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Friday June 21, 2013

Pathway to Indian cuisine

EMBARK on a culinary adventure across India, and savour its myriad delights. Leave your passports at home because all you need is an empty stomach.

At Passage Thru India, diners can enjoy an eclectic assortment of rich flavours and authentic tastes from all corners of the vast country, passionately prepared by a team of Indian chefs, under one roof.

Its pork-free a la carte menu boasts around a century of reasonably priced items, most of which are made with traditional herbs and aromatic spice blends.

Signature items include the Tandoori Platter, a combo of prawns, fish, shish kebab, chicken tikka and murgh malai kebab. Though they each burst with slightly different flavours, each chunk of meat is a succulent delight.

Otherwise, have a Tandoori Chicken, coated in a spiced yoghurt and cooked to charred perfection in the tandoor oven. Pair it with a basket of naan breads, available plain, or in garlic, butter, cheese, and Kashmiri varieties.

Another house speciality is the PTI Prawn Masala, a Goan dish featuring chunky crustaceans bathed in a thick masala gravy. Also from that region is the Pomfret in Goan Gravy, a must-have for fish lovers.

From the Kashmir region, there is the Chicken Lollipop, coated in a secret, spiced and tangy sauce, each daintily presented like mini drumsticks, which make for easy snacking.

For a taste of southern India, opt for the Chettinad Chicken, drenched in that region’s masala gravy. Otherwise, try the Andhra Fish Curry or Madras Squid, both excellent seafood dishes typical of the western coast.

As customary for any Indian restaurant, there is a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, with the Keerai Kottu (a lentil and spinach mix), among the notable ones. While all these are great with fluffy white rice, it can be paired equally well with dishes like the Hyderabadi Briyani.

Besides the a la carte dishes, the restaurant also offers authentic Indian Set Lunches, priced from RM12 nett onwards. There are the Dhum Briyani Set, Vege Set, Kashmiri Set and Tandoori Set.

Passage Thru India, currently located in Jalan Sungai Kelian in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, is also notable for its cosy ambience that blends traditional elements with contemporary touches.

Gorgeous trinkets imported from India, dress up the dining room, along with large pieces of art works done by the restaurant owners. They give the place a unique character that is unlike most typical Indian eateries.

The brand, which first opened in Kuala Lumpur in 1996, came to Penang several years later and had outlets in Tanjung Tokong and George Town previously, garnering an array of awards for its culinary excellence along the way.

The current outlet, which opened in January this year, also has an intimate private room on the split level as well as a larger, private hall on the upper floor. Both are available for use for gatherings, corporate functions, birthdays or parties.

Business hours are from 11.30am to 3pm for lunch, and from 6.30pm to 11pm for dinner.

For more information, visit www.passagethruindia.com or call 04-8996466 for reservations.

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