Hanuman – Alice Springs
By Franz Scheurer
Alice Springs might sound romantic if you have never been there, but in reality it’s a tough frontier town where survival is often more important than indulgence. Not foremost known for its culinary prowess it is therefore a real surprise to find a restaurant like Hanuman, which would easily cut it amongst the establishments in the big smoke. Located inside the Crowne Plaza, a short drive from the centre of town, Hanuman is an oasis of dark, subdued colours, appetizing odours and perfect service, overseen by the large statue of Hanuman (a divine entity of Hinduism).
The food is an interesting mix of Thai and Indian flavours and the dishes are prepared with passion and knowledge. The ‘Hanuman Prawn’ is a dish of prawns, served in a curry sauce and krachai (there is no English common name for krachai (Kaempferia pandurata), a member of the ginger family) and are succulent and the sauce is quite hot The ‘Tom Yum’ is classic Thai, hot and spicy. The ‘Chicken Satay’ is dry (probably breast meat) and the dish of the night are the ‘Trumpet Mushrooms’, topped with mince of prawns, pork and cracked black pepper, served in a terracotta snail dish on steroids. A ‘Roasted Red Duck Curry’ shows off fantastic duck breast meat, alas the sauce it too similar to the prawns. The ‘Fresh Kang Kong Greens’, wok-tossed with garlic and yellow soybeans are a little wet, although the taste is excellent. A ‘Black Rice Brûlée’ is boring in taste and the custard is curdled.
We drink Knappstein Gewürtz and it’s terrific with the food and a Gapretto Sangiovese stands up to the spicy flavours admirably.
Service is polished and efficient. Value for money is terrific and if you’re in Alice Springs this is the place to eat.
For more information and bookings:
82 Barrett Drive
Alice Springs NT 0870
Tel.: 08 8953 7188