It has long been recognised that Mr Inder Jaiswal is one of the best Indian chefs on the Gold Coast. After arriving in Australia in 1971, Inder opened restaurants in Melbourne and the Gold Coast: House of India in Broadbeach, The Indian in Robina (2004), and Agnee Indian (2010) in Robina with his son Arjun.
We’d really enjoyed Inder’s food on our visits to The Indian, however its obscure location, tucked into a corner surrounded by takeaway joints, did not add to our dining pleasure.
So Inder’s decision to temporarily move across to Agnee is for us a win: win – food from the hands of the master, and Arjun’s vibrant attentive service in more ambient surroundings.
Located in a quiet business centre divided off from a suburban road, there’s plenty of parking nearby. Agnee’s venue is divided into two parts: the restaurant proper and a second area which could be used as a function room. It’s an ambient restaurant, modern and comfortable, with easy viewing through to the spotlessly clean kitchen.
It’s the rich exotic flavours of the East that have drawn us here: dishes fresh from the tandoor, still smoky from the clay oven, and curries which are more aromatic than fiery.
The menu covers a diverse selection of Northern and Southern India: the north famous for its complex curries aromatic with saffron and spices and made thick with yoghurt and ground nuts, breads fresh from the griddle and tandoor, fruit and nut laden pulao and the sweet gulab jamun; the cuisine of the south less known – rice dishes such as biryani, moilee, tomato-based curries, and dosa (a pancake-like dish) and idlis which at Agnee are served at lunchtimes. Food preferences are clearly marked on the menu, with many choices for vegetarian and almost every dish gluten-free.
We’re planning a feast, so we begin our meal with a mixed platter of Chicken Tikka still succulently smoky from the tandoor, Seekh Kabab, Pakora and Samosa served with a thick delicious mint raita (15.5), a good size to share between two as a light entrée.
Curries follow: Prawn Korma, a mild rich curry flavoured with spices, crushed cashews and almonds binding together the large fresh local prawns (19.5) and a Beef Saag, the beef cooked with spinach and spices. (Too late I think that Lamb Saag may have been a better choice, but the beef is still delicious.)
We’ve ordered accompanying Garlic Naan and Basmati rice (perfectly cooked and fragrant with each grain separate) to sop up the juices.
We return later for a weekend lunch: a Masala Dosa, a huge rice pancake loaded with mildly spiced potatoes (15) and Meen Moilee – Fish cooked in coconut milk with green chillies and ginger (17.5) to share. The Moilee is one of my favourite curries, aromatic and enticing, completely different in flavour to curries made on red chilli. A Tandoori platter would also be a fine option for lunch.
Inder’s curries are exquisite, thick and delicious, making all our other Indian experiences on the coast pale by comparison. The food is well complemented by Arjun’s attentive and charming service. Water is served on arrival, refilled throughout our meal, service and meals checked. This is a place where timeless recipes handed down through generations are cooked by a master chef and served in a modern setting by experienced staff who put the customer first.
With all mains under $20, it’s an affordable yet indulgent feast; the sort you’d love to share with friends. Little wonder then that we’re surrounded by birthday parties and family groups. We note that the restaurant can also provide catering off site.
Although the venue is licensed, with a fair selection of beers including Kingfisher (an Indian beer) and a few wines by the glass or bottle, BYO wine is also accepted for $2.50 per person.
With food and service right on the mark, it’s little wonder that Agnee Indian is a favourite for locals and curry lovers from much further afield. Superb! It’s an understated gem!
Suite 28 – 29, 137 Scottsdale Drive, Robina Ph: 07 5575 8365
Open: Mon 5.30pm – 9pm; Tues – Sun 11.30 – 2.30pm and 5.30 – 9pm