Sunday, 26 February 2012

Review - Red Pepper

3 February 2012

Red Pepper
14 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Cuisine: Indian

Red Pepper on Urbanspoon

We went at lunchtime on a Friday without a booking. Actually, we didn't realise they took bookings, but we probably would not have made one anyway! The place was busy and the person taking orders asked if we would like to sit outside.  Luckily one of us found a great table just inside the front entrance so we avoided having to sit outdoors. The footpath tables are partially shaded by only 2 umbrellas, which would be okay if you love sitting in the hot summer sun, or are a hungry curry fan who can't bear to leave.

We ordered Chicken Classic Curry (menu rating Hot) with 2 naans, Lamb Roganjosh (menu rating  Medium) with small rice,  and Chicken Tikka Masala (menu rating  Medium) with 2 naans. Even though the Chicken Classic had a menu rating of hot, surprisingly it wasn't. We each have different levels of "hot" tolerance and none of us found this curry challenging. Both chicken curries had tender chicken. The lamb tasted a bit gamey, which is not unusual for this meat, and the lamb was a bit firm but still not too bad. All three curry gravies tasted average. The gravies looked similar in colour and as we were sharing the dishes, we sometimes had to dig into a curry to work out which curry was which. I liked the naan, especially the shape and how it is bigger than the plate! The naan is nice enough to eat on its own but also goes well with the curries.

 The order queue stretches down the long dining area to the door but the meals arrive quickly. Most of the curries would be pre-cooked and just need to be dished out from the pot to the metal serving bowls.

There is a proliferation of good quality eating places with reasonable prices in Melbourne. This impacts on the Value rating of this restaurant and other restaurants as  Melbourne diners are quick to work out where to get the best bang for their buck. What was once a cheap place to eat is now less so, with prices generally at $12.90 for a  small bowl of meat curry with rice or naan. Nonetheless, this place is still popular and the clientele includes a good many office professionals. The large number of diners from the Subcontinent is an indicator of the authenticity of its cuisine.

Overall, if you are after a quick curry meal before dashing back to work, this is a reasonable place.

Taste Rating: 6.5/10   Value Rating: 6.5/10

Front of the Restaurant

The Queue to Order


 The Menu

Lamb Roganjosh, Classic Chicken Curry, Chicken Tikka Masala



Footpath Dining
with Parliament Building in the background

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