We had date night last night. The Boy stayed over at a mate’s place, which, when you have an ‘only’ means you are home, alone, in one easy sweep. Boom, easy! We thought we’d treat ourselves and go out for dinner (we haven’t done that for months) and go out to a movie. However, the weather was foul, I’d been complaining I was cold all day and the offering at the movies was ‘bah’. “What about takeout from Delhi Hut, that newish veggie Indian place we keep hearing about?” Offered hubby.
Wait, he’s offering to eat vegetarian? And Indian? Two of my favourite ways to eat (but not his?). Done. “Oooh, can we eat in front of the TV and watch a movie?” I countered? Done. Sold. We are old, but happy. Off we went to Rotorua’s Delhi Hut. We got a park straight outside. Off to a good start. I did have gumboots and track pants on just in case we had to walk a long way in the crapola weather: I’m an old school puddle jumper. I over dressed.
As quick background, Delhi Hut keeps sneaking up in my Facebook feed. This is always a good sign. My buddy Cam, our slightly mad, enthusiastic, food-loving vegetarian friend, has been raving about their kai, as have a few other foodie friends. Frankly, I’m ashamed this was our first visit, we should have pulled our fingers out ages ago.
Exec Summary: The food is fantastic, the service top notch, and, you know what a lover of a good deal I am: We got all of this food for $32 and it’ll feed us again for dinner tonight! So that’s $8 per head for four people (if your maths is a bit pants). Wowser. Last time we got takeaways, it was a Chinese takeout feast (amazeballs, but it was $75 for four peeps: That’s almost dine in bloody prices – so long as everyone drinks water).
Delhi hut, located on Rotorua’s Pererika Street, offers no frills, Indian street food. The menu is entirely vegetarian, with vegan offerings to boot. No issue from me, I adore vegetarian cuisine. Their dinner menu changes daily, which keeps life interesting, you rock up and order from the offerings in front of you. Food is cooked fresh daily. They get all their spices in from India.
In terms of ‘the read deal’, Delhi Hut, is, apparently, authentic according to reviewers who are more informed on such matters than me. Yes, I’ve read some reviews to make sure it’s not just me that’s fallen head over heels in love with this place. Indeed, ‘authentic’ is a word that pops up frequently in reviews, along with, I might add, one other word: Delicious. Note, I’ve not been to India, so who am I to make claims of authenticity?
What I will say is this: If like me, you learnt to love Indian food in the UK, and have pondered that Indian food in NZ, just “isn’t quite right”, get your arse down to Delhi Hut as it’s of ‘UK Indian Standard’. Oh yes, Delhi Hut’s flavours take me back the flavours experienced at my local Indian takeout from when I lived in Milton Keynes and the local curry house I used to frequent in Dover (I once had this cool job where I lived in Paris but had to go to Dover and London once or twice a week… But that’s another blog post).
Delhi Hut’s flexibility, to my mind, wins them extra brownie points. If you’ve got a hankering for something in particular, just ring up: They’ll cook it up and put it out for the masses. That is, for clarity, if you want to have something you’ve enjoyed there previously, or if you’ve had a dish somewhere else you’d like them to have a crack at recreating. They also make, apparently, fabulous bread: According to our friends who have been. The lovely chap who served us last night informed us that, yes, their bread is very popular and, if we want a particular bread, even a gluten free one, to give them a tinkle the day before and they’ll make it happen. Crikey – that’s next level ‘Way to Keep Your Punters Happy’ – isn’t it?
Here’s the punchline too (I love this): If you are new to Delhi Hut, or want to try before you buy: Ask, they’ll whip you up a little tasting plate so you can make an intelligent decision as to what you’d like to eat. We got trial everything that was on last night’s dinner menu. We were a bit slow and did this after we’ve ordered, so remember to try before to buy.
Last night we scoffed, I think, aloo gobhi (potato and cauliflower curry with lots of cumin, slightly spicy). I also think we had a palak paneer, which is a gravy goodness type curry, made with blanched spinach, spices, peas and, our favourite, a creamy soft paneer. I say “I think” we had these dishes, as, despite the detail the chap went into to tell us how it was made and the ingredients (I quizzed him as I love the ‘story’ behind food), I didn’t write anything down: Danger, danger, my memory is a bit pants. We also had a samosa each and half a paratha (stuffed with vegetables and green chilli).
Then there was dessert. Oh gosh. Dessert. I saved the best for last. We got 200g of a mix of sweet treats. “They are very sweet, you don’t need much” the chap at Delhi warned. He’s right. We got six pieces. There’s lots left. Sweet, delicious. Perfect way to finish off a meal. I can’t remember what we had, nor what they were made of. But here’s a photo.
I can’t express how delicious this all was, even the basmati rice was next level perfection, fluffy and perfectly cook. Neither hubby nor I could eat all of what we’d dished up, but we gave it a good crack. Pleasantly, and surprisingly, there was no heavy tummy afterwards. This usually happens to me after an old fashioned pig-out, as well as after Indian food. Nope, this was light on the tummy. Excellent. Here’s the menu. You are welcome.
Yes, we’ll be going back soon, The Boy in tow, I know he’d be all over this, despite my frequent whinging at his fussiness in the food department. The Boy, like his Mumma, enjoys spicy food and he loves rice. Also, he eats most things – including VEGETABLES – if they are wrapped in a sauce: Winner. We also have a vegetarian foodie visiting from Scotland in a few weeks. That’s her dinner sorted, none of this cook two meals malarkey (the remainder of her family are carnivores).
Lastly, I note that tonight is Rotorua’s Hospitality Awards. I know this as I’m doing a friend’s makeup who is going. I wish I was invited. Stink. Anyhow, I’m chuffed to see Delhli Hut is up for an award for Rotorua’s most outstanding takeout. I have my fingers crossed: These lovely chaps deserve to take this out (see what I did there?). At my end, I’m off to give Delhi Hut a five star rating and do some culinary gushing on Trip Advisor and Facebook. For clarity, just in case you missed how enthusiastic and excited I am: If I moved away from Rotorua, but came back for one night and wanted takeaways: I’d be off to Delhi Hut.
Check out Delhi Hut on Facebook here. It’s no frills place: They have no website. In keeping with the no frills theme, by the way: My photos are unedited – usually I do a teeny bit of colour enhancing on my photos, or straightening up of any crookedness, before blogging them. Not in this post: What you see is what we got. That seems entirely appropriate!
Have you been to Rotorua’s Delhi Hut? What were your impressions?