Darshan Indian Restaurant is a family-run restaurant located along Victoria Road in the heart of Gladesville, Sydney. Serving authentic South Indian cuisines, Darshan Indian also specialises in Dosai, a dish that I couldn’t wait to try!
I have had Dosa before in Malaysia for breakfast which I became slightly addicted to, and had the feeling that Dosai was going to be just as good!
As it was Friday night, I had made a booking earlier that day for 7pm, just in case it was busy; however when we arrived there were still a number of tables available and quite a few diners were walk-ins, so I guess you could easily walk-in without a booking, particularly earlier on in the evening.
The waitress showed us to a table by the window and provided us with menus. Darshan Indian Restaurant is a large restaurant with colourful landscape pictures on the white walls and has approximately 30 or more tables, with two person and four person tables arranged along the length of the side walls, whilst larger six person tables were situated within the centre.
As Dosai was the house speciality I decided to give this a try. Dosai, is a type of pancake or crepe made out of rice and lentil batter which is naturally fermented overnight. It is served with a spiced vegetable sambar and a coconut chutney. I decided to have the Mini Plain Dosai, whilst other varieties included the Bangalore Dosai which is a Dosai spread with hot coconut and filled with spiced potatoes, whilst the Kheema Dosai is filled with mildly spiced lamb mince.
Darshan Indian Restaurant also does a selection of entrees including your typical Indian dishes such as Samosas, Onion Bhaji, Chicken Tikka and Seekh Keab. For main course, I decided to go for the Chicken Vindaloo as I love hot food, whilst my boyfriend went for the Chicken Tikka Masala. Other favourites you can find here include Madras, Kormas, Lamb Saagwala, Chicken Biriyani and for those who love it, Butter Chicken, but for me this is not a dish! We also shared a portion of steamed rice as well as some plain naan breads.
After a short wait, my Mini Plain Dosai arrived, along with my boyfriend’s Seekh Kebab (his entrée of choice!). The Dosai is served hot and looks like a cylinder and you eat it with the chutney and sambar. The Dosai was crunchy and a bit greasy from the ghee, but it tasted wonderful with a slight sweetness to it, balanced by the slightly spiced vegetable sambar. Needless to say, I ate the lot!
The Seekh Kebab was also flavoursome and perfectly spiced and wonderfully tender, complemented by the mint sauce.
A little while after this, our main courses were served and presented in authentic type metal dishes, whilst the naan bread was served in a basket and there was plenty of it. My Chicken Vindaloo had a good kick of heat running through with lots of chillies and a decent amount of chicken with plenty of sauce. The sauce was fairly thick, making it easier to mop up with the naan, whilst it wasn’t too hot (for me) to blow my brains out, which a Vindaloo back in the UK definitely would do!
I really enjoyed my meal at Darshan Indian Restaurant and by the time we had finished eating, pretty much every table was full with happy diners. We noticed that a number of diners were locals and regulars here which is always great to see and a sign of good food.
Service was good until the end, where we had to wait a good 10-15 minutes to have our plates cleared and get the bill. Darshan Indian was busy by this time, which was understandable for a Friday night and if we were in a hurry we could have easily paid at the bar. This wasn’t a big problem for us though and we happily waited and soon got our bill and mint chocolates to finish our night off.
Overall, the food at Darshan Indian Restaurant was flavoursome, well-spiced and of generous portion sizes. Service was friendly, but slightly slow towards the end. However, I would come back, and definitely try one of the other Dosai’s next time!
Affordably priced, Darshan Indian Restaurant is a good place for couples, groups and families with children, whilst there is plenty of parking on the side streets nearby if travelling by car. The restaurant also does takeaway, with 15% off if you come and pick it up, making your Friday night in even more affordable.