongly and were soft and crispy.
Recommendation: Worth Visiting Again
Festival India Restaurant Details
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