One of our favourite restaurants is Shankers Authentic Indian Cuisine at 89 Prospect Road, Prospect. Located in the old police station on Prospect Road, it gives the decor an old school character with a modern Indian charm. This restaurant has been with the same family for over 30 years with Shanker himself, the driving force of the kitchen, while his son Maheson is front of the house providing that warm and genuine hospitality.
Although half of the Tempting Palates group members have dined here on many occasions before, it was a first time experience for the other half. We were interested to see if the first timers would have the same impressions as the frequent diners amongst us.
Six of us decided to order a few dishes to share whilst one in the group ordered her own as she had dietary requirements. We trust Maheson so much that we let him choose our mains and matching wine. For entrees we had the Vegetable Samosas and the Masala Dosai along with the Paratha, Garlic and Cheese Naan Breads to go with our mains.
Even the frequent diners had a first that night - so many visits to Shankers, yet we had never ordered the Dosai. This turned out to be a favourite amongst the whole group. The freshness and crispiness of the pastry was perfect and the filling of onion, green peas and potato were just delicious.
The vegetable samosas were tasty. There was a generous amount of filling to balance the nice crunchy pastry. These are a standard order on each visit. The Naan bread is always fresh and delicious. The cheese naan is another standard order and we loved the soft bread filled with lovely melted cheese. The buttery Paratha with its folded layers was also really delicious.
For mains we had the Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Vindaloo, Chettinad Lamb, Beef Kurmah, Char Kway Teow, Chicken Tikka along with side dishes of Dahl and Sliced Green Beans. If you think that's a lot of food - yes, it certainly was!
The group favourite was the Chicken Tikka Masala. With its tender cooked chicken and the lovely crunchy capsicum and onions and the balance of those beautiful spices just made this the dish of the night out of all the mains.
The Chicken Vindaloo was the spiciest of all dishes and Maheson was very accommodating to satisfy all the palates of the group by cooking it mildly and having a plate of hot chillies of fiery tangy sauce on the side for those who dare to test the boundaries of their taste buds! It was a very hot dish and this was another popular dish amongst the group.
The Chettinad Lamb consists of onions, cashews and Shanker's unique blend of spices. This dish was a bit dry but we were advised to pour some of the dahl which definitely helped enhance the flavours and soften the lamb.
The Beef Kurmah was a lovely creamy dish. The beef was well cooked and the creamy spicy sauce was also tasty. Although we couldn't really fault the dish, it's hard to be wowed when the previous dishes were more impressive.
The Char Kway Teow is a traditional Singaporean dish that Shanker learnt to cook from his late wife Janet who was Singaporean. It may have been Janet's dish but Shanker perfected it. The lovely flavours of the sweet sauce balanced well with the prawns and spinach.
Our side dish of Sliced Green Beans wok tossed with spices and onions was a nice accompaniment for our mains. The beans were crispy and the spicy flavour wasn't too hot.
By this stage we were full to the brim, however, as always we could'nt pass up the opportunity for dessert. We all decided on sharing and Maheson selected for us three dishes, the Pistachio Kulfi, Mango Kulfi and the Roti Pisang.
The good thing about this house-made Kulfi is that it's not overly sweet and very refreshing which was a perfect way to end the feast of savoury dishes. It's hard to choose a winner between the mango or pistachio Kulfi ice cream as it does really come down to personal preference.
The Roti Pisang is fresh banana rolled in handmade paratha bread served with Barossa Valley vanilla bean ice cream and maple sauce. This dessert really is a sweet delight. Banana and ice cream are always a perfect match so the paratha bread coating was a perfect addition to the soft and creamy banana.
At the end of the night the group consensus was consistent and we all agreed that we have had a great overall dining experience. The food was of high quality on all levels. Maheson is a very hospitable host and he certainly is passionate about his food and wines. The ambience is warm, inviting and cosy. Everyone agreed that the service was exceptional and we were all made to feel like part of the family. Shanker himself made an appearance at our table and he made sure to do the same for all the other diners. Every customer is special to Shanker and his team which is why people keep on coming back.
Rating 8.9 (VP) Very Palatable
|Garlic Naan and Cheese Naan|
|Chicken Tikka Masala|
|Dahl for the Lamb Chettinad|
|Char Kway Teow|
|Sliced Green Beans|