I’ve been a fan of Ganesh for a while now. I’ve eaten in the restaurant a couple of times. Other times, when I’ve been too lazy to cook – or even to go out for street food – I’ve ordered in and enjoyed their Chettinad Curry from the comfort of my couch.
So when Andy and I visited last week for an early lunch, we knew what to expect. And we were excited about what lay ahead.
Our friendly host, Santos (apologies if I’ve mis-spelled!), greeted us before ordering a half chicken to be baked in the tandoor. (If only every place we visited included such a yummy welcome!)
Now, I’ve never ordered starters at Ganesh before. Which is probably a good thing – I wouldn’t make it to the main event if I had! Both the tandoori chicken and the portion of paneer pakora – deep-fried cottage cheese parcels – were huge. Combined with a serving of lentil poppadoms, we were fairly stuffed after such a feast. Although we still managed to share a mango fish curry and garlic naan afterwards. No big dahl.
OK, so the size was generous… but what of the taste? Well, in one word: Satisfying. Very satisfying, in fact. The piping hot pakoras were addictive, the spiced chicken was tasty and the buttery garlic naan was the perfect compliment to a deliciously creamy mango curry.
There are things that could’ve been improved, however – for instance, the poppadoms were soft and both starters were quite dry. Still, the tasty sauces served with the poppadoms – mango chutney and a mint/coriander/chili concoction – came in handy. All of which we washed down with salted lemon sodas. Yum.
The only fault I had with the fish curry was a lack of spice; however, the warmth of the black pepper was a nice change from the fiery chilli sauce I often add to Vietnamese food! And Ganesh does offer their dishes “mild”, “medium” or “spicy” – so just make sure you’re clear which one you want. (We said “medium” but maybe we looked like we couldn’t handle any more!)
Regrettably, we were too full after our meal to opt for dessert. Shame. But Andy did manage a sweet mango lassi (delicious), while I got very excited about the masala chai tea. And it didn’t disappoint – it’s what I’ll be craving every day during rainy season.
Ganesh seems to be a favorite for locals, expats and tourists alike – whether they’re dining in or taking away. One lady parked her scooter outside and strode into the restaurant, seemingly on a mission. A few minutes later she was back on her bike, clutching a fresh samosa in one hand and looking fairly delighted with her on-the-go snack. Good call.
The restaurant was filled with an interesting mix of people. A few Western and Indian customers, plus an array of Vietnamese people in their office gear, there for an inexpensive and filling lunch. The resulting atmosphere was bustling and unpretentious, as everyone tucked happily into their meals. (I don’t know how anyone went back to work afterwards, though. For me, after all that food, I was in dire need of a nap!)
I’ve been to Ganesh before, and I’ll be back again. Maybe not for quite such a big meal next time – I’ll go for a chai and samosa combo instead! But if you’re looking for great Indian food that’s filling, tasty and well-priced – and to enjoy in a friendly setting – Ganesh is the place for you.