We were warmly welcomed at the door and shown to our table in the rear dining area. This room was exquisite with deep purple walls and silver mirrors; ornate purple curtains; a silver fireplace in which sat a silver woven basket and above this, silver dragonflies in a silver frame.
The tables and chairs were sturdy but beautifully designed in wrought iron. However, this area was totally different from the outdoor dining area or the front room, both rather bland and utilitarian in comparison.
I also learned that it is best to start with mild dishes and finish with hot ones as this means your taste buds can experience all the dishes. The menu showed various starters and we were reluctant to choose just one.
So we opted for the Purple Platter which included a sampling of all the starters on offer. We placed our order with Tendai, sipped our drinks and continued to study the menu.
I was desperately trying to memorise the buffet dishes and hoping I would remember which ones were hot and which were mild.
Our starter platter arrived and it smelt delicious. We had onion bhatjias — onion rings dipped in batter, potato bhatjias, chicken kebab, fish kebab, chicken wings, chicken samoosas and mango sauce.
Everything was mild but tasty. The chicken kebabs were slightly tangy. We favoured the onion bhatjias dipped in the mango sauce. That combination of flavours was delicious!
We asked for some “neela” and ice and then we ordered more drinks; another glass of Sangria and a Coke. After a while we were ready to attempt the buffet main courses. We stood up and went to the buffet room.
The first step is to clean your hands well, with the sanitising gel provided. Then you get a plate and proceed to the buffet. I need not have worried about memorising the menu since every dish was clearly labelled.
I helped myself to some fish in tomato chutney, tandoori chicken, basmati rice, cumin potatoes, tamarind butternut, cucumber and yoghurt raita, red dhal and a Durban salad made with carrots and onions.
My friend also took the palak beef. We returned to our table to eat. Tendai delivered a plate with a curry sauce and a hot chilli mix. Then he brought a basket of Indian breads; roti, puri and poppadams.
I really enjoyed the chicken, which was well-cooked and tender, and the red dhal (lentils) with rice. The combination of food was really flavourful and not excessively spicy. I decided to attempt the curry sauce and it added a tasty kick to my meal. The breads were delicious and we enjoyed the puri so much we asked for some more.
After we ate our second helpings we were offered a dessert buffet. I had the banana vanilla pudding with ice cream. My friend had the same and also took the fruit salad. I was too full to attempt a coffee, but my friend enjoyed the cappuccino. All in all, it was a pleasant and satisfying meal.
Expect to spend US$30 – US$35 a head
Open for lunch Wed to Sun and dinner Wed to Sat
72 Cork Road,
The purple dragonfly
Our menus had dragonflies all over them and we found this intriguing. We could not figure out their significance, so we asked and were told that the property is named “The Purple Dragonfly” .
Our waiter introduced himself as Tendai and we gave him our drinks order; Sangria for me and a passion fruit Mimosa for my friend. The Indian Food Joint offers buffet-style dining with separate starters and drinks. The menu was very informative. It gave a brief background on South Indian Cuisine and I learned that water is called “neela”.