Review: Aachi's

When I was around 12 years old, my mother and I got into a massive fight in the middle of an Indian supermarket. Halfway through the argument, I started sniffing and scratching my face, and complaining that I wasn't feeling very well. She (of course, because I was being a dick and would reduce to cheap tactics) thought I was complaining to win the fight, and refused to pay attention to me. She eventually turned around and, with a look of horror, caught sight of my face - it had blow up to twice the size. I was having an allergic reaction to all the smells and spices wafting around the shop. Thankfully, I have grown out of this allergy as I've gotten older. The fact that there was a chance that I could never eat in an Indian restaurant haunts me every day of my life.

At the beginning of the night, you get complementary perfectly cooked popadom's with a side of two sauces. None of us really know what the sauces are, but they're delicious. 
Being a university student, my main experiences with curry are the cheap, creamy plates you can buy in shopping centres like Melbourne Central, with a side of slightly stale rice. Because of this, I'm always keen when it comes to getting a chance of trying quality and expertly cooked Indians.

Mum and I got a serve of samosa's to share as an entree, filled with spiced potatoes, onions, lentils and peas. 
Look how good that looks on the inside - tastes even better. 
For my mum's birthday dinner (SHOUTOUT: happy happy birthday!), she picked our favourite local Indian restaurant only a five minute drive from our house - Aachi's. We've been to Aachi's a number of times and now go in, with a welcomed greeting from the staff there (who recognise us now), and our order already ready in our mind. However, because it was mum's birthday, we decided to try some things off the menu that were out of the ordinary (as well as our favourites, we're not crazy), and we were not disappointed.

Mum and I got a main serving of Fish Tikka. The word "tikka" is Persian, and translates to "piece" of meat. I loved this dish and the flavours of spices and probably would've been happy with that. 
The menu is extensive, with a range of dishes available in every protein (chicken, lamb, beef, and seafood) as well as a heap of vegetarian choices. You'll find all the classic Indian dishes that we know and love: curry, masala, vindaloo, biryani, rice, 4 different kinds of naan bread (garlic, cheese, kheema - a minced meat -, and kashmiri - naan stuffed with sweet cashew, almond and cherry paste), and Indian deserts.

Dad ordered himself the Goat Curry, which was a special available. We were told that the goat was killed fresh that morning, and that explained why dad loved it so much. He pronounced this curry as being "the best goat he'd ever eaten", and something he'd order every time he went if it was on the menu. 
The flavours in the food are vibrant and tantalising, and can be put down to fresh and healthy ingredients and authentic spices, rather than toning down flavours to fit "Australian standards". Although the servings appear small, they're enough to leave three (very hungry) people feeling content and satisfied.

This is the Dal Makhani, which is one of the dishes we get every single time we eat Aachi's. We love it's rich and smooth flavours. The traditional preparation of this kind of dal is so lengthy that it can take 24 hours to prepare (but with modern technology the process only takes 2-3 hours. 2-3 hours we are thankful they give up to make this dish because it's bloody good). 
Mum, dad and I have a feeling that all (or at least some) of the staff working there are family, which contributes to its warm and inviting atmosphere. All the staff are polite and modest - when dad doted about his goat curry, the waitress gratefully thanked him and discussed preferences when eating goat (she prefers it off the bone).

Gotta have a bit of (garlic) naan bread when you're eating Indian. 
For both the entree's and the mains, we get given hot stone plates so that our meals stay hot when we're eating it, and all the dishes are served in those nifty copper bowls. The wait for our food isn't that long, and they even ask once we finished entrees if we were ready for mains or wanted to take a rest break (which of course we were, we aren't rookies).

The rice is also a must have accompaniment - mum jealously wondered how they get their rice so perfectly fluffy. 
The look of Aachi's is pretty understated, with no frills and no fuss. On the walls hang some Indian paintings and there are a few miniature statutes placed in certain parts of the restaurant. It doesn't buy into any exaggerated stereotypes, nor does it try to hide it's Indian culture, and this happy medium makes for a really relaxed environment to eat in.

Some of the groovy Indian paintings up on the walls. 
There's a reason Aachi's is one of my family's favourite Indian (and to be honest overall) eateries. The quality of the food and the flavours have never let us down (even when we get takeaway, which can sometimes kill good restaurants) keep us coming back again and again.

158 High Street, Kew
9855 2258

Mon: 5pm to 10pm
Tues - Fri: 12pm to 2:30pm and 5pm to 10pm
Sat: 5pm to 10pm
Sun: 11:30am to 2:30pm (South Indian Buffet) and 5pm to 10pm


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