Rama’s

I have heard lots and lots about Rama’s – pretty much all of it has been good, so when we had to be southside for a reason around dinner time, we decided that we should try it. Rama’s is billed as Fiji Indian, which makes it pretty much Indian with a dash of Fijian influence. When we arrived (on a non-pay-day Thursday night!!) the place was packed and we were not particularly hopeful of getting a table as even those outside were full. However, we were squeezed in on a table that had a 7:15 booking (we were there at 6:45) on the promise that if they could cook it fast, we could eat it fast – we had to be somewhere else at 7:30 anyway! So, we ordered at the counter as the table was reset for two and the food arrived really, really quickly! Which is a little worrying as that probably meant that a lot of it was pre-prepared, and that some of didn’t have enough time to absorb the lovely flavours. To start with we had the pumpkin and coconut roti parcels. This was amazing – a lovely mushed up pumpkin and coconut mixture wrapped in a roti bread. I think I am going to have to invent a few of these types of dishes because this is the second one that I have had that I really, really liked. They would make great little appetiser type things. For our mains we ordered Vegetable Bombay, Panir Masala and Dahl, along with steamed rice and a couple of garlic parathas. When we ordered, we were asked how we wanted the dished cooked – mild, medium or hot. Now this is one of my pet hates in restaurants. I want the chef to cook it as it should be and not fiddle with the heat of the dish. If something is meant to be cooked hot then cook it hot and put a warning on the menu. If it is meant to be mild, then cook it mild! So, my answer was however the chef thinks it should be and then we were asked if we liked it spicy and would we like the dishes medium, so I gave up and said yes. The dahl arrived first with a huge bowl of saffron rice (which surprised us since we thought we ordered steamed rice). It was a little while before the other dishes came out, which is a bit disappointing, but it could have been because they were trying to hurry our meal. Of the three dishes, I think the Panir Masala was my favourite (apart from the peas) – it had a beautiful flavour and the panir did not fall apart. The dahl was nicely spiced, but wasn’t particularly special – just good dahl. The vegetables Bombay was disappointing (for more reasons than just more peas!) – and this is possibly where a longer cooking time could have enhanced the flavours a little. The spices/flavours seemed a little harsh. Overall, it was pretty good food. I am amazed that we were in and out in approximately 30 minutes, and also amazed that the number of other people in the restaurant, and the owner said that it is like that every night! If I was down that way again, then I think I would eat there again, however, I don’t think I would be able to justify bypassing my favourite Indian restaurant, which is much closer to home, to go here.