We like think of the Devonshire St side of Surry Hills as East Central. That's what we tell ourselves it is so we don't get caught up in the whole typical Surry Hills thing of white washing food to make it presentable to the general public. So during some recent visits to the area we picked through the usual cafe assortment and gushing blogger faves and find ourselves at Bollywood Mirch Masala.
It's the special on the board that catch our eye and drag us in, a Punjabi chole. This order at the counter meal is cooked on request and there is a short wait, but the spicy chick pea and potato curry is worth sitting and watching suits foraging for a feed on Devonshire Street for. The most filling part of the meal is two huge fried pieces of puffed bread (bhatura) served with the curry. They're super hot and oily and really add a stodgy base. The whole thing is lifted by a fresh side of onions and a little pickle.
Most lunchtimers here are in the for the choose your own adventure meal from the bain-marie of love. We get a plate of artfully spilled over the edge curry gravy, thankfully double plated so you don't miss a drop. You can choose a couple of curries with rice for $10.90. There is an excellent range of vegetarian curries, we went for the saag aloor and a vegetable korma, small fritters of veggies in a super creamy sauce. For the meat fans there are goat curries and tandooris. The range of curries changes daily, so if you make this place a habit you'll get a good variety.
Lastly you can finish off your meal with a handful of mukhwas, a combo breath freshener and digestive aid made of raw and sugar coated fennel seeds. A small scoop like this is enough to have you walking back for your post lunch meeting with the ring of confidence.
Bollywood Mirch Masala is at 1/99 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills.