We live in mixed community where races and religions are mashed together like egg, oil and vinegar – the result, a good mayonnaise. The benefit of living in multiracial country means that we don’t have to fly to China for Chinese food or India for Indian food. We have them all in our backyard (well sort of). This time we bring you an Indian culinary experience to tickle your taste buds at a prestigious restaurant with multiple awards under their belt. At Passage Thru India at Leith Street, Penang you will able to get a kebab platter, 3 pieces of naan bread with curry, a serving of pappadom and 3 glasses of ice lemon tea for 3 people.
This place doesn’t look very fancy from the outside but wait until you walk through the door and step on the clay-tiled floors. Embrace yourself to be invited by ornate lighting in shades of yellow and red, tapestry on the walls and statues of gods and goddesses made up of some sort of metal (tin I presume). One can’t help but notice the huge quilted elephant wall hanging, draping from the ceiling to our waist length.
The green dipping sauce is slightly tangy.
First out was the pappadom along with its green dipping sauce. It’s probably thicker than the ones you get at mamak stalls and darker too. Like all pappadom, this appetiser/snack is on the more savoury side but the dipping sauce does help tone down the saltiness.
Three average glasses of ice lemon tea
The ice lemon tea serve isn’t the ones that come from those packets powder type. The actually brew tea and squeeze in the lemons and garnish it with slices of lime. The tea we got was more on the sour side but to us that means less sugar, which also means that it’s healthier. But just in case you prefer a less tangy ice lemon tea, you can ask them to put in more sugar.
The kebab platter and naan bread with curry came pretty much at the same time. The naan bread is pretty huge and nicely brown. The red shaded curry is delicious but definitely in the spicier side. So people with sensitive taste buds should not try dipping the entire piece of naan bread in the curry or you’ll need tonnes of iced water to cool it down. In our humble opinion, after that one piece of naan bread, your tummy will already be ¾ full.
The kebab platter as its name suggest is a platter. The kebabs do not come in sticks but in ready pieces that makes it easier to devour. The red tandoori pieces are fish. We often eat tandoori chicken but tandoori-ed fish will have a different play on your taste buds. Unlike chicken, the fish is mildly spiced but still moist and tender on the inside. The chicken is very mildly spiced. You’ll be able to taste the spices but there is barely any heat, so if you’re not the type that can withstand spicy food, the chicken is a very safe option.
The mutton is thinly sliced, very well seasoned and fried. It has a very interesting texture and very fragrant. The mutton has no weird mutton-y taste if you know what we mean. This side dish goes extremely well with the naan bread if you opt not to dip your naan in curry.
The final portion of the platter is the vegetable patties. These are basically finely chopped veges, seasoned with herbs and spices, made into patties, lightly breaded and deep fried. So, these vege patties are soft in the insides and slightly crisp on the outside.
Overall, we would say this platter is enough to feed 3 average eaters and 2 large eaters. Do not be fooled by the humble amount of food as the naan bread is very filling. The kebab platter is on the more savoury side but we think it’s meant to counter the tartness of the naan bread should you choose not to eat it with curry. We personally think this deal is worth the prices as meals at Indian restaurant generally don’t come cheap, especially when this is an award winning restaurant.
The interior is rather charming. It’s enchanting but very humble at the same time. If you walk further in, you’ll pass a little hut-like station that doubles as their cashier and bar. You’ll also see more Indian inspired paintings and numerous carved pieces hanging on the walls.
There are ornate stone columns with the carvings on the outside. Although the outdoor dining area isn’t as pretty as the inside, people who wish to smoke or prefer to dine al-fresco can choose to sit in one of their 2 stone booths that can sit up to 6 people with padded seats to ensure your derriere is comfy during your meal. There are also 2-sets of tables for 2 if you’re not dining with more than 1 person.
Passage Thru India has 3 other branches in the Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley but the Penang branch has been operating for 10 years. They no longer operate in Tanjong Tokong and Penang Road as the one in Leith Street is their one and only branch in Penang. Passage Thru India serves a variety of authentic Indian cuisine.
Passage Thru India
No.11A Leith Street, 10200, Georgetown, Penang
TEL: 04-2624644 OR visit the Website at: http://www.passagethruindia.com