We returned to Manjits, Darling Harbour for a Sunday lunch, and a beautiful spot it is. What a stunning location have a meal overlooking the harbour, boats and enjoy the sunny day. On the upper level in the harbour, so you’re away from the hustle and bustle of the esplanade.
However, it’s not the only Manjits location, for this restaurant is steeped in history. Manjit’s was Australia’s first Indian Restaurant, originating in Balmain in 1984. The incarnation of Manjits at the Wharf offers a modern, sophisticated take on traditional Indian cuisine. We had visited previously prior to Covid and hence we were keen to return as soon as we could. Not much has changed, which is a good thing. The restaurant is a huge space, sophisticated in its decor, impeccable service and the food is high quality.
On our visit, it was quite possibly the hottest day around, so a cold drink was in order. It is almost a custom for us to order a lassi when dining at a Indian restaurant. A lassi is a yoghurt based smoothie which many flavours available. We usually order a mango lassi, but this time decided on something different, a passionfruit lassi and it was quite enjoyable, with a cool thick consistency and passionfruit pulp visible throughout. The lassi also a good option to counter some of the spice in your meal.
We loved our start to the meal, ordering some refined street food inspired bites; we enjoyed the brightly coloured stuffed idli (rice cakes), with tomato rasam and coconut chutney.
Our favourite was the Gol gol grappa – a crisp pastry filled with spiced chickpea and potato served with tamarind and chaat masala which provides a flavour explosion.
The papadums were nice and crispy, served with a multiple delectable condiments including a raita, a mint yoghurt sauce, as well as chutney, making for a great range of flavours to dip your papadum into.
The Prawn pakora, we hear are a popular choice and we see why, for these salt and pepper prawns, made with dry chilli and fried curry leaves are a perfect starter. The prawns are coated in a thick crispy batter which was nicely seasoned. We polished these off in no time.placeholder://
For substantials we ordered a couple of curries and Naan bread to accompany it of course. The Machli Tamatar Wali is one we had not heard of before and having a fresh tomato base sounded ideal for a hot day. Expecting a light curry, the sauce was thicker than expected, but that said we really enjoyed the the flavour of the sauce for the fish.
The Boneless Chicken Korma Zaffar Shahi was exceptional. This creamy cashew curry can at times be a little bland at time, but not at Manjits. The Korma was delicious, not bland at all, the sauce had a lovely savoury meat flavour with a good balance of spice and the chicken was nice and tender.
There is a claim Manjits are the original creators of butter chicken and although we didn’t order it on this visit, it has piqued some interest for us to return.
We were extremely satisfied with the meal. The portions were sizeable, but yet we of course left room for dessert and decided on a couple of items to share; the mango kulfi, a refreshing yoghurt based dessert.
The signature dessert, the basmalai a milk dumpling soaked in saffron and cardamon milk reduction and topped with ground pistachio was our other selection. We were advised people travel far and wide to visit for this dessert, even flying in from Dubai for this dessert alone. An interesting dessert with a soft texture, the milk reduction fragrant and the flavour works well.
In sum Manjits is a restaurant that ticks all of the boxes, great service, location, views and most importantly great food. Such gracious hosts, this family run restaurant, has been well established for over 30 years. This alone is proof enough that Manjits are producing the goods, to further re-enforce this, the Good Food Guide has awarded Manjit’s with a chef’s hat.
We would like to thank the restaurant and staff for their hospitality and Spooning Australia for the invitation to dine.
Sun-Thurs: 12 noon-3pm and 5:30-10pm
Fri: 12 noon-3pm and 5:30-10:30pm