The more I work, the more I strongly believe that I might not really be cut out for it. It’s exhausting! Work has been unrelenting and particularly stressful over the past few weeks. On Friday I got home from gym and collapsed into my bed. I woke the next morning… with a swollen face and the most lethargic spirit. So I spent the day in bed watching TV and resting. Somewhere along the third consecutive episode of Criminal Minds, I fell asleep, and continued to drift in and out of consciousness.
Around lunchtime, I woke up to a text from a friend asking if I was keen to go out to get some food. Now anyone who knows me even vaguely knows how much I love to eat good food. I really enjoy going out to eat and exploring new places with some good company over a nice bottle of white and soft background music. This particular friend is one of my consistent and favourite dinner partners, but I was so tired I literally read the text with one eye open and went back to sleep! I woke up around four and asked him where he wanted to eat. His response was that he was open to anything. We went back and forth on a few places, then our spice-loving taste-buds settled on 7 pm at Delhi Palace, an Indian restaurant by Riverside Mall.
A couple of hours later I had managed to roll out of bed and make myself look half decent. He was already waiting when I got there only to find… Delhi Palace had closed up shop and been replaced by Pariah State (Avondale branch)…
Womp womp womp.
Deflated. It was only then that I realised that I had not been out for a really long time! Making a mental note to get out more (!) I wondered whether we should go to Borrowdale Delhi Palace. But neither of us really wanted to drive that far since we were already in Avondale, so we agreed to try something else. Pariah looked like it was picking up and while I was eager to check out their new digs, I was just wanted to eat and not party hearty. More so since I had given up alcohol for Lent.
I suggested one of my favourite places: Spice Lounge. I have never been disappointed by their food; it’s actually one of my favourite places to eat. The food is always delicious, hearty, generous portions at a fair price, in a quiet and restful environment. It’s intimate and warm and a really good spot to spend a Saturday night eating some authentic Indian cuisine. So we drove for two minutes and voila! Spice Lounge. Spice Lounge is on Lezzard Avenue, just off Prince Edward next to Kensington Shopping Centre. You really cannot miss it because they have beautiful cheerful fairy lights stringed up all along the trees and wall outside. I often wonder if that’s one of the reasons I love the place. It’s just so welcoming!
We got there just after half seven and it was pretty quiet. The inside filled up a bit later but we chose to sit outside as it was a nice summery evening. There was one other family eating outside. It was nice and intimate, one of my favourite qualities in a place. You could be relaxing in your own home with friends.
We were warmly greeted by the hostess and a few waiters. It was a bit of a welcoming committee to be honest! It was still pretty slow so maybe that’s why we got more than two people greeting us. Our waiter showed us to a table and gave us some drinks menus. I opted for a virgin daquiri, and “to support me” my charming date opted not to get a bottle of wine, but a martini.
Our waiter returned quickly with our very attractive drinks. I like that the drinks at Spice Lounge not overly finnicky; it’s a good refreshing beverage that you’re getting. The waiter returned shortly after with an amuse-bouche, and then starters- minced beef samoosas. The amuse-bouche was actually very similar to the samoosa. I asked what it was but all he said was that it was something fun! While that didn’t tell me much, it was really good to get the appetite warmed up. It seemed like a deconstructed samoosa- crispy potato, onions, herbs- that sort of thing. It came with green chutney, greek yoghurt and sweet chilli, in three separate little bowls. The samoosas were golden tasty and crunchy- four for $5. I had wanted a butternut soup to start off but they only had tomato, so I opted not to have any. I genuinely do not like tomatoes (side-eyes Bloody Marys. I mean?)
For my main course, I opted for the prawn briyani, while my friend chose the butter chicken and naan bread. I only opted for the prawns because he is always specifically mocking me for how much chicken I eat! (But the chicken biryani is flawless I tell you.) Our food came out pretty quickly- the conversation was flowing so I didn’t really notice. The rice was delicious- thick and sticky, aromatic simply doused in spices with beautiful and just-done prawns littering it; they could have been a bit more. I opted for the medium-hot because I wanted to be able to taste my food and not overwhelm my tastebuds; prawns are such a sensitive flavour. My friend chose the hot option for his chicken. Rich, creamy, hot and plentiful.
The portions were generous and we shared the two dishes, mostly because someone decided they didn’t like the naan bread- which I found delicious and well-prepared. It was smokey and thick and warm and I loved it. He calmly worked his way through his chicken while I really cried at the little he placed on my rice! It was so delicious but unbelievably hot. The naan bread helped though. And the raita. I think he ate more of my rice than I did. It was a lovely meal. Traditional Indian music was playing soothingly in the background and it was just such a wonderful eating experience. We were too full to even look at the dessert menu. It was a really good night.
This is such a bad review because I do not have a single complaint, but I promise you everything was delicious and perfect! The portions are generous and extremely flavourful. The service is attentive and warm without hovering or suffocating you; our waiter was so funny and kind and he and my date really hit it off! Sometimes they even have some great live entertainment. Parking is plentiful- inside and outside in a secure environment.
If you’re ever in the mood for some hot, well-prepared food in a beautiful relaxed atmosphere where you can talk freely and enjoy some fresh air, Spice Lounge is your spot.