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MAHARAJA'S HAVELI

Cuisine: Indian

Maharaja’s Haveli is a nostalgic journey for Sydney-based Punjabis and an education for the rest of us. Enterprising Punjabi businesspeople have leased the old Quakers Hill shopping centre and turned it into a reminder of a typical pind, or rural village, in Punjab. A wide range of northern and southern Indian dishes are on offer. Goat curry $19.90 is particularly tender and mildly spicy. Adventurous eating awaits you in the sweets area. Snack on delicious carrot halwa, $19.90 per kg, and vada pav $6.90, a south Indian fast-food favourite of a vegie dumpling in a bun. There’s also crisp masala dosa $11.90, papri chaat $7.90, gol gappa $6.90 and excellent dhal $13.90. There’s your choice of a la carte dining, cafeteria and takeaway.

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THAI SPICE

Cuisine: Indian,Thai

This is one of those places that use the fruits of their success to improve the experience for their customers. Dishes are rich in spices and full of flavour. The gold is found in the mains: stirfries, curries and seafood, that is to say the usual array, but well put together. Chicken and pumpkin pad kai with egg, basil and shallots $13.90 is moreish, as is pad roast duck stirfried with basil and chilli $16.90. Goong pong garee, stirfried prawns $18.90, is a colourful mix of capsicum, egg and coconut milk that has wonderful warming spices and crisp textures. The spice here can be a little warm for some, so request to lower the heat or cool off those agitated tastebuds with Thai pumpkin custard served with sticky rice and coconut milk $6.90.

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