When The Spice Kitchen’s acclaimed former head chef Ragini Dey sold the popular Leabrook restaurant in 2015, she wasn’t sure if she’d ever run a restaurant again. But when an opportunity to move into a double-storey space on Hutt Street came up, it seemed like the right time to start something new.
“This place just struck a chord,” says Dey of her new venue, Ragi’s Spicery. “It’s casual, and nice and airy. And there’s a beautiful rooftop area that has potential.”
Upstairs you’ll find the dining area and bar. The light-filled space is eclectic but relaxed, with mismatched furniture and art lining the walls. Downstairs houses the spice shop, which Rey has dubbed “New Deli”. It’s full of hand-mixed spices (including Rey’s own spice blend); grains; coffee; and to-go meals. Dey runs cooking classes at the venue from time to time, too.
While some traditional Indian curries can be found on the menu, Dey also experiments with lesser known dishes and creations of her own.
“We’ve taken the best [dishes] from The Spice Kitchen,” Dey says. “But it’s 2018. Food evolves, and we don’t want to be stuck in the 1980s.”
To modernise the menu, she included fusion-inspired dishes made for sharing. Highlights include Dey’s naanchos (crispy naan bread with meat or vegetables, topped with tomato fenugreek sauce and melted cheese), beetroot “chops” (served with rhubarb and plum chutney) and dosa chips (served with eggplant dal, coconut, curry leaves and mustard seeds). For dessert, there’s chocolate naanchos, chocolate samosas and mango kulfi (traditional Indian ice-cream) with sesame brittle.
Dey has more plans for the future. On top of developing the rooftop into an extra dining area, more cooking classes are on the horizon plus special dining events.
“It’s quite funny, because before we opened we were reading about doom and gloom on Hutt Street,” Dey says, laughing.
“But we haven’t found that to be true at all. Everyone’s been coming in and saying, ‘We need you here’, or ‘It’s so good to have you here’. It’s a nice thing.”
1/210 Hutt Street, Adelaide
(08) 7222 4969
Tues to Sun 11am–9pm