Halfway along King William Road, set back from the corner of Arthur Street. PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
This place is a real find, literally. A few steps shy of King William Road, you may not meet it directly but be introduced by word-of-mouth. Raj on Taj is an eatery quite easy to strike up a friendship with. Its side-street entrance welcomes you into an atrium dining area. It is the first of several rooms throughout that collectively seat well over 100 people. Each space is so individual and cosy, however, that you feel like a personally invited guest no matter where you sit. Open fireplaces add further warmth to the charming decor of tapestries, traditional marionettes, collectables, copper work and a gorgeous ornate swing which frames the corner bar nook. “All are imported from India,” owner Vijay Singh says proudly. Claret-coloured tablecloths that didn’t vanish with the ‘80s are in residence, but manage to blend in among matching painted feature walls.
The linen has been known to catch the crumbs of some famous mouths – international cricketers, Aussie footballers and the occasional astronaut, to name a few. Regardless of your sporting prowess or moon-landing ability, however, you are on a winner with the menu. Its prices will have you licking your lips before they have even touched the first piece of buttery garlic naan. (On that note, the menu cover proclaims “the naan talks” – you may have to ask Vijay about that). Tandoori raan
feeds two with its marinated leg of lamb, while the oven’s entree platter should do likewise with chicken and fish tikka, and tandoor “tail prawns”. A robust array of vegetable dishes impresses with cumin and chilli onion rings, and paneer tikka masala – baked cottage cheese pan-fried in masala – both of which are sure to send you to the moon.