Formally known as Cinnamon Club at Hyde Park, there is a new name on the scene. As one of many vendors affected by the road works including continous road blocks on King William Road, they are just as excited as everyone to see the road blocks lifted so that everything can go back to normal. And with that, they’ve decided to take this opportunity to rebrand and re-introduce themselves to existing and new potential customers with their new name, Spice Elephant. With the same management, same team and a wide range offered on their menu including some brand new dishes, Spice Elephant is ready to welcome 2020 with a bang!
It’s our one and only entree that we ordered that night. We thought to try something new. Basically this is a deconstructed version of the Samosa you would commonly find in any Indian restaurant. Spread out on top of a bed of salad leaves, Samosa Chaat comes topped with bikaner sev or to make it easier to remember some sort of shredded potato chips. This dish is a popular street food and is paired with their Chaat chutney.
This is a long time favourite Indian curry of mine. Whenever I go to an Indian restaurant my eyes are always searching for this on the menu. Normally I would get the lamb but this time we thought to change it up a bit and get beef. Marvelous flavour and beautifuly cooked. The beef was so tender and the taste of coconut gravy combined with curry leaves in this dish was pure magic on our palate, even the word ‘Wow’ was an understatement.
We all know, for those who can’t stand chilli, Vindaloo is a dangerous word and a big no no in every Indian restaurant. But for us, we live for the challenge. We did, however calculate the risk of asking the kitchen to make it “Indian spicy” as sometimes, restaurant need to ‘westernised’ their recipe to make it less spicy than it’s supposed to be. Oh boy, how much we were glad we didn’t ask for “indan spicy”. When the dish came out you can see they garnish them with chilli and chilli flakes and the smell of the vinegar blended into one. We had our first bite and our mouths felt like fire. But soon after, we realised we couldn’t stop eating it. Definitely not for the faint hearted! Yet we loved it!
Taking a break from the hot and spicy Vindaloo, we moved on to the mildest curry. Another tick of approval from us. The flavour sinks in to your mouth and lingers there. It could be from the kewra water they use. This is a Mughlai delicacy, “a dish of royalty cream gravy” as stated on the menu and we couldn’t agree more. The lamb was thoroughly cooked and so tender. We will make sure we order this dish again when we come back.
An absolute YES. That’s all we could say about this dish. The heat was perfect, the spice, the texture of the sauce, the taste, YES.YES. And YES. Cooked with tomato and onion base, then flavoured with cinnamon, clove and kasmiri chillies, giving this dish a mild to medium heat. This was our fourth main and how is it that we were impressed with all of them throughout? We should have known that its totally OK to have high expectation at Spice Elephant because they will always deliver.
Our last curry of the night, we save the best for last. The most popular curry not just in Adelaide, but we think in the whole world. We all know it, the Butter Chicken. The first spoonful and we were so happy with what we experienced. Spice Elephant totally nailed this one. We can definitely taste the sensation of flavour from the ginger, the yoghurt is also mixed well with the spice which makes the perfect texture and with the chicken cooked in a tandoor (a traditional clay oven) it gives you that charcoal aroma that complements the curry so well. Well done team, well done.
Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
Now there were 4 choices of Biryani that we can get; Kasmiri Subz Biryani, Chicken Biryani, Slow Cooked Lamb Biryani and the Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani which we ended up choosing even though the staff reminded us that it’s spicy and it already says that on the menu. We, once again, took that chance. We had this instead of normal white rice and it came on a beautiful triangular plate with salad and a small cup of yoghurt. We thought the yoghurt was their way to rescue us when things get too spicy. And guess what? It was equally as spicy as the Vindaloo yet equally tasty and we couldn’t stop eating it. Cooked together with chicken, spice and garnished with cashews, this authentic Hyderabadi style biryani is definitely one of the best biryani I have ever encountered.
Now, as a foodie, you can’t really go to an Indian restaurant without at least trying out one of the Naan Breads. They have choices from Plain ones to Kasmiri Naan or Garlic Naan.. We tried the Cheese and Garlic Naan as it sounded so good together. Fluffy, soft and complemented all our curries so well. The one thing we regretted was not getting more Naan.
May we suggest to never forget to order Papadum for your table. This is great for either an appetiser to share or to eat with your curry and rice. Their Papadum is well seasoned and freshly made to order.
And one more thing to add to the suggestion above, (and we strongly recommend) their Mango Lassi. Don’t ever leave without trying a glass of their Mango Lassi. May I say it is highly addictive, but we have no regret whatsoever drinking it down even before the food came out. Obviously, it was worth getting another one!
Spice Elephant is without a doubt one of our favourite Indian restaurants to go to. The name change does not affect the quality, the service nor the standard.
Thank you for having us and you can expect us back very soon!
Words by Dee Pene from Adelaide Food Authority
WHERE: 1/179 King William Rd, Hyde Park