Cheap Eats 2016: South Asian

by Kate Richards / 23 September, 2016

cheap eats sandringham



Above and below: Mumbai Chaat. Photo by Caitlin McKone.


The best places in Auckland to eat cuisine from the Indian subcontinent for under $20.

7 SIRI TASTE OF SRI LANKA


580 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Lump rice is one of the featured dishes here: rice and curry with three sorts of meat, its like an Indian biryani, except the components are not mixed through and the whole thing, including a whole egg, is wrapped in a banana leaf. Fabulous to eat. Nandasiri and Ramani Alwis are generous amd very friendly hosts, and it's worth taking their advice on what else to try. Don't forget the chutneys!
Sri Lankan, vegetarian friendly

BAWARCHI


519 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Like Paradise, its more blingy neighbour, Bawarchi specialises in Hyderabadi cuisine, although there’s a nod to Indo-Chinese, too. Dum biryani is the signature dish and the chicken version here, which the certificate on the wall tells us has been named best in a local biryani showdown, is redolent with warming spices, generous on the chicken front and excellent scooped up with naan for a double carb load. There’s the takeaway arm with ready-made curries, and a sit-down affair next door. At the former, $13 will get you any curry, rice and naan, while if you dine in, the menu expands to more interesting things, like lambs’ brains.
Indian, vegetarian friendly

BIKANERVALA


214 Universal Drive, Henderson
If you can distract yourself from the bank of savoury and sweet temptations at the entrance, we recommend the following: North Indian option — butter paneer masala or chole bhature, and a chaat of papdi; South Indian option — paneer dosa and idli sambhar; Indochinese option — vegetable Manchurian (fried vegetable balls in a soy vinegar gravy). Getting a thali (round platter, in Hindi/Tamil) is the way to go if you wish to sample more than one item, from a Punjabi thali to Amritsari to Bikano. Weekend lunchtime options include 16 items for $16 — what a bargain.
South Indian, vegetarian friendly

CURRY CORNER


Food City, 6-10 Kilham Ave, Northcote
Crispy and hot off the griddle, murtabak — fried bread commonly found in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore — in this case comes stuffed with tandoori chicken chunks, sliced onions and beans. Paired with their succulent lamb curry, this dish dances on the tongue. Halal.
North Indian

JAI JALARAM KHAMAN


39 Boundary Rd, Blockhouse Bay
Hitesh and Varsha Thakkar are back in Blockhouse Bay, where they originally began offering their range of Gujarati vegetarian and vegan dishes. Their traditional puri bhaji, pau bhaji and vege pulao khadi don’t disappoint; neither will their famous khaman of steamed chickpea paste with mustard and spices, served with green chutney and chillies. There is plenty of Gujarati chaat in the form of dahi puri, sev puri, bhel puri or papdi chaat.
South Indian, vegetarian friendly

MUMBAI CHAAT


1A Kitchener Rd, Sandringham
Owner Ajit Ambani’s popular eatery is Mumbai fusion, based on Indian chaat. Choose from a comprehensive selection of savoury street food (chaat), ranging from vada pao (deep-fried potato patties) to bhel puri, pani puri — where you assemble your own puri — and new additions raj kachori (spicy chaat bowl) and savoury and fried vada chaat. If you can’t decide, simply order a maharaja chaat platter.
South Indian, vegetarian friendly

Mumbai-Chaat-(3-of-21)

PARADISE INDIAN FOOD


519 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Paradise has been feeding Auckland’s insatiable appetite for Indian food for many years. Eat in, or if you want to take out, phone ahead to beat the crowds. The Paradise special curries are excellent — thick with flavour and good ingredients — and the biryanis are a delight, too, textured and cooked dum style. The restaurant has a very fine clay oven, which makes the traditional breads and tandoor meats stand out from the pack.
North Indian/Mughlai, vegetarian friendly

RAS VATIKA


596 Dominion Rd, Balmoral
There are no cream- and sugar-laden curries on the menu at this vegetarian Indian cafe. Instead, you’ll find authentic chaat (street snacks), generous thalis, and quite possibly the city’s best dosas (ask for the special masala one). Another must-try is the patra — a Gujarati specialty of rolled, stuffed taro leaves served with sweet tamarind sauce. Seriously good and seriously cheap.
North Indian, vegetarian friendly

SATYA


17 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn
For reliable South Indian comfort food, you can’t go wrong with Satya. The massive menu boasts a range of Indian street snacks (the dahi puri is legendary), dosas, dhals and carefully spiced curries. The flaky paratha are quite addictive, and the rasam — a spicy tamarind and tomato soup — is just the thing for a head cold.
South Indian, vegetarian friendly, licensed, BYO

SHUBH RESTAURANT AND TAKEAWAYS


524 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Shubh is one of the great success stories of Sandringham: two years ago a basic bain-marie outlet selling takeaway vegetarian curries, it’s evolved into a popular restaurant, still with the vegetarian curries, which are and always have been delicious, and still with fantastically low prices. Nothing costs more than $10, and the lunch special, with two curries, rice, two roti, chutneys and yoghurt, costs a mere $7. Also with a takeaway branch in Onehunga.
North Indian, vegetarian friendly

TANDOORI HUT


164 Stoddard Rd, Mt Roskill
It’s a hole in the wall in an industrial zone, so small it’s easy to miss. But Marghoob Hasan, the owner and chef, is the real deal: his biryani is brilliantly tasty and he’s a whiz with the tandoor oven. Try the chicken tikka, which is splendidly smoky.
North Indian, vegetarian friendly

VENKY'S


535 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Another wonderfully low-priced joint in Sandringham, Venky’s has lunchtime masala dosai for just $7. The décor is minimal but the food is so good: the dosai is a perfectly crisp and light pancake, with condiments that provide the just-perfect heat and spice needed.
South Indian, new listing, vegetarian friendly

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