Jai Ho (Hopper’s Crossing)
- Bhel Puri And Pani Puri
- Murg Adraki Kebab (Chicken)
- Hara Bhara Kebab (Vegetarian)
- Fish Amritsari
- Butter Chicken
- Lamb Shank Curry
- Paneer Saag Wala
- Shahi Naan
- Rumali Roti
- Basmati Rice
- Masala Soda
- Pistachio Kulfi (Indian Ice Cream)
Right from the start, the ‘Indian street food’ style canapés were an instant hit, with our host Gautam Thapar explaining to us that the bhel puri and pani puri we sampled would not commonly be found in formal Indian restaurants. The bhel puri was fantasically flavourful and texturally rich with crunch and just enough spice to balance the coriander, while the pani puri was an entirely new experience, consisting of a hollow fried crisp filled with various vegetables and legumes washed down with a shot of spiced water.
The entrees consisted of Murg Adraki kebab (chicken), Hara Bhara Kebab (vegetarian) and fish amritsari, which were all delicious in their own respects, but the standout was the tamarind sauce that was served with the Murg Adraki. It was both sweet, tart and savoury and really enhanced the flavours of the chicken, and we couldn’t resist dipping the other entrees in it too.
The three mains- Btter Chicken, Lamb Shank Curry and Paneer Saag Wala were all served with Shahi Naan, Rumali Roti and Basmati rice. The Butter Chicken was delicious, as was the interesting Paneer Saag Wala which contained blocks of paneer, or firm fresh cheese. The Lamb Shank Curry was cooked to perfection, with lamb meat simply falling off the bone while deeply absorbing all the flavours from the curry.
At this point we’d had a lot of food so we shared a Pistachio Kulfi or traditional Indian ice cream which was very intricately spiced and surprisingly firm.
However, the biggest standout from the night was the Masala soda, which was such a richly flavoured drink with a perfect balance of sweetness, spiced savouriness and effervescence.
Given that this was a set menu chosen by Gautam, it would have been nice to have sample a ‘riskier’ selection of main dishes in regards to spiciness. While the mains were all delicious, there wasn’t much variation in heat level in regards to one another.
While I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the food when compared to that found in India, Jai Ho definitely offered a very enjoyable experience and excellent food, and very prompt, attentive service.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
While Hoppers Crossing is a bit of a trek, I would most definitely pay a visit to Jai Ho in Richmond again, even if just to quickly down that delicious Masala Soda…
We’d like to thank Jai Ho for inviting us to their restaurant.