It’s been a great few months for Indian restaurants in Hong Kong with swanky new places like Daarukhana and Chaiwala opening up in the last 12 months. Cardamon Street in a similar vein, puts fusion Indian cuisine into the heart of SoHo, Hong Kong. This new Indian restaurant is the second one from the owner of Masala Train in Wan Chai, Tina Sekharan.
Covered in fusion Indian motifs, Cardamon Street’s interiors gives the place a relaxing, yet vibrant vibe. Much like other restaurants on the street, it too has quite a decent amount of space and doesn’t feel congested.
The menu is concise – and to the point. Here are few dishes which we tried.
Indian Mezze Platter – HK$ 138.
Must order for fan’s of the Middle-Eastern dips. Includes 3 dips which are basically an Indian version of Baba Ganoush, Hummous and a Tomato Matbucha. Tina admits that the former is closer to it’s Indian cousin, Baigan ka Bharta with a sharp ginger kick to it. The Matbucha Tomato dip will remind you of a South Indian Tomato Chutney and the Hummous is treated with Indian spices. The platter comes with Za’atar and Rosemary parantha’s and crudités. The Za’atar parantha is a revelation!
Sliders – HK$ 118 for 3.
With four options to chose three from, we opted for Shami Kebab, Dal Wada and Kutchi Dabeli Sliders to try. While both Shami Kebab and specially Dal Wada sliders hit the spot, it was the Kutchi Dabeli slider which stood out because of it’s tangy flavour, and closeness to what you would get in Pune on the street. Would order all three out of three next time!
Taco’s HK$ 128 for 3
Most restaurants require you to order the same 3 Taco’s in a platter. But not at Cardamon Street. We tried Paneer Bhurji, Lamb Keema and Amritsari Fried Fish Taco’s in a single order. Taco’s are in shape only… flavour is very much Indian. Our favourite by far was the Amritsari Fried Fish Taco.
Paneer Cruidites – HK$ 98.
A medley of Paneer and 2 other cheese (a secret) in a croquette form (5 pieces) with a side of jal-jeera dip. Quite different than usual ‘Paneer Pakoda’, or anything else we’ve had. But it did lack a bit in flavour – perhaps some za’atar would spice it up nicely!
Lamb Quinoa Biryani – HK$ 178.
Good enough to share for 3 people, the Lamb Quinoa Biryani is not your usual Biryani. Huge morsels of succulent and tender lamb – perfectly cooked and spiced. A dish to try if you love lamb, but still want to have it in a ‘healthy’ way.
Drinks at Cardamon Street
Clove Fashion – HK$ 118. A spicy take on Whiskey Old Fashioned, with an organic clove syrup.
Kacche Aam Ka Sherbet – HK$ 68. A very refreshing sweet and sour drink made with raw mango juice, tamarind chutney, mint, coriander and black salt.
Dessert – Beetroot Halwa with Ice-Cream – HK$ 68
Reminiscent of Gajar ka Halwa (carrots) on the first bite – this dessert is a must-order. And much healthier (we hope) than the the carrot version!
You won’t be disappointed at Cardamon Street – in fact you may find yourself at the restaurant often because of some of the above mentioned dishes. The balancing act of appeasing the Indian pallet, and the local/western sensibilities (of what Indian food is to them) can bring more innovation that chaos – and Cardamon Street is a shining example of that.