Midweek dinner date at Jewel of the Park

For our midweek dinner date, we decided to continue with our Victoria Park theme, and try Jewel of the Park Indian Restaurant. We’ve driven past many times and wondered if it was any good.

The restaurant was almost empty when we arrived, and I chose a table for two next to the window. The whole time we were there though, there was a steady flow of people coming in to buy takeaway meals, and a few tables’ worth of hungry diners trickled in. It was hard to choose what to have, because just about everything on the menu sounded great. While we pondered, a complimentary basket of pappadam and a duo of chutneys were delivered to our table.

Complimentary chutney and pappadam

The green was mint chutney and the brown was mango chutney. I love mint chutney and usually don’t like mango anything, but I couldn’t stop eating the mango chutney!

Mint chutney and mango chutney

The food didn’t take long to arrive, but before that I was impressed, when moments before our meal was delivered, warm dinner plates were placed before us.

We’d ordered basmati rice for two. On the menu, a small serve of basmati rice is AU$2.50, and a large AU$5.00. This was the large size, and it was more than enough for four people! Needless to say, we tried (well, I know I did!), but barely made a dent in this.

Basmati rice

Jac felt like some garlic naan (AU$3.00). I’d expected the puffier kind of naan bread, but this was more like lebanese bread. I think I preferred this flatter, crisper kind of naan. The garlic flavour was lovely. Big thumbs up.

Garlic naan

We each chose a main dish to eat with the rice and the naan. Jac’s choice was the kumb mutter (AU$12.50), described on the menu as “mushroom and green peas in a rich mild sauce”. This dish was surprisingly spicy – no way would I call it mild! In fact, there were tiny but discernible flecks of red chilli throughout the sauce. It was a nice enough dish, but Jac was a little disappointed that the mushrooms weren’t fresh ones, but tinned champignons. I sucked the sauce of a couple of mushrooms to verify this. I would not call this an expensive dish, but for the price, I think it would be reasonable to expect fresh rather than tinned mushrooms. And the flavour of the dish would be much nicer, I think, with the taste of fresh rather than tinned mushrooms.

Kumb mutter

Regular readers will know how much I love butter chicken, and quite predictably, I wanted to try Jewel of the Park’s version of the dish (AU$15.90). Jac reckons she prefers the creamier, thicker sauce in Maya Masala’s version, but I really liked this thinner sauce – it was wonderfully flavourful and absolutely drinkable. I thought the serving sizes of the kumb mutter and butter chicken could’ve been bigger, for the price, but I guess it was probably a good thing they weren’t. We were stuffed by the time we were done!

Butter chicken

I had a couple of rounds of food, and multiple spoonings of butter chicken gravy over my rice.

My plate, round one

We did enjoy our dinner. Service was friendly and efficient. We both rated our experience around 7-and-a-half out of 10. For me, the garlic naan and the butter chicken were the highlights, and the complimentary pappadam and chutneys and the warmed plates were nice little touches that helped to enhance our dining experience. I’d like to return for lunch time thali sometime. My mouth waters at the thought of the food and the photos! :)

Jewel of the Park Indian Restaurant is located at 765 Albany Highway in East Victoria Park, telephone 9361 1041. They are open for lunch Tuesday to Friday from 11:30am to 2:30pm, and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday from 5:30pm till late.

Jewel of the Park Indian Restaurant

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