Indian food is not my usual cup of tea. I have trouble handling the heat and the oiliness has a tendency to give me an upset stomach. But I’m always willing to try new places and I was first introduced to iVillage at Victoria at the Taste of Auckland Festival back in November. Upon entering this charming restaurant at Victoria Park, I was immediately impressed with the decor. The large dining hall with rustic brick wall and high ceiling opens onto a courtyard, providing both indoor and outdoor seating.
We took our seats inside while we ponder over the menu. The menu at iVillage is extensive with over six pages of authentic tradition Indian cuisine. Slightly overwhelming if you’re not a frequent eater of Indian food! My friend and I ordered the Tandoori Gulnar to share as our starter. The spiced plum infused prawns, mixed with cream cheese, chilli powder and poppy seeds were flavoured with masala and cooked in a clay oven. The huge succulent prawns were well seasoned and had just a slight kick that went very well with our cold beer. This was served with a small side of cucumber and tomato salad and chilli carrots.
For our mains, we ordered two curries to share, the first is a prawn malabari which is cooked in coconut cream with pieces of capsicum and onions. The light coconut curry is velvety and had ample prawns. Flavour wise, the taste of the coconut was slightly overwhelming which overpowered the spices used. Our second curry is the gluten-free shrimp and scallop masala, gently tossed with onion, tomato and tamarind masala. This curry incorporated lots of ingredients including pieces of fish and the flavours were wonderful. The tamarind masala spice mix created a subtle tangy flavour to the dish and the flavours were well-balanced. I ate my curry with a plain naan bread while my friend enjoyed hers with basmati rice infused with cumin seeds.
Overall, it was am enjoyable meal at iVillage. We were greeted and served by attentive staff but the food did take a while to arrive at our table, however, the food was of good standard.
Date: Wednesday 18 December 2013 | Location: 210-218 Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD | Food: Indian