The Royal India Restobar is one of Dubbo’s newest restaurants and I had heard good things about it. Therefore I was really looking forward to trying it out. On this occasion I dined with 9 other people as part of my work’s social club.
This is a good way to dine. Besides the fact that there is always someone to carry conversation, the Royal India Restobar have banquet options that are not too bad value. For $34.95 you get entrée, which was a good size. Everyone gets to choose a main too (seafood dishes not included, but they are included in $39.95 banquet), and there are lots to choose from. You also get “accompaniments” of Garlic Naan, Rice, and Pappadum. Lastly you get a choice between Mango or Pista (pistachio) Kulfi, which is an Indian ice cream.
So the first observation I must make as I reflect on this night is that there were no Pappadums!!! I remember looking forward to them but until now hadn’t realised we never got them. Tsk tsk, if it’s on the menu then it should be delivered.
I thought it was great that everyone got to order a dish as potentially there were 10 different dishes to taste. There were a couple of double ups but not many, so still plenty of choice. Also all dishes can be ordered as a Mild, Medium, or Hot so we had some of the same dish with different heat levels.
Let’s have a look at the entrée. We all got a piece each of:
- Prawn Pakora
- Vegetable Samosa
- Chicken Tikka
- Seekh kebab
I enjoyed it all, yeah even the little log looking kebab. It was served on a couple of large share plates that were presented way better than this but I was too far from the action to get those photos. But taste is king, and that’s lucky as I was reminded just how un-photogenic Indian food can be, especially when it came to mains.
When it came to the mains order we got Bombay this, Vindaloo that, a variety of other curries, and a couple of Butter Chickens of course.
One of the other dishes was Pepper Chicken, not a dish I had heard of and a surprisingly simple name. I heard this being ordered and I was impressed with the diner as they made sure it was going to be a HOT dish.
Side story: When I was younger I shared a moment with a good friend at a Thai restaurant in Beverly Hills once. That sounds super fancy, like I was in America, in a high class neighbourhood just dining on some Thai. So think that if you like.
Anyway, we’re ordering a range of dishes and get to the curries. We’re ordering a green, that’s a given, but also decide to go something a bit hotter. So we’re looking at the other curries, red, orange, jungle, what’s jungle?!
The menu said it’s a very hot dish, I don’t remember what was in it but I ask friend, I say, “friend, do you really want to go that hot?” (that may not be word for word but the next bit is).
That’s when he responded with a phrase that has stuck with me until this day and I have thought of many times when ordering food. He replies “sometimes you have to challenge your body.” So I of course have no other way to respond but “do it”. On a funny note the waitress looked at us with the most shocked face and asked if we were sure, she then tried to talk us out of it as it was too hot. But we all know that’s like a red rag to a bull when it comes to 2 young males, we were now certain, we wanted it.
Back to the Royal India Restobar. I too ordered my dish, Bombay Beef, hot, as did one other person, there were a lot of medium’s ordered and a couple of mild’s.
When the food came I started with my Bombay Beef and thought oh, if that’s what they call hot I have nothing to worry about.
So then I tried a few of the others, the rice of course, and the naan while sipping on some wine. It was all quite tasty.
This is around the moment I had an epiphany. Indian food was invented by a man just after moving out of home. He was free, he could eat what he want, he didn’t have his parents forcing vegetables in to him. This was his life and he would eat the food he wanted to. So he invented the Indian curry. Meat absolutely swimming in sauce.
Later on he felt a little guilt so added carbs in the form of potato, rice, and bread. Because then it felt like he wasn’t just eating meat. Also he didn’t have to feel as ashamed talking about his eating habits to his vegetable eating friends.
I could be wrong, but I didn’t research it and I’m pretty good at making stuff up that sounds true, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is historically accurate.
So next I tried the Vindaloo, I thought man that’s hotter than mine so what’s going on here. Maybe it’s because they’re different curries, but I’ve still got this. Which was a little disappointing I guess as this wasn’t exactly giving my body any real challenge.
Then I was told that this Vindaloo was a medium and down the end of a table was one that was ordered as a hot. So it tried it. Yes, that’s ah… hot. Man it had some kick. Like I wasn’t in pain, you know I’m tough and all that, but I did berak a sweat.
I then tried the Pepper Chicken. Yep, that’s hot too!!
The difference between these dishes though is that one of them clearly attacked your tongue, whereas the other made an assault on your throat. So if you ate a bit too much of the former and thought to yourself that a glass of milk would be great now to cool things down. Well then you could just eat some of the latter which then took your mind off the other pain. Problem solved.
So I smashed quite a bit of food including some of the mild’s as well, they too had good flavour.
Then came dessert, someone who was obviously good at ordering just told them to bring 5 of the Mango Kulfi and 5 of the Pista Kulfi. Brilliant! This meant we could just all go halves with someone else. This is my attempt at plating this beautiful dessert after we had halved them:
Pretty good ay?!
This was very yummy and the preferences seemed to be split, some loved the mango, some loved the pista, or as the English would say, Pistachio. I loved the creaminess of the mango, but I also loved the taste of the pista(chio). It was a tough choice. I didn’t love the graininess of the pistachio at first, but then I thought “they’re pistachios! Nuts are grainy you idiot.”
So then I enjoyed it more.
Here’s a photo of the Royal India Restobar with a little scarf loving lady standing out front.
The service was really good, they were all so nice and accommodating to any requests.
Ok, a little note on when it came to bill time, we sat around ages and no bill came until we went looking for it. Not sure who’s fault that was. But also someone at the table had mentioned that a friend of theirs said you need to check your bill closely as they had extra things added to theirs once. Unfortunately we did too. We were charged for 3 extra dishes that we never had.
I don’t know if this is slip of the finger on the computer system or whatever, but I like to think it wasn’t deliberate. Who knows for sure though. They quickly and happily removed it so no issue or argument there.
Overall I’m going to give them 7 mysteriously absent pappadums out of 10.
Royal India Restobar
29 Bultje Street, Dubbo 2830
(02) 6875 6467