Story & photos Eve Jeffery
I have never been to India but I have eaten at a lot of Indian restaurants. Love the stuff and I’m very picky.
When I first went to Billi’s Indian when they opened four years ago, the food was good but like most new eateries, I could tell they needed to settle in.
Recently a friend told me that every time she goes there the food keeps getting better and better and now she is addicted. She makes at least one visit a week!
I went a few weeks ago in an ‘unofficial’ capacity with my addicted friend – she drooled over the fish curry and I was so impressed with the delicious chick pea channa masala, I was more than happy to come back and try a few different dishes.
These days creature flesh is off my personal menu but there were a plenty of veggo/vegan dishes to choose from.
My dinner companion and I ordered the onion bhaji – which, I think, are close to the best I have ever had – and the delicious tandoori mushrooms for our entree. Yu-um!
Our mains were a dahl fry (I ordered medium and it was pleasantly ‘warm’) and a mild Malai kofta. I was very impressed with the kofta – the croquettes were soft and crumbly and held their shape just long enough to melt in the creamy sauce and my mouth. I would definitely recommend ordering this traditional yumminess.
There were some naan specials and though I like the tried and true, I went for the chilli cheese version from the specials board. It was very tasty but in the end, for my meal, the chilli fought with the curry on my plate. Next time I would try it with a mild dahl.
The raita and mint sauce are house made. Order them. Don’t argue. Just do – ok?
In the meat department, two blokes at a neighbouring table knew what I was up to when I pulled out the camera and offered an impromptu food review of their dinner.
‘Heaps good’, they said.
Dan and Andrea – like On-dray-ah the Italian way – had ordered the mango chicken and the lamb vindaloo, with some garlic and cheese naan.
Dan said the chicken was very nice and not too sweet, which he liked. ‘Could have been a bit warmer’ (he ordered medium). Dan said he eats at a lot of Indian restaurants.
Andrea, who is a bit of a cook himself, said the lamb was very tender. ‘At first I thought it might be too salty, but it was just right. The rice is nice and fluffy. The curry was not as hot as I expected, but I liked it. It’s good to find a place like this in Billinudgel, it’s very convenient.’
Owner Rohit uses his own Korma recipe, which is great. The butter chicken and the lamb rogan josh are their big sellers. Mid-week you can choose special curries and combos which aren’t on the menu, which my addicted friend does with her kids.
Billi’s is great. The kitchen’s fragrance beckons you from the street. On the verandah, (I pretty much always like to eat outside), there is lovely breeze with virtually no traffic noise. Tables are widely spaced for privacy and it seats about 30 inside and 30 on the deck. There is heating in and out for winter.
The menu is ever expanding and has lamb, beef, chicken and seafood as well as veg, and has all the expected curry favs with tandoori, korma, vindaloo, tikka, sagwalla, Madras, and any others you can think of. There are six types of rice and seven naan choices including the special board, the servings are generous and entrees all come with fresh salad.
About 50 percent of Billi’s trade are regulars; that’s always a good sign. The staff are really awesome and order to table time is very reasonable. It’s a good idea to book, especially on the weekend as they get very busy.
Next time I go, and there will be a next time, I plan to try the vegan aloo saag.
The new opening hours are 4.30-8.30 weekdays and 4.30-9pm on weekends. You can advance order by phone and internet for eat in and take-away.
Just go there and fill your belly with some food. You won’t regret it!
8 Wilfred St Billinudgel – www.billisindian.com.au.