Some like it hot… or medium or mild

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Prawn masala… jumbo prawns swimming in chunks of onion, tomato, capsicum and a special masala paste. Photo: Wendy Johnson

“Kohli’s has moved and now has a perfect spot right on the water, with a large deck outside and a generous-sized dining area inside,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON from Batemans Bay. 

ALTHOUGH it’s been open since 2005, I had never visited Kohli’s Indian Restaurant at Batemans Bay, partly because I wasn’t attracted to its location (on Beach Road, no view and more or less across from a parking lot). Much has changed. 

Wendy Johnson.

Kohli’s has moved and now has a perfect spot right on the water, with a large deck outside and a generous-sized dining area inside. It was time to visit and discover why the restaurant has won the title Indian Restaurant of the Year eight times from the Restaurant Catering Awards for Excellence Regional NSW. 

The structure of the menu will be familiar to fans of Indian dining… tandoor dishes, creations from the curry kitchen, vegetarian delights, Indian breads and charming sides such as raita. Most dishes can be prepared mild, medium, hot or very hot (which will cause some to break out in a sweat). 

We were a group of five with varied tastes and tolerances so opted for milder dishes, including Kohli’s most popular, butter chicken. It is half cooked the tandoori way and then finished the curry way. The sauce was creamy, but not too creamy. It featured tomato in the sauce but with a lovely balance ($19.50). 

The prawn masala was a second winning choice, the jumbo prawns swimming in chunks of onion, tomato, capsicum and a special masala paste ($21.90).

Kohilis’ most popular dish, the butter chicken, left, and palak paneer.
Photo: Wendy Johnson

The lamb korma featured chunks of meat (some still chewy though) in a sauce that packed a punch on flavour ($18.50). The palak paneer combined homemade cottage cheese (a great texture) with spinach puree. It wasn’t an inviting looking dish, but the flavours were memorable ($16.90). 

Other dishes that caught our eye and that we may try next visit include the beef vindaloo, which the menu warns is not for the faint hearted ($17.90), and the goat dishes.

If you’re with the kids, Kohli’s has a special menu for those 12 years and under, including chicken nuggets and chips and fish and chips (both $10.50).

The view of the Clyde River is included in the price of each dish. 

After lunch or dinner wander along the water’s edge. Be sure to head towards Beach Road where one of several sculptures the council has invested in over the past couple of years is positioned. “Portal”, by John Fitzmaurice, who lives on the central coast, sits opposite the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, by the water’s edge. Further along you’ll see “Buoyansea” by Jesse Graham from Eden. The next sculpture is “Dance”, a striking red metal sculpture by Japanese artist Haruyuki Uchida.

Kohli’s, 4/3 Orient Street, Batemans Bay, fully licensed and BYO. Open for lunch Thursday to Sunday, (12pm to 2.30pm) and dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 5pm.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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