Are you looking for something to excite those taste buds? How about Honest Indian? This is a vibrant Indian restaurant in Bella Vista with brilliant vegetarian Indian food, street food style. The food is awesome, full of wonderful flavours and textures.
Honest Indian is a casual diner in the industrial precinct of Bella Vista. The dining space is bright, with splashings of colour and some cool Indian pop art that makes you feel happy.
The restaurant is packed with families on our day of visit, everyone is happy and lively and enjoying their meals, many sharing all the plates. Staff are super friendly and efficient, the owner in particular is so welcoming.
We take a look at the menu which has lots of menu items we’ve never tried or heard of before, so we get advice from the staff. We order lots of their popular dishes to share and are grateful to have been given top advice. In addition to the Indian Street food, there’s some Indian takes on western classics like pizza and sandwiches, and these seemed to be popular amongst diners.
We start with an Indian Street food inspired dish, the pani puri. This dish we do know well and order it whenever we see it on a menu. It consists crisp chickpea flour cups filled with sweet date chutney and a choice of two types of flavoursome liquids to fill the chickpea cups with, a spicy one and a refreshing mint cilantro water. Start with an edible cup of spicy liquid, then folllow with refreshing cool cilantro and mint.
Another dish we are fond of here is the cheese bhaji pav, a famous dish for the textile workers of Mumbai, a delectable potato mashed curry served with soft toasted bread rolls, cheap and delicious. Dip your bread in the curry, or fill it. It isn’t too spicy and the flavour is so damn tasty.
The Paneer 65 was one that most interested us. A sothern Indian inspired option of battered spiced paneer(cottage cheese) spiced with mustard seeds curry leaves and a spiced sauce that is beautifully caramelised. The sauce made the cheese an incredible bright red / orange colour (similar to the look of tandoori). This was phenomenal and incredibly moreish; with the fried cheese with a beautiful spicy marinade, it would be pretty hard not to enjoy this. It was a flavour bomb and was our favourite dish of the day.
Bhel from the western regions of India is something new to us, the first we have tried this. It is a savoury puffed rice salad, with tomatoes, Spanish onion, crisp noodles pomegranate, with a spiced seasoning. It is probably more carbs than a salad as such, crunchy and packed with noodles and crackers. The seasoning, onion and tomatoes make it quite refreshing.
There were also some dishes inspired from Chinese cuisine, such as the Schezwan fried rice. It came incorporated with Indian food via Chinese people visiting India and they saw a blending of flavours. It has resulted in a vibrant dish, bright Orange / red in colour. This also has a good spice kick without being over the top.
We of course wash this down with a Mango lassi, always the perfect accompaniment to an Indian meal. We finished with a masala tea, a popular drink to have with Indian food.
Despite being vegetarian, the food was quite filling. Of you are after a cheap and tasty casual meal and are in the Bella Vista area, make sure you check this joint out.
123 Lexington Drive
Bella Vista NSW 2153
Lunch: Midday – 2:30