There are two Raj on Taj stores within a 3 minute drive of each other. I’ve had a good experience at the Hyde Park store, and I thought I would give the Parkside location a go.
This particular restaurant is located in two adjacent premises. Upon arrival, I noticed the waitress walking in and out between the two buildings, which all seemed a bit odd. I then realised that the only way to get between the buildings was through their separate entrances.
I didn’t actually venture into the adjacent building, but sat and ate where the main kitchen was. The decor here is very basic with prominent use of browns and whites. The white table cloths give this place a touch of elegance, however, the drink fridge at the rear makes this place look a bit tacky.
For lunch, I ordered the Butter Chicken. The process in which they cook the chicken is slightly varied to other places as the meat is marinated and then smoked before being added to the curry. The dish was ready 10 minutes after ordering and was nicely presented.
Even before I got into the dish, I found a strand of hair in my Butter Chicken. The chef was watching me and then headed over to the table to see what the problem was. His initial reaction was that it wasn’t a hair, but after a few minutes, he conceded that it was. It was a strand of long blonde hair that came from the waitress. She was the only blonde person working in the restaurant. The chef apologised and the meal was replaced.
Another 10 minutes later, my replacement dish arrived. Not much care was taken with the plating the second time around as everything looked like it was thrown on. My initial thoughts were that there was very little butter chicken and a lot of other stuff on the plate. There were only 3 small morsels of chicken thigh fillet on my plate. The rest was steamed rice, curried vegetables and salad.
The chicken was marinated and precooked, and was pale reddish in appearance. The meat was tender and succulent, slightly sweet and had subtle smokey flavours. I thought the sauce could have been thicker and creamier, but that’s my own personal preference. The curried vegetables were well cooked and the flavours were well infused. The vegetables were fresh and crisp, and the rice was well steamed with nice individual grains.
I thought the service here was quite poor. There was only one waitress on the floor and she was popping in and out between the two buildings. I stood around for a good 5 minutes before I was seated, and even then, the reception was cold. I then had to wait another 5 minutes at the counter in order to pay for my lunch.
The meal today was $8.90 and was part of their lunch special. I ordered the Butter Chicken and got very little of it. I thought the dish tasted average at best. With the hair in my food and the not so great customer service, it wasn’t exactly a good dining experience.
WHERE: Shop 12, 13-23 Unley Rd, Parkside