We visited Haweli in Lake Street for lunch last Tuesday – it’s on the corner of Lake and Francis Streets, where the Maya Masala once was. Not many people there when we arrived at 1.00PM, but I guess some people do have to work at times…anyway those who were not there missed out…Haweli serves very good Indian fare.
When I think of Indian food in Perth my mind always turns to the unfortunately long gone Shalimar which was located at different times in a couple of spots in Northbridge (including the house opposite Haweli), and later in Leederville, under the stewardship of Nasim Bokhari, turning out fabulous North Indian and Pakistani influenced food.
I have to say that Haweli loses nothing by comparison. After entering through the large sliding glass door we were warmly welcomed by our hostess and shown to our seats – by the window no doubt to attract others in as we do….
Haweli is licensed and has a good wine list, with plenty of choice. A number of beers are also available who prefer that beverage as their curry tipple. We plumped for a nice, crisp rosé from Juniper Crossing in Margaret River which provided both a hint of sweet fruit and complexity to match the spiciness of the food. The menu itself is large and covers the gamut of chicken, lamb, beef, seafood and vegetarian, with a number of designated signature dishes, together with a range of rice and breads, and from many different regions of India.
On this occasion we decided to order, as a starter, fish tikka – marinated in mint, coriander and yoghurt, cooked in the tandoor oven, and lasooni tikka, chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices and also cooked in the tandoor.
Both entrees were moist and tender, with a hint of the smokiness that comes from tandoor cooking. The accompanying sauces were mild, but with the underlying spices lifting the taste of the fish and chicken. And for mains we chose a signature dish, the whole tandoori fish and from the vegetarian section, malai kofta –spiced dumplings served in a mild, creamy sauce. The mains were accompanied by steamed rice and garlic naan.
The naan bread was as good as we have had in Perth – the garlic dominant but not overpowering and the bread crisped and browned by the oven.
The kofta balls were delightful – held together well, moist and flavoursome. The creamy sauce, again quite mild, had good consistency and married well with the nuttiness of the dumplings. The tandoori fish fell off the bone, was also mild, with the spices well integrated, and a touch of smokiness added to its appeal.
Both mains were quite large, certainly more than enough for two, and we were, thus, unable to try the range of desserts offered. Haweli is a very good Indian restaurant – friendly and welcoming staff, excellent chef, and is well worth revisiting. We certainly will be when next we need an Indian fix. Recommended.