Observatory is known for its buzzy streets, eclectic venues and boho eccentricity. That’s why we simply HAD to pop into a restaurant perched on the corner of one of the busiest streets in the suburb. And, we certainly were not disappointed. The wooden, open bay windows as well as warm and comfortable interior is reflected onto the street, and it envelops you when you step inside.
The Peacock Indian Inspired Kitchen and Bar is the personification of the suburb around it. A moulding and integration of culture, tastes and ideas with community and the neighbourhood. We simply love how Indian tastes, decor and flavour were carefully woven into the western mindset, making for a genuinely laid-back, almost indie evening at the venue.
With this, the concept of The Peacock is to integrate the Indian explosions of flavour with local, western ideas. So, going in with a traditional Indian cuisine in mind, the menu might confuse you. Rather, expect Indian flavours with a twist. And a great twist! For me, many of the dishes infused some of my favourite elements of both, into one delicious concept.
Take the Naan Pizza, for example. Yes, you read correctly. My two favourite dishes have been combined into one epic, fulfilling and exceptionally tasty dish. We tried out the Butter Chicken naan pizza, which was packed with creamy butter sauce, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. The fluffy naan made for a unique twist on the traditional pizza base, and the sauce soaked itself into the naan, making sure that you get flavour in every single bite.
I’m getting ahead of myself, however. The starter tapas are definitely something to check out if you want to be taken on a taste journey. The tapas are big enough to order a few plates and share around the table for everyone to try out deliciously unique tastes. We were treated to the blue cheese croquettes, samosa bowl and the masala steak roti wrap.
The steak roti can actually be ordered as a lunch, or lighter dinner if you are just peckish. It is packed with feta, peppers and of course, tender beef steak pieces. The samoosa’ s are crispy and packed with flavour. Each one fuses a variety of flavour: potato, pepper and truffle oil; prawn, chili and spring onion and then of course the ginger, lime, chilli, chickpea and bean.
My favourite was the blue cheese croquettes though. Crispy on the outside, and gooey when you bite into it, the balls held the familiar strong taste of the blue cheese, which is offset with the delicious tomato reduction dip that it is served with.
By now, you must have picked up the strong vegetarian influence in a majority of the dishes. The restaurant is in fact highly focused on catering for a more vegetarian palate, yet ensures that us meat- eaters are still included with lamb and chicken options. We were offered the spinach curry for mains with our naan pizza, and we simply couldn’t say no to trying out something new. Being a meat eater, I did find that I missed that element in the dish, however, it was certainly tasty, spiced and well prepared.
I am sure that you can imagine that we were already filled up when desert was unexpectedly presented on the table. Before I tucked in, I was certain that I could not even get in another moresful, but when I did, I simply couldn’t stop. The deserts are light and surprisingly, the perfect ending to a filling meal. After all of the rich doughs, naans and cheese, the spicy undertones of the Kulfi ice-cream actually settled the stomach.
The crispy samosa desert, packed with dark chocolate and banana was the decadent round off to the meal that anyone looks for, while the saffron and cardamom infused ice-cream was the light end to the meal. Before I knew it, the plate was cleared, and I was very aware of the judgmental eyes of my dinner partner who could only manage one scoop. His loss!
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the absolute attention to detail. You simply have to walk around the entire venue to take in the small placements in every nook and cranny to truly appreciate the restaurant.
The decor reflects the fusion of the dishes. It has modern, western features with twists of inviting indian culture flowing through the space. It is warm and incredibly homely and I loved the small library area tucked into the upstairs area. I could almost imagine kicking back on a rainy saturday afternoon with a chai latte, those delicious samoosas and a deep conversation of existence and the universe. I certainly think that this space would be a great point for the great minds of Obs to meet with some delicious nourishment to keep them going!
The staff complement is small and humble. You can expect a personal and almost homely experience with everyone in the restaurant. I was blown away with the absolute passion oozing from everyone who paid our table a visit. Not only are they knowledgeable, but they are attentive to your taste preferences and what you are in the mood for for the evening.
They were sure to remind me that the venue has recently started offering breakfasts from Monday to Saturday and the venue also offers open mic night on Wednesdays. I am really looking forward to checking out some of the local musos, poets and artists from the area, as I am sure that we all agree, Obs is packed with the wonderfully free thinking people with a lot to say and sing. And this is the perfect venue to connect everyone!