It was a spicy time in Geelong’s history, a time we call the ‘Curry Wars’. A few years back a contender, or shall we say pretender, to Khan’s status as the best curry restaurant in Geelong opened up two doors down from the original Khan Curry Hut in Ryrie St, Geelong. It was a bold opening move by the new comer and one that was swiftly matched by Khan who retaliated by opening a restaurant in the same street as the newbies in Bendigo. The other restaurant was soon bowled out and to add insult in injury Khan Curry Hut took over the location two doors down. This is how they came to have two restaurants on the same street with only a nightclub separating them. And a restaurant in Bendigo.
Many rumours were started during the Curry Wars. Accusations of excessive corkage charges, charging for water and substandard food where flung with abandon. To be honest I heard all of these things from the owner of ‘The Khan’ and I never bothered to check out the new place to see if they were true. Why would I when the food I was already being served was so inexpensive and so delicious?
Khan’s themed menu plays on a familiar Indian ethnic stereotype. That’s right; it’s cricket themed. So entrees are ‘openers’, the ‘middle order team’ of mains are broken up into ‘poultry fare’, ‘ top cut on short pitch of cattle’, ‘net practise with fishermen’ and ‘follow on the meadows’ for lamb.
It is hard to go past the old favourites like Onion Bhaji and Rogan Josh but it is worth trying some of the more unorthodox offerings. Peneer Pakora has been affectionately declared ‘KFC Cheese’, perfect if you are dining out with vegetarian friends. It can be difficult to get those with milder palates to move away from Butter Chicken but a tasty alternative that is sure to appeal is the yoghurt and cashew sauce based Chicken Maharaja.
When I eat at Khan I always retire before the night watchman makes his appearance. That’s Khan speak for dessert.