Being synonymous with heat and spice, taking comfort in a big bowl of curry is a tasty defence against the winter chill.
And as good as a classic Indian curry is, there are lots of diverse dishes to be explored and tasted under the category ‘curry’, which has been adopted and adapted in Thailand, Malaysia and Fiji to name just a few varieties available in Canberra.
Region Media has rounded up three restaurants to try when you are looking to change up your next curry order.
Stepping inside the colourful dining room of Rama’s Fijian Indian, you quickly see the service out front is as warm and nurturing as the food being cooked up in the kitchen. Nearing its 30th year of business, the restaurant – along with the team behind it – is a cherished member of the Pearce community.
Here you find classic Indian dishes along with speciality Fijian-Indian fare celebrating the owner’s roots and heritage.
For mains, my picks are two house Fijian-Indian specialities unique to the restaurant. The creamy Potato and Egg Curry dish with hard-boiled eggs cooked with potatoes, fresh coriander leaves and coconut milk is rich, flavoursome and a great filling vegetarian option, while the spicy Fijian Pork Curry perfectly balances the fat from the meat with the rich gravy and bites of capsicum and onion.
Rama’s Fijian Indian Restaurant is located at Pearce Shopping Centre, cnr Macfarlane & Hodgson Crescent, Pearce.
Abell’s Kopi Tiam has been a much-loved staple of the Canberra dining scene for over 20 years. With the comforting warmth of the consistently tasty Chinese-Malaysian and other South East Asian classic food coming out of the kitchen, it is always packed.
Its spot on Furneaux St in Manuka is as famous as the restaurant’s bright yellow and orange walls and the outdoor eating area which, on an evening, is just as bustling as the indoors come rain, hail or shine.
I like to order two saucy curries paired with rice and a side of roti to mop up the extra gravy. The 20 Chilli Lamb Curry with hand-cut potato wedges is as expected given the name. It’s very spicy and quickly warms from the inside out. The Bali Chicken in tamarind and coconut cream with aubergine and French beans has more complex delicate flavours full of the delectable tang and sour-sweet taste of tamarind that leaves you wanting more and more.
Abell’s Kopi Tiam is located at 7 Furneaux St, Manuka.
Taking up pride of place in the large space made vacant by Jamie’s Italian on Bunda St in Civic, Kinn Thai has been a crowd-pleaser since opening in 2015. The interior is modern and trendy with food to match.
Boasting a very large menu of Thai classics, there are lots of tasty options to choose from. Two standouts are the Massaman Lamb Shank and Duck Curry.
Both dishes are excellent and are on my permanent rotation for when a curry craving hits. The Massaman Lamb Shank is a hearty dish combining a melt in your mouth slow-cooked lamb shank with the complex flavours of a Massaman curry It uses classic Indian spices and couples them with Thai aromatics. The Duck Curry is lighter, tangy and tropical, combining red curry with roasted duck, pineapple and lychee.
Kinn Thai is located in the Canberra Centre on Bunda St.