There’s a raft of new Indian restaurants that specialise in food from specific areas, introducing Sydneysiders to the diversity of the cuisine. Indu serves southern Indian and Sri Lankan; Pondicherry serves Bangali food (with a French influence) and Delhi By The Way serves Delhi specialties. The latest is Bombay Street Kitchen, serving food from (you guessed it) Bombay.
Rajoo and Shaloo Gurram are Bombay Street Kitchen’s chefs and owners. For the past two decades, before opening in Sydney, they ran Nelson Bay’s only Indian restaurant. “In Nelson Bay we did the menu that was in every other Indian restaurant. When we thought about coming to Sydney we knew we wanted to do something different,” says their daughter, Manasi Gurram.
The street food served here includes soft bread rolls, buttered and stuffed with mashed vegetables (pav bhajji); potato cakes with peas, dates and a sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney (ragda pattice); tiny spherical crisps filled with potatoes, chickpeas, tamarind and crunchy dried noodles (pani poori); and the Bombay version of a kebab, the Frankie roll.
Manasi says there’s two ways to approach a street meal both here and in Bombay. You either go all out and tapas your way to fulfilment, or you do it aperitivo style and snack pre-dinner. “You have all these little things, and they're all supposed to be spicy, tangy things to get your tastebuds going. Then you go to a restaurant to get your curries or rice,” she says. Here that means aromatic rice with either coconut and cashews or lemon and lentils, each with bowls of curries of tender goat, mustard lamb or garlic prawns.
In a few months Manasi hopes to serve another rarity in Sydney, Indian breakfasts. Look forward to mornings of long fermented crepes made from rice batter (dosa) and flattened rice stir fried with onions, chili and spices (pohe).
Bombay Street Kitchen
University Hall, Corner of Glebe Point Road and Parramatta Road, Glebe
(02) 9660 3726
Lunch: Wed to Sat 11.30am–2.30pm
Dinner: Mon to Sat 5.30pm–late