A friend and I headed to Aroma Indian Cuisine in Isaacs for dinner one night. I had never heard of this restaurant until I bought a $39 Groupon deal for a 3 course meal for 2. The restaurant is located at the Isaacs shops in Woden.
The decor inside looks like your typical suburban restaurant – the owners have tried to make it comfortable and inviting with bright faux flowers on every table, tablecloths and a splash of red on the walls.
Mango lassi’s were ordered (usually $4) which were almost a bright canary yellow. It was very thick with yoghurt (a little hard to drink) and there wasn’t enough mango. I couldn’t taste any mango to be honest. Not the best lassi I’ve had but I do like the effort in presentation – placing some dried coconut on top.
A vegetarian mixed platter was provided as an entree. The onion bhaji were crispy and lightly drizzled with a sweet tamarind sauce. What I thought were samosas were actually a new item that the restaurant is trialling – spinach and fetta samosas.
These were warm, soft and tasty. Spinach + fetta = love. We provided our positive feedback to the restaurant who are considering putting it on its menu.
For the mains, I couldn’t go past the butter chicken (usually $14.90) especially when the menu states the dish is the pride of the kitchen. And I’m also on the hunt for the best butter chicken in Canberra 🙂
Aroma’s butter chicken has a dominant tomato flavour but I actually don’t mind this. Not as buttery as one would expect but it still tastes fantastic. I think it’s up there with Indian Affair’s butter chicken.
The plain naan (usually $3) were a little burnt, very thin and not as soft as I like them.
For the other main, the palak paneer (usually $13.90) was ordered. This is a curry made of cottage cheese cooked with fresh baby spinach. I’ve found palak dishes are usually a little tart from the cheese, but this was just perfect. Lots of chunks of cottage cheese in a wonderful spinach curry.
For dessert, I chose the gulab jamun (usually $3.90 for 2 pieces). Gulab jamun is a dessert dumpling soaked in syrup for several hours. This was warm and soft, but surprisingly not that sweet so I’m not sure that it was soaked for very long.
My friend ordered the mango kulfi (usually $3.90) and I got food envy when I saw it come out. Just look at the colour and the smoothness of the kulfi. When I got a taste of it, I really did have food envy. It tasted so much like fresh mango, and very natural too. I forgot to ask whether this was house-made as I haven’t tasted anything as fresh as this since my mum made it. Yum!
To be honest, I had low expectations of this restaurant when I arrived for dinner but was suitably impressed when I left. The entrees, mains and desserts were great. I was disappointed with the lassi and couldn’t help but think a little of the mango kulfi could be used in the lassi. I didn’t like the naan bread either, but rice was provided with the deal so that filled me up.
Aroma may not be very well known, with major shopping centre Westfield Woden about a 10min drive away, but is worth a visit if you’re in the area. Prices are reasonably cheap. Service is friendly and staff seem to really want feedback on their dishes. I was happy with my meal here 🙂
Check out Aroma’s Facebook page for a full view of the menu.
Note that entree and dessert portions are most likely smaller than usual due to the Groupon deal I purchased. Eg: two pieces of gulab jamun are provided for $3.90, whereas I was only given one due to the deal.