Sunday spice

Name: Blu Ginger
Address: 5 Genge Street, Canberra City Canberra ACT 2600
Ph: (02) 6247 2228
Web: www.bluginger.com.au
Hours: LUNCH: Monday – Sunday, 11.30am – 3pm. DINNER: Monday – Sunday, 5pm – 11pm

I like the idea of a leisurely Sunday lunch in spring. There’s something about sitting outside in the sunshine with a glass of cold wine and some oysters that is really appealing.

Sadly, Sunday’s rather dour weather put ruin to that fantasy, so instead of wine and oysters I went for beer and curry. It was a suitable replacement.

It’s hard to really define Blu Ginger. Larger and cleaner than a cheap local Indian joint, but cheaper and simpler than the high-end modern version, this was a middle road. Set inside a large concrete barn of a room with bold patterns on the wallpaper, this type of inoffensive, transferable restaurant will easily make money but never set the world on fire.

Some onion bhajia were crisp on the outside and had a good, spicy onion flavour. However, once you got past that crunch the onion seemed a little undercooked and chewy. I’m not expert on Indian food, but that didn’t seem quite right.

For the other starter I went with Patra Ni Machhi, which were small fillets of ling marinated in a paste of mint, coriander, chillies, ginger, carawee seeds and yoghurt, then steamed and served in a banana leaf. It was a fascinating dish, but difficult to describe. There was a flavour in there that was unfamiliar to me (probably the carawee seeds), yet it was fresh and somewhat mooted with a real roundness to it. It worked well with the beautifully soft fish.

The main was an absurdly tender goat curry. With meaty goat cooked on the bone in a well-spiced sauce, the real joy of this dish came from the occasional smack of cardamom. It really is one of the most exciting ingredients around. The sides did their job, with chewy naan and perfectly cooked jasmine basmati rice.

I would have liked to tell you about dessert, but I didn’t get the chance, as 15 minutes after finishing my main I still wasn’t offered a dessert menu. And this was the only real problem with the place. The service was seriously lacking. It’s lucky I wanted a beer with my meal, because I certainly wasn’t offered any sort of wine list.

Spending a little time on training staff to be more attentive would go a long way here, as otherwise it is a clear crowd-pleaser.

And sometimes, on a damp Sunday, a bit of crowd-pleasing is all you need.

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About freehugstommy

Food, films and politics are my triumvirate of passions.
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