There is no doubt that most people in Australia (and for that matter, England) have at least once in their lifetime, dined on Indian take away. There are so many littered throughout this great country that inevitably you will find yourself trying a korma or a butter chicken, along with a yummy garlic naan and so forth. This was the exact predicament The Chameleon found himself in not long ago; a visit to The Everest Spice, another one of Toowoomba's highly recommended Indian offerings.
THE EXPERIENCEThe Everest Spice, as it seems is often the case for Toowoomba take-away restaurants, is located in a less than ideal location, squeezed in next to a Chemist at the top part of Margaret Street, away from the main action of Ruthven. It looks very much like a take away and this became very evident when The Chameleon saw that there were no table cloths and no particular effort to dress up the little restaurant. The Chameleon will guess and say that The Everest Spice has become such a busy take away that those who opt to dine-in become more of an inconvenience than the staple.
But this critique is not about the dine-in experience; no, it's about the take away butter chicken, Rogan josh, the accompanying rice and a plain and garlic naan.
The Chameleon had high expectations of Everest. The fact that he had to wait for over 40 minutes from when entering the restaurant, to when he got in his car to drive back to the tree house (and repeating the order to the kitchen hand twice after the initial order) wasn't even a major issue, The Chameleon could see they were busy and doing their best. Another kitchen hand/front counter person wouldn't have hurt though, especially on this busy night. Just a small side note; it's great to see the owner of such a busy place working in the kitchen and not barking orders at kitchen staff from the front.
The only word that justifies the overall Everest Spice meal was 'inconsistent'. It pains The Chameleon to say this, but unfortunately it is true. As you may have read in past reviews, the option of choice for The Chameleon is butter chicken and The Everest Spice has done what Chutney Mary did not too long ago; delivered a very, very good butter chicken. It had all the character of a beautiful sweet sauce, succulent melt-in-your-mouth chicken with that slightly smoky/charcoal tandoor edge; The Chameleon will be honest, apart from the slight over sweetness, it was exquisite.
The rice too was very nice; not too soggy, not too dry. It was thus a great shame that the Rogan josh and the naan bought the overall experience back to "average". The Rogan josh had just the right amount of heat for a 'medium' curry, but the sauce was very salty and the lamb was dry, the pieces too large. This was definitely not a more-ish dish; it just didn't work. The naan, both of them, were under-cooked, undersized (in terms of thickness) and very floury overall. The Chameleon has had much better naan in various places, especially the garlic variety, he could hardly notice the garlic. Such a shame after the spectacular opening of the butter chicken.
The Everest Spice has unfortunately displayed what so many restaurants do; doing an outstanding job on one dish, yet making a horrible mess of another. Such a shame (The Chameleon thinks he has already said this), as he would go back again and again just for the awesomeness of the butter chicken. The Chameleon hopes to sample The Everest again and report back soon.