Pepper Green Indian Cafe
• By Brioche of Tarth
We were invited to Pepper Green a little while ago to try out their South Indian foods and I must say... I totally underestimated the 'green' and made the rookie mistake of not bringing a flash. So yeah, you'll just have to make do with the few black and white pictures. :p
The quaint place is nestled in Cullen Bay shops, diagonally between Lola's and Seafood on Cullen.
We arrived at 7pm or so and got to our table and quickly got served water and menus. The little restaurant fits 20 or so people easily, and it was almost a full house on that night. I was really happy to see other happy customers there, most of which were Indian families and they were 100% comfortable in the restaurant like it was a little slice of home.
They are a young café – they first started a food truck earlier this year in Nightcliff. Pride comes from their home style cooking and offers genuine South Indian Cuisine with no compromise to grandmother recipies.
What’s the big difference?
Sojin, operations manager for the restaurant, was ever so kind to give me a simple run down of how the Southerners cook.
- Uses a larger variety of spices
- Generally spicier and hotter, but
- More balanced in flavour with the use of coconut
- Like, a lot of coconut
- They’re known to use all parts of the coconut
That said, the menu might look a little different from the other Darwin Indian restaurants. (i.e. there is no butter chicken guys.)
We were growing ravenous by the miniute and absolutely clueless on what to order, so our very kind waiter helped us pick a few home favourites:
The little fritter baubles were perfectly fried, while on the dry side, had the perfect complement of a creamy dahl dip. It wasn’t at all as spicy as I thought it sounded like on the menu and my partner loved it.
It wasn’t too long before our mains rocked up.
Boy oh boy, it was absolutely delicious. My partner’s eyes just about popped out of his cranium as he chowed down on the curry.
The curry was more on the dry side, so less gravy, more meat (about bloody time someone got it right). It had so much planes of flavour dimension – one second you smell and taste the buttery sautéed love of onions, then the spices just kick you around giddy and then the meat pulls apart with very little resistence.
Beware though, I would say it’s about a 3 out of 5 on the chili scale. I was that awkward person with the leaky nose and sipping water after every bite but just plowing through it because it was so darned delicious.
The serve may not look like a lot, but it was heaps. We doggy-bagged the left over curry and had it for another meal. (!!!)
We paired the curry with the house special parathas (or prata). The Roti was pretty vanilla, but the Kerala was fresh, fluffy and crunchy at the same time. Think perfectly crusty Indian pancakes dipped in curry. Yummy.
One of my favourite childhood dishes is a solid masala dosa (or thosai). It’s a paper thin crunchy crepe roll made from fermented rice and lentil batter then filled with a potato curry - you can get other meaty fillings, but there’s something about potato curry that is comforting. (Perhaps it’s all the carb hugging, hah!)
I’ve had a few dosas in Darwin but they have never really given me the same satisfaction as compared to ones from my childhood.
I am so *very* pleased to announce that Pepper Green’s one has knocked my socks off.
The dosa was, for one, massive. It was literally the length of my forearm and hand combined. The good vibes from cracking it is like cracking tempered chocolate and crunchy exterior had a wonderful buttery tone. The masala curry was very well cooked too, and not too spicy. The potato was cooked through and had soaked in all the curry flavours, and writing this has got me all wanting one right now.
I would highly recommend this to vegos!
The dessert is a Kerala special. It’s like a green bean soup with soaked cashews and coconut milk. It’s more on the savoury side and thankfully not overly sweet. I don’t think it is a dish everyone will love, but it is definitely one to try.
It seemed like we didn’t order much, but we were thoroughly stuffed.
We left at 8:30pm or so and there were people just rocking up for a late dinner. Overall, I loved the food and service. The green light was a little intense, but the food is worth it and my partner and I have been talking about it ever since!
Pepper Green Indian Cafe is currently open at dinner time for walk ins and takeaway. They would love to cater for your next event and you can even book out the place for buffet lunch, just give them a ring!