Having been in Sydney for almost two years, we have yet to find an Indian restaurant which is as good as the Indian restaurants we are accustomed to back home in the UK. However, a visit to the Indian Chimney in Albury has changed that and I would have to say that the Indian Chimney is the best Indian in Albury, if not Australia!
We were on our way back to Sydney after spending Christmas in Melbourne and decided to stop in Albury for one night to break up the journey and I’m so glad we did otherwise we would not have stumbled upon Indian Chimney.
We didn’t have a booking, but we turned up around 7.30pm and the restaurant already was a hive of activity – always a good sign in my opinion. Luckily for us though, there was a table free and we were seated near the back of the restaurant opposite the bar area.
After ordering some drinks we looked through the menus whilst keeping an eye on dishes that were coming out of the kitchen and I have to say they looked extremely tempting and smelled delicious. We quickly decided to share a portion of poppadums which comes with mint chutney (I love poppadums and could happily munch on them all day!). I decided to have the Kadhai Chicken, and ordered this ‘hot’ and we also shared some naan bread and saffron rice.
The poppadums soon made their way to our table and disappeared in a blink of an eye – they were really that tasty and moreish and helped work up our appetite for our mains.
Navish, the owner had taken our orders and after speaking with him it turned out that he and his family now own and run three Indian restaurants in the Albury area and opened his first in 2010. What makes him so good, and popular is the fact that he and his team, which are mainly family, cook authentic Indian dishes. He told us his dishes are hotter than what most Australians are used to and does warn patrons beforehand, but we are used to hot dishes, coming from the UK. In Australia, I have quickly come to notice that dishes are a lot milder and less flavoursome (I’m sorry, but Butter Chicken is just not a dish ever worth ordering!), so we were excited to try out his dishes.
It took some time before our mains arrived, but this was to be expected with a full and busy restaurant. The dishes were well presented and we were greeted by wonderful smells of Indian spices, I couldn’t wait to tuck in!
My Kadhai Chicken dish contained chicken fillets cooked in a traditional tomato based gravy, herbs, capsicum, onion and tomato and was garnished with coriander. This dish was absolutely delicious and beautifully flavoursome, with enough heat to give it a kick, but not too hot that it overpowers the curry. This is exactly how a curry should be – well balanced and full of hidden depths of flavour. The chicken itself was ever so tender and literally melted in your mouth – hardly any chewing required.
You could tell that this was a good curry as by the time I had finished eating, the serving dish was clean, with the sauce all gone and all the green chillies had been eaten (which is a rarity for me). The rice was fluffy and the naan breads were cooked to perfection.
It is easy to say that Indian Chimney is without a doubt the best Indian restaurant I have dined at in Australia so far. I could even go as far as saying that it is perhaps the best Indian restaurant I have dined at in the world (and no I’ve not been to India yet, so I’m sure there are plenty of fabulous Indian restaurants just waiting for me to explore!). If you are looking for a curry that is full of flavour, and has some heat to it then make sure you go to Indian Chimney as you will be pleasantly surprised and sure to leave with your tummy full and a big smile on your face.
Overall, Indian Chimney provided us with first class meals at affordable prices alongside efficient and attentive, friendly service. It is a family business and you can see the pride and passion that goes into both the service and the food. If we lived closer we would definitely be regulars here! Thank you so much for a wonderful experience.