By Franz Scheurer
I’ve said so before, Q’min is my favourite Indian restaurant. I love their attention to detail, the chef’s ability to innovate and excite, the regularly changing menu and the caring friendly service. There’s always something new and challenging.
Now let me tell you about Nashta. Indians love to snack. As soon as they eat something, they’re already thinking about the next tasty morsel. They love variety and Nashta (small meal), in one word, describes their addiction to snacking. Be it fried, roasted, steamed or baked, bring it on!
In a country as big as India it’s only natural that the type of snacks vary from region to region. In the north ‘Chaat’ is the most popular snack, a mixture of ingredients tossed together with chutneys and spices. ‘Aloo Chat’, for example, is made from potatoes, onions, coriander and tamarind, spiced and flavoured with chutney. In Mumbai they like to snack on ‘Bhel Puri’, which consists of puffed rice, onions and the obligatory chutney, or ‘Pani Puri’, puffed, fried pastry balls filled with spiced sprouts and chutney. In the South (where Nashta is called ‘Tiffin’), they snack on Idli (steamed rice cakes), Wadas (doughnuts made from white lentils flavoured with ginger and black pepper), Upma (savoury semolina pudding) and the wonderfully thin, crisp crepe-like Dosa.
Qmin offers Nashta for Sunday brunch and, although crass, think of it as Indian Tapas.
We tried the ‘Kheema naan’ a fantastic naan bread filled with spicy lamb mince, a perfect accompaniment to ‘Fish Koliwada’, small morsels of deep-fried fish coated with sesame seeds. Don’t miss out on the ‘Murg Tulsi Ke Tikke’, basil-marinated pieces of pan-fried chicken. If you’re after real breakfast food (we all like carbohydrates for brekkie and it’s OK again to eat them) try the ‘Wada Sambhar’, pieces of samosa dough swimming in a lentil curry, or the ‘Papri Chaat’, which is basically a ‘loaded’ biscuit. The best dish, in my opinion, was the ‘Bhel Puri’, delicately flavoured puffed rice, spicy, refreshing and texturally superb all at once, although the ‘Masala Dosa’ was crisp crepe perfection and a very close second.
Nashta is a great way to enjoy brunch on a Sunday. More people should try it. Go early enough to have it with a salted lassie or late enough to have it with a beer or a glass of wine. The folks at Qmin will not only look after you, but patiently explain every dish.
How do you say ‘Bon Appetit’ in Indian?
For more information or bookings:
207 Pacific Highway
02 9966 5557