North HobartPROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Annapurna’s flavours are strong and authentically spiced, servings are generously portioned and, in the dinner and luncheon menus, there’s an abundance of choice with India’s wide-ranging regional specialties extensively represented. There are the traditional coconut-based curries from Madras, the hot-spiced seafood dishes from coastal Goa and Sri Lanka, Bengali-style curries from the time of the British Raj, vegetarian dishes from the Punjab, the sweet heat of Kashmiri chillies in the ever-popular lamb roganjosh and the authentic soured tang of vindaloos and tamarind lentils from the south.
Plum in the centre of North Hobart’s pumping multicultural dining strip, the restaurant’s as bustling and spicily perfumed as an Indian market bazaar, packed since it opened with an eclectic mix running from young spiritual alternates to partying groups, romantic tete-a-teters and the be-suited business set looking for a little spice. Little wonder that it was voted the best Tasmanian BYO in 2004. But it’s licensed as well, and while there’s a bigger selection of naan breads than there is of wines, there’s enough local and Indian beers to dampen the heat of the tandoori kebabs and tikkas. Annapurna is India’s Divine Mother of Abundance and, most appropriately, at Annapurna the restaurant, there’s abundance in everything but the bill.