“The Royal Turban offers an extensive menu of authentic Indian dishes ranging from mild to hot, hot, hot,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.
IT was a cold, blustery winter’s day and we were looking for a lunch that would wrap around us like a warm blanket.
That was when The Royal Turban called out. Indian cuisine is so colourful and vibrant, and it heats up the soul.
Located on the main drag in Queanbeyan, The Royal Turban offers an extensive menu of authentic Indian dishes ranging from mild to hot, hot, hot. Staff are efficient and friendly. The wine list, although not extensive, is very reasonably priced.
We shared some starters including a delightful vegetable samosa ($8.90 for two pieces) which was packed with spiced potatoes and peas. The pastry was lovely and thin and cooked so the samosas were still flaky and fun. They arrived with a dish of bright mint chutney, one of the nicest we’ve had in yonks.
Another winner starter was the Nepalese-influenced dumplings ($11.90 for six pieces). The ‘Chicken Momo’ were little powerhouse parcels. The ginger added a brightness and the bamboo shoots crunch. They were perfectly steamed and paired well with the vibrant roasted tomato chutney.
The butter chicken was exceptional and the rich creamy tomato sauce wonderfully balanced. We could certainly taste the tomato, but it wasn’t overpowering. The chunks of chicken, cooked in a tandoor, were soft and succulent ($18.90).
We were also impressed with the sizzling goat dish ($19.90). The goat was on the bones, which always adds so much depth to the flavour, and was marinated in a secret formula of rich and exotic spices that Indian cuisine is so famous for. It was then cooked with onion and served on a Tawa sizzler, adding a bit of excitement when it was served.
For our vegetable hit we ordered the Maharastrian dish, which was quite distinctive. The special hot and spicy Marathwada masala certainly shone through ($17.90).
We mopped up all the glorious sauces with soft, fluffy plain naan baked in the tandoor ($3) and a crispy flattened roti made with wholemeal flour. We ordered several condiments (all $2.90). The lime pickle packed a punch, the cucumber yoghurt cooled the palate and the banana slices covered in coconut were a lovely creamy texture.
The Royal Turban is a relaxed venue but the team in the kitchen takes its food very seriously, so it’s well worth a visit. Portions were just right and we headed back into the cold pleasantly full.
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