TWO intrepid reporters take on the challenge of finding the best vindaloo in the Canning Times and the Melville Times catchment.
Josh Zimmerman and Pia van Straalen are self-confessed curry lovers, but it transpired once while in conversation about roti, spices and authentic sauces that neither had tried vindaloo.
It was the perfect project; to determine the best vindaloo in an exhaustive Vindalection aimed at electing the best on the scene.
We have no preconceived ideas, we are scoring independently and we will find the Windaloo and the Vindaloser.
It’s Canning versus Melville, no curry is created equal and the stakes are high.
The Cove Indian Restaurant, Alfred Cove ( $27)
Pia’s score: 18
Meat a tad dry, the fiery curry meant the flavour was muted and the accompaniments had to step up. They did their best, garlicky naan and fragrant rice.
Josh’s score: 18
My biggest takeaway from this vindaloo is that it was hot – very hot. Hints of a rich sauce, although lacking a touch of acidity, but heat quickly overwhelms the tastebuds. Nice big chunks of meat but a touch dry. Great accompaniments, aromatic rice and garlicky naan.
Flames Restaurant, Rossmoyne ($22.30)
Pia’s score: 18.5
I loved this rich, spicy vindaloo – delicious! Heat was perfect for my taste. Rice was a bit wet and no naan, but a paratha was a perfect substitute. Garlicky, textured and yum!
Josh’s score: 18
Thick, deep red sauce with plenty of fragrance and heat. Perhaps a tad too spicy for my tastebuds, which were dulled after the first few bites. Meat generous and falling apart. No saffron rice or naan a negative although replacement paratha held its own.
Chillies Indian Cuisine, Cannington ($30)
Pia’s score: 20
This was a cracking dish all round. Tender beef, delicate spice balancing well with sharp vinegar and smoky on the palate. Homemade naan was awesome but could have used more garlic. My tastebuds were vindicated after an average curry last week.
Josh’s score: 20
Fantastic vindaloo from start to finish. Cracking sauce that tantalises the tastebuds and opens up the sinuses. Beef tender to the point of falling apart but serving perhaps not as generous as previous candidates.
Gogo’s Masala Craft, Garden City ($22.50)
Pia’s score: 9
Just not authentic. Naan tasted as though it was cooked from frozen. Spicy but with no chilli depth. Meat was tender but tasted smokey. Looking forward to next week.
Josh’s score: 9.5
Bain-marie curry – and it shows. Oily rice and overly sweet sauce with slight heat that seems like it was added as an afterthought in the form of chilli flakes. Naan closer to crispy pizza base. Meat well-cooked.
The Real Taste Indian Restaurant, Bentley ($22.95)
Pia’s score: 17.5
Josh’s score: 17
A comfortable vindaloo that lacks real fire – probably perfect for a beginner. Sauce seems a touch out of balance and lacking in acidity. Agree about naan bread being too doughy.
Trinco Star, Willetton ($22)
Pia’s score: 12
Tender meat and flavourful rice, however sauce and naan left a little to be desired. The signature fragrance of a beautiful slow-cooked curry wasn’t there. Less said about the naan the better.
Josh’s score: 11.5
When the highlight of a curry is the rice you have a problem. Tender meat but a near complete lack of heat in an unexciting sauce.
Maharaja Indian Restaurant Applecross ($26.45)
Pia’s score: 18.5
A pleasant surprise, having little Vindaloo experience. The tart tomato was balanced and the heat caused sniffles. Delicious!
Josh’s score: 19.5
Well-balanced sauce with the right amount of heat but let down by slightly over-cooked beef. A solid but not spectacular garlic naan.
Do you have any tips? What do you look for in the perfect vindaloo? Where should we try? Comment below and help us find the Windaloo… and avoid the Vindalosers.