On the corner of Kellett Street and Kellett Way in Potts Point sits this quiet, unassuming Indian restaurant. The warm, glowing light from candles and fairy lights on the front porch beckon you in to taste the flavours of a distant land.
As you enter, Restaurateur Susheel Kumar will more than likely be there to greet you. He’s a hands-on owner, with an obvious passion for what he does.
You take a seat at one of the outside tables because even though it’s a little cold, the heater will keep you warm, and the invitation to people watch is too much to resist. You look down. The tables are charmingly covered in “newspapers” from Delhi, which adds to the relaxed, yet refined, atmosphere. You pick up the menu, and open it. Don’t be alarmed! It’s almost overwhelmingly extensive, but you ask the helpful staff for some recommendations, and you’re on your way.
Delhi By The Way offers diners the best of Indian cuisine, taking inspiration from the city of Delhi itself. Flavours that are relatively unknown here are brought to life using traditional recipes and Australian produce. It’s a wonderful fusion of cultures and traditions.
A little basket of crispy Plain Poppadoms (3pc, $2.90) is the perfect place to start, warming up your palate for the exciting new journey it’s about to take. All of the recommendations sound mouthwateringly good, and you’re feeling brave, so you order a nice variety of dishes.
First up is some Pudhina Chaap (4pc, $23.90), tandoori lamb chops flavoured with mint. They are suitably charred and smokey, and packed full of flavour. There’s no delicate way to eat them, so in you dive with your hands to get every last delicious morsel off the bone.
For mains, you can’t go past the beautiful selection of curries. There’s a lot of choice: lamb, chicken, fish and vegetables, but it’s the house favourite that catches your eye. It’s called Gymkhana Goat ($23.90) and it comes with a heat warning! But you can’t turn back now, so on you press. It’s a wonderful dish that harks back to the old, colonial British clubs of Delhi. Chunks of goat cooked on the bone sing in harmony with numerous spices and flavours to create a very special curry with just the right amount of heat.
You’re a clever poppadom though, and you’ve thought ahead. For your next curry, you’ve chosen something milder and creamier, to take the edge off. You’ve gone for the Gallus Kottayam ($21.90), a deliciously thick, smooth chicken curry with coconut cream, curry leaves and mustard seed. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the spicy goat, and the coconut flavour comes through beautifully.
You may be clever, but you’re still human, and you simply cannot go past the desserts. Here, there is a smaller selection, but no less delicious. You settle on some Gulab Jamun ($6.90), little golden dumpling balls of heaven swimming in a wicked pool of sugar syrup. To round it all out, you also get a serve of one of the three ice creams on offer, Kesar Badam Kulfi ($7.90), which to your delight turns out to be saffron and almonds. The sweetness of the dumplings is matched nicely with the floral ice cream, and as you take the final lick of your spoon, you breathe a sigh of deep contentment.
Susheel comes over to say goodbye, and insists you come back again to try their famous bhajis. You assure him you will, and toddle off into the night with a full belly and a warm heart, already planning your next visit.
Delhi By The Way
42 Kellett Street, Potts Point, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9368 0123
Friday – Sunday
12pm – 3pm
Tuesday – Sunday
5pm – 11pm
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Delhi By The Way