A table of young, hip Indian guys get up from a table at Bang Street Food on Surry Hills Crown Street as soon as we walk in. "Is it us?" asks Alyson, laughing. Bang is a small restaurant focused on Bangladeshi street food. Although the website says that it is a favourite of celebrities and politicians seeing the table of young Indian guys does persuade me more.
Head chef Tapos Singha is standing at the pass this evening. Bang, on the first floor of a building is not a huge restaurant. This evening it is mostly filled with large groups rather than couples. Service is pleasant enough, more efficient than warm and they recommend some dishes but when we go to order our waitress stops me about two thirds of the way through, "Woah, I think there's plenty of food already." I guess she just doesn't know how much we can eat.
Water Lily cocktail $18
Whenever I've order cocktails in Indian restaurants I somehow end up picking the sweetest. And yep the Water Lily is just that with Tanqueray gin, sloe gin, strawberry, lemon and sparkling all in a pink hued cocktail.
Mango Bazar $15, BANG Lassi $8
We'd actually ordered the Coconut Island pineapple lassi that was dubbed "5 star honeymoon drink" but we received the mango lassi with rum which isn't bad but it's quite light in rum. You can also have it virgin for $8. The bang lassi is made with mint and honey and spices and it's for those that like things a bit on the salty side. It reminds me of raita sauce but in a lassi form.
Dal puri - fried roti, spiced lentils. $8
The dal puri is a deep fried roti filled with spiced lentils. I think I chose the wrong one out of the two as the one I tried only had a bit of filling in the centre while the other one was a bit more filled and it does end up being a bit dry and you need to dip it in the sauce for each bite.
School prawn bora, sesame seeds, chilli paste each $6.50
"Here's your enormous plate with your prawn bora," says the waitress putting this down. I'm not sure if she is giving us attitude for only ordering one but we had intended to share everything and Alyson doesn't love prawns. This is the favourite item for me and Belinda.
BANG Bhaji - fried fritter, cherry tomato, coconut chutney. $8
This is Alyson's choice. She's a kale fanatic even now where the word kale is banned in certain circles (I'm sort of joking although I know one woman who loathes the stuff with a bizarre passion). They're very light and crispy.
Fuska - spiced potato, coriander, green chilli, shaved egg, tamarind water. $10
The fuska is similar to a pani puri but the difference is in the filling. This is a light shell filled with spiced potato, green chilli and shaved egg on top with a little jug of tamarind water. You pour a little of the tamarind water into the top and then eat it all in one bite lest it break up all over you. It's got a good punch of flavour and sourness to it and that fantastic crunch too.
Cucumbers, snake beans, grapes, black chickpeas & spiced almonds. $19
This was recommended by the waitress and while it is tart and fresh it's really more fine than wowing. I guess if you want some healthy vegetables to go with a curry this would do the trick. I do like the black chickpeas.
Tandoori lamb riblet, coriander & mint satni, date relish. $22
The lamb riblets are three quite succulent ribs although they do require a bit of gnawing on the bone to get everything off. They sit on a bed of rich, sweet date relish that enhances the lamb ribs well.
St Martin curry, mussels, prawn, fish, clams, bhuna sauce, coconut cream, sword coriander $31
With flavours not unlike a Kerala fish curry it's a light curry garnished with sawtooth coriander and plenty of seafood with a lightness to it especially compared to heavier cream based curries. We have this with some plain naan and rice, the naan being my favourite.
Lal Mohan $15
It's dessert time and we decide to share one dessert: the lal mohan is a rum doughnut with diced apples, milk powder crumb and a saffron creme fraiche. The donut is again light on the rum, it tastes like a gulab jamun except much larger with the same syrup soaked quality. The saffron creme fraiche is tangy and goes well with the super sweet donut (although this is light in saffron, one of my favourite spices). The apples are a bit of fruit relief in the dessert and the milk powder crumbs add texture.
So tell me Dear Reader, if you hear a place is a celebrity or politician haunt does that entice you to visit it? What are your feelings towards kale? And do you enjoy gnawing on bones?
This meal was independently paid for.