Surjit Gujral has been operating Surjit’s restaurant on Parramatta Road in Annandale since 1985. Surjit’s loyal clientele don’t go there for the location or the décor, it’s all a bit untidy and Parramatta Road has certainly seen better day, they are there for the food.
Surjit’s offer Mughlai or Northern Indian cooking and Tandoori flavours which are second to none. There’s a rumour that the Indian Cricket team stop by for a meal when they’re in town. It’s that good.
Surjit’s offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes which are clearly made on the day, from fresh ingredients. Flavours are complex but the herbs and spices are distinguishable as you eat. To me, that’s the sign of a good kitchen and also distinctive of Mughlai cuisine.
If you want to treat yourself, try the Tandoori Phool, which is Marinated cauliflower in yoghurt, roasted in a tandoor oven. This is a perfect dish to really taste the tandoor flavours. Served with a hint of fresh coriander it is a great appetiser.
The other excellent appetiser is Black Pepper Chicken. A bit of pepper spice hits the front of the mouth and then tender pieces of chicken thigh meat are covered in a thick dark sauce.
We also had the onion bahji with really good; golden from the chickpea flower and served with a zesty coriander and mint sauce as well as the ubiquitous tandoori lamb cutlets which were succulent and smokey.
For the main course, our picks were the eggplant and potato curry (Baingan Aloo), a Lamb Jalfrezi, a black dhal (Dahl Makhani) and a whole Tandoori chicken. We accompanied the meal with some light and fluffy garlic naan and a pile of rice.
I am a big fan of dhal but am always a little cautious as it is easy to oversalt dhal in the cooking. Surjit’s delivery was bang-on and it went delightfully with their fluffy rice and hunks of garlic naan.
The staff are young, knowledgeable and friendly – a great combination. Service was quick and efficient.
We got there around 7:00pm on a Saturday evening expecting the place to be busy, but it was not. That’s because Surjit’s locals eat late. By the time we were finishing-up all the tables were full and there was a crowd waiting at the door for a spot.
If you get there early, try to get a table near the windows at the front as the middle of the restaurant can get quite busy and noisy. And a window seat offers a great chance to watch the show that is the parade of “characters” walking along Parramatta Road in Annandale on a Saturday evening…
215 Parramatta Road
Tel: (02) 9564 6600