gogo’s madras curry house – mount lawley
Have you seen that awful Lindsay Lohan movie “Just My Luck” ? Unfortunately I have (not by any choice of mine – it was a bleak night on the old televisual). The gist of it is this: super lucky girl meets boy, boy is world’s unluckiest person, they switch “luck”, “comedy” ensues.
Basically, I am he. Well before the “luck switch”.
Things happen to me that shouldn’t happen to normal people or anyone over the age of 4. Take for example the story of how I once got dog poop in my hair (yes HAIR). From a CSI style examination, S managed to conclude that I had stepped in it, gotten in the car, put my handbag near my feet, stepped on my bag, got out of the car, put the handbag back on my shoulder, trapped my hair in the handle, ran my fingers through my hair, peered at it and wondered how I got pate in my hair (honestly, I actually thought it was pate for a moment there), realised what it was then screamed.
As for how it relates to this post? As luck would have it, I caught chickenpox, aged 20, in India. For the love of god…
Honestly, I still haven’t quite recovered from my brief stint in the New Delhi medical system.
Regardless, I still managed to stuff in as much rotis and curries as my disease ridden body would allow. Thankfully noone batted a heavily kohled eyelid as I lurked around swaddled in layers of colourful fabric. I like to think that despite the chickenpox debacle, my time in India helped hone my curry palate considerably.
Anyway it was another dinner night with my parents, the Munsters, and boy do they love a good curry. We’d heard about Gogo’s notoriety previously (legend has it Sachin Tendulkar was so taken by Gogo’s lamb chops he flew him over to India to cater for a private party – if that’s any indication!).
The Munsters were up to their usual antics, with Herman practicing his command of the Tamil language on our waiter while I cringed quietly in the corner and wondered if, in case of emergency, I should break open the autographed cricket bat hanging above my head and thwack him one on the head to shut him up. Surely patricide is excusable in a situation like this…isn’t it?
Just when things couldn’t get any more embarrassing (for myself), Herman loudly asked what our waiter’s name was (in Tamil). “Gogo” he replied. Cue an image of myself spitting out my water back into it’s glass here. Ahhh geeez…THE Gogo I hear you say? Yes.
Just. My. Effin. Luck.
Unfazed, Herman continued to inform Gogo that he would be eating with his fingers that evening as he refuses to eat Indian food with cutlery regardless of how fancy the place may be.
We started ordering when Gogo informed us we were better off ordering the banquet if we were sharing that evening. At $40 per person, you could pick 4 mains and the following would be included: a selection of entrees, naans, pickles, chutneys, raita, papadums, dhal and bombay potato curry. It wasn’t a hard sell…
For our mains we chose the Goat Rogan Josh, Goan Fish Curry, Keerai Paneer and the infamous Lamb Chops.
Papadums soon appeared at our table along with a decanter for our Ladbroke Grove Reserve Shiraz (2001). You would think it would be to heavy and tannic for spicy food but I surprisingly enjoyed it.
All manner of foods soon appeared at our table.
Entree Plate # 1
- Lamb Samosas
- Cheese Kurkuries
The samosa pastry was beautifully crumbly with a nice amount of spiced lamb inside. I perhaps would have preferred a bit more veg but quite a lovely little parcel especially dunked in the tamarind sauce.
The cheese kurkuries were essentially Indian spring rolls with a goats cheese and herb filling. Pastry was scrumptiously delicate and flaky with the goats cheese filling surprisingly not too overpowering.
Entree Plate # 2
- Chicken Tikka
- Coconut Prawns
- Shammi Kebab
All of these were above average Indian starters, the chicken and prawns were succulent and moist and the shammi kebabs were creamily smooth.
Mains (pictured above)
- Goat Rogan Josh
- Lamb Chops (I can’t remember the full name but it is Gogo’s signature dish so you will have no trouble picking it out)
- Goan Fish Curry
- Keerai Paneer
The one thing I noticed about all the curries is that there was a definite difference between flavours (unlike some places where nondescript meats are covered indistinguishable sauces with the only varying factor being colour). The rogan josh was one of tastier versions I’ve had around town though I was a little disappointed in the colour of the dish (seeing as rogan josh translates literally to ‘colour red’). Though it’s appearance was a little creamier than I am used to it was still delicious and aromatic. The Goan Fish Curry was a little scant on fish but this was forgivable as the fish was local snapper rather than the usual hake or basa suspects. You could definitely taste the tamarind tang and the fish wasn’t overcooked (which is often a problem in fish curries). The Keerai Paneer was a confusing one for me. Firstly, it was much brighter looking than any spinach paneer dish I’d ever seen. Perhaps there is something of a difference in it being called Keerai rather than the usual Saag or Palak. Does anyone know? I tried to google it but came up with nothing other than the fact Keerai means ‘greens’. Well green it certainly was. Unfortunately, though the paneer was soft and creamy, I found the sauce rather bland and worryingly reminiscent of that dreadful Birdseye Frozen Spinach stuff. Finally, the star chops. Rumour has it the Indian Cricket Team once dined at Gogo’s and feasted on over 3oo of these little buggers. They sure had a reputation to live up to. And live up to it they did…
Apparently they are marinated for days and then slowly roasted. The texture was not that of your usual lamb chop, it was delicately tender, flaking apart at the slightest touch…a slow roasted masterpiece. My only gripe was that the four cutlets weren’t big enough!
The accompaniments were also much enjoyed by our party of four, especially the paper thin and sinfully crispy naan breads (just the way I like them).
For desserts we shared a Gulab Jamun and Bibinka. The former being the perennial Indian dessert favourite of fried dough drenched in oozy rosewater and cardamom sugar syrup and the latter a type of coconut milk pudding which apparently is a traditional Goan dessert.
Presentation was a little naff, what with the terribly 90s style choco sauce drizzle (which personally I didn’t feel added to the dish at all). The gulabs themselves though were soft and decadent and the syrup provided just the right amount of sugary goodness without causing instantaneous tooth decay.
The bibinka was silky textured and again had the right amount of sweetness. I haven’t tried this before so I can’t really comment on authenticity but from what I could see/taste it was a commendable version. The menu did say that it was to be accompanied with “special icecream” but to be honest it looked suspiciously similar to the scoop of your garden variety vanilla icecream chilling out next to the gulabs.
Bellies bursting with all manners of spicy delights we tumbled out for a nightcap at Clarences.
I can safely say that from what we sampled at Gogo’s, there is no doubt we will be back.
4 out of 5 Golden Spoons
Gogo’s Madras Curry House
556 Beaufort Street
T: 08 9328 1828