Friday, August 31, 2012


It all happened on a cold, dark night. I was sitting in the back seat of the car when my cousin's girlfriend turned around and offered me $120 worth of vouchers to an Indian restaurant. My eyes narrowed.

"What's the catch?"

"No catch, I just don't like Indian food and they will expire while I'm away on holiday" she said.

And that, my friends, is the story of how I got the chance to experience an Indian feast at Bolliwood.

Although I couldn't convince her to come along and try Indian with me (alas, she is more stubborn than I), I managed to talk my parents into trying something new. 

As I've mentioned before, my father isn't what you call a daring foodie. Although he is often heard bragging about all the freaky things he has eaten (rat, snake, donkey etc.), he finds it very hard to branch out and try different cuisines -so much that my mother usually ends up cooking a bowl of noodles when we come home!

Fortunately, this night was different. 

We arrived for an early dinner and were sat right in front of a big screen playing Indian music videos. Although the restaurant looked a bit empty, we noticed that most of the tables had been reserved and there was even a party on the mezzanine floor. 

Kingfisher Jug - $23
While glossing over the menu, we ordered a big jug of Kingfisher beer which was light and refreshing. 

Tandoori Chicken - $19.50
I have to admit that, before this dinner, I hadn't tried much Indian food aside from the occasional Butter Chicken and garlic naan from the university food court. And if I was feeling particularly advendurous,  I would have a Chicken Korma or an Aloo Gobi. But, because I was dining with others, I had the opportunity to be more adventurous with the ordering.

We started off with a full Tandoori Chicken which was very juicy and full of flavour. The yoghurt sauce was a great accompaniment.

Honey Cauliflower - $11.50
One of my favourite dishes of the night was the honey cauliflower. The battered morsels had the perfect combination of crunch while being tender on the inside. It's appearance is reminiscent of the Chinese sweet and sour pork (finding similarities make my parents feel more comfortable) but I would choose this over sweet and sour pork any day!

Butter chicken - $18.90, Fish Masala - $20.90, Goat Curry - $19.50, Veggie Manchoorian $16.90 and Garlic Naan - $3.90 each
Because it was my dad's first Indian meal, I felt that he had to try the very famous Butter Chicken with Garlic Naan ("it's like the Peking Duck of Indian cuisine" I said). As for the rest, we took recommendations from our very helpful waitress which turns out to be the best decision I've ever made. 

As I had predicted, the Butter Chicken was delicious. The meat was tender and the tomato gravy flavoursome. The surprises came with the new dishes recommended by the waitress. My favourite of the curries was the Fish Tikka Masala -fish isn't something I had ever associated with curries but I'm definitely going to order more in the future! Contrary to what I had expected, the tender pieces stayed intact and every bite was melt in the mouth.

The last was the Vegetable Manchurian which I am told is an Indian-Chinese dish. This mixture of chopped capsicum, cabbage, carrot and beans, with countless spices stirred through, was an explosion of flavour in every spoonful. 

After this experience, I can confidently say that I will no longer stick to Butter Chicken when I go to an Indian restaurant and will definitely convince my friends to do the same. 

And as for my father? He didn't need a second dinner when we got home. I'm sure that means a great big tick from him!

Bolliwood can be found at
110 Ponsonby Road, Auckland , New Zealand.

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  1. That sounds fantastic Lucy! The Masala restuarant up in Birkenhead does $10 weekday lunch deals and $10 Mon/Tue/Wed dinner deals. Their palak paneer, do piaza and vindaloo are amazing, you have to try them!

  2. What a nice person to offer you the vouchers! I love Indian food, there's hardly a dish that we don't like :)

  3. OH MY GOSH, garlic naan is my weakness! But everything looks delish, and I'd love to try the honey cauliflower!

  4. I'm glad your Dad stepped out of his comfort zone :) Sounds like a great night !