The Indian Cafe – authentic gourmet dining
Indian cuisine is perhaps the cuisine in the world that uses the most spices in its preparation. Cumin, peppers, anise, ginger, saffron, cinnamon, turmeric and coriander are some of the character-creating flavours that make Indian cuisine a special and hot experience. “Indian food” is a careless expression because the many regions of the big country have their own food cultures and they are often strongly influenced by religion, tradition, and access to raw materials. The Indian Café offers authentic Indian food from all over India. Although there are a lot of Indian restaurants it should never be assumed that they are all the same. Each restaurant has its own uniqueness about it and its own traditional way of preparing the foods. This is what makes this cuisine so remarkably interesting. The Indian cuisine and its popularity in New Zealand are influenced by the number of Indian immigrants. India is the third most common country of birth for New Zealanders and a third of all Indians in New Zealand were born here. These facts are reflected in New Zealand’s strong Indian culture and cuisine scene. Indians are the fastest-growing ethnic group in New Zealand.
Founded in the heart of Nelson in 2002, award-winning* The Indian Café has been the Indian restaurant of choice for the locals and tourists alike. They pride themselves on the highest quality food and presentation and continue to strive for excellence in bringing you a memorable cuisine experience. Their spacious restaurant in Nelson is in an old villa that mixes the character and warmth of yesterday with the freshness and buzz of today. In 2016 they added a second restaurant in the heart of Queen Street, Richmond and Stoke’s restaurant opened in 2020.
Whether it is a meal before the movies or a whole evening of experiencing superb Indian cuisine we cater for all your dining needs. We offer intimate table settings inside and a great courtyard area to enjoy outside dining in the warmer seasons. For special occasions, we offer private dining for up to twenty people.
Paul has had over 25 years in the hospitality industry and together with Monu decided to pool their combined experience together to create The Indian Café. A restaurant famous for its quality cuisine, warm ambience and friendly service. Moving from India in 1990, Paul managed restaurants in Auckland, Christchurch, and Invercargill before settling in Nelson and for five years running the hugely popular Harbourlight Restaurant. He has always striven to create the best in dining for the restaurants and hotels he has worked with. After 25 years in the hospitality industry, he has learned not only how to bring together the ultimate in food but how to ensure his customers have a great time as well.
What seems to be on the minds of New Zealanders when they opt for Indian food? Some of New Zealander’s favourite Indian dishes at The Indian Cafe, according to Paul, founder and owner, happen to be Butter Chicken, tandoori cooked pieces of tender chicken cooked in fragrant spices and a creamy tomato gravy, Lamb Rogan Josh, Diced lamb cooked north Indian style with herbs and spices and garnished with coriander and the vegetarian dish Palak Paneer which is a home-made cottage cheese cooked in a fresh spinach gravy garnished with sliced ginger. Of course, The Indian Café has a Tandoor oven, it is the most important tool in an Indian restaurant’s kitchen, in fact, it is the most important tool in all Indian cuisine. This is where all naan bread is made, and the most popular flavour is the garlic naan. The tandoor oven, made of clay, retains extremely high heat, up to 900°F and hence fills the inside of the flatbread with air pockets and bakes them to perfection.
The head chef of The Indian Café is Bobby, born in Nepal but trained in India, New Delhi on the biggest five-star hotel and he leaves nothing to chance and is a perfectionist in the kitchen. Since day one of The Indian Café, Bobby has led the kitchen team to create consistently superb Indian cuisine. He brings an enormous wealth of experience and some of the very best (and top-secret) recipes you will ever have the joy to taste.
The menu evokes the true essence of Indian cooking with bold spices and superb texture. Cooking in India is something divine and eating is something you do with your whole existence, Paul explains. It is one of the explanations for why you usually eat with your hands. Eating with cutlery is like courting your loved one through a dagger, Cooking in India is something divine and eating is something you do with your whole existence, it is one of the explanations for why you usually eat with your hands. Eating with cutlery is like courting your loved one through a dagger. But nothing prevents you from using a knife and fork but why not try eating with your hand next time you visit The Indian Café?
Paul, Monu and the team welcome you to a trip to India – on your taste buds!
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The Indian Cafe never fails to please. Whether sitting outside in summer or indoors on a chilly winter evening. The atmosphere is always warm and friendly. The staff are so polite and helpful when serving the delicious dishes. So many different dishes to choose, each one is deliciously different. We love eating there.