PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
You would not think it, but this historic (1858) dwelling has never been an actual home to anyone – post office, antique shop and restaurant yes, but residence no. It would have made a lovely one with cosy rooms and gardens, but instead the lucky locals of this popular hills village – and its many visitors – enjoy it as Siemers Indian Restaurant. The main dining area with lofty ceilings and wide picture windows, presents magnificent views of the greenery Stirling is loved for. Stately pines seem within arms reach, while private rooms offer fabulous spaces to share with friends and huddle over warming winter curries. All of the rooms have fireplaces that add to Siemers' appeal. Each room is exotic looking, painted with vibrant colours and filled with eclectic pieces ranging from the traditional to not so (owner Alexandra understands kitsch so you will spot the odd lava lamp). There is an elephant in the room so let's mention it: she greets you inside the front doorway and makes it hard for you not to pat her.
Pratap in the kitchen (otherwise known as Rocky) makes it hard for you not to enjoy his food. For nine years people have been returning for his charcoal – not gas – tandoor dishes; his French lamb chop cutlets with mint sauce in particular. Garam masala is house-made while squid pakoras win attention for their novel presence on the menu. Adelaide Hills' farmed goat is served on the bone in a lush tomato sauce with garlic, onion and ginger. Its (and all others) spices are freshly hand ground. On summer nights you may simply want to visit for a dessert and mango lassi or strawberry daiquiri on the back lawn.