“I’ve been told that this place has positive energies and a good aura,” Devi tells me.
I look around at the two huge mandalas painted on the mirror-tiled back wall of the restaurant, a bronze goddess resting on a pedestal beside me, the accent colours vibrant and rich.
I could use some ‘good energy’ right now, I think, reflecting on the month of pain and loss that has just passed. Surprisingly, tonight I feel calm in this place.
“So, what makes this place special?” I ask.
“The mandala is the symbol of prosperity and happiness. Laksmi is the goddess of prosperity. Besides, I get to work with my daughter, and she’s lucky.” She looks across at a young woman serving at the bar, smiling openly.
It’s an unexpected turn in the conversation with Devi Prasad, co-owner of Krish Indian, yet we’ve found common ground – shared birth dates and years of birth of our children and ourselves, a connection between two women from different backgrounds and cultures, causing us both to reflect on the commonality of motherhood, family and life.
It’s food that’s brought us together to discuss culture, similarities and differences, to share experience over a meal.
The Prasads run three Krish restaurants, with family members at each one: Worongary (the first, founded in 2006), Varsity and Robina at the Easy T Centre.
Each of the restaurants has its own style,” Devi tells us. “Each chef has his own specialty dishes depending on which region of India they’re from.”
Krish Indian at Easy T Centre Robina, the one we’re visiting, is a relaxed restaurant, its narrow entrance deceptive, as the interior expands to seat extended family groups.
Perusing the extensive 15-page menu, it’s difficult to make a choice. Devi points out the Fijian chicken and fish, her favourite curries, carrying reminders of her childhood in Fiji. The Fijian Indian influence of its owners is one point of difference between Krish and other Indian restaurants on the coast.
Keen to try dishes that set Krish apart, we pass up on the butter chicken, the most popular dish on the menu, and the specialty dish that Robina’s Southern Indian chef, Kardhik Ganesan, cooks in a special way. Instead, we order Hariyali Kebab: skewered chicken fillets marinated in coriander, mint and spinach, full of the flavours of ginger, garlic and spices, grilled in the tandoor by chef Dilip Thapa and presented sizzling on a hotplate. It may not be the prettiest of dishes, but it’s certainly one of the tastiest!
Next is Tandoori Boti – tandoor-grilled lamb cutlets with sizzling vegetables.
Devi brings us out small serves of Fijian curries to try, more aromatic than spicy, but then our main arrives: four huge Tandoori Moreton Bay Bug halves, dripping in luscious makhan sauce. It’s without doubt our dish of the night, succulent seafood meat in one of the most delicious curries we’ve tasted. Wow! They won’t be secret for long!
Devi continues the conversation about the medicinal properties of spices such as turmeric, its anti-inflammatory effects now well known.
She tells us about plans to extend the restaurant with a pergola out the front, and the upcoming annual Diwali Festival of Lights to take place on October 19.
The evening draws to a close. Well-fed and newly connected, we leave Krish brighter than when we entered, knowing that next time we visit, the ‘spices of the East’ will brighten our lives once again.
Easy T Centre, 514 Christine Ave Robina Ph: 07 5578 7688
Open: Mon – Sun 11.30am – 9.30pm