Santhiya’s South Indian and Malaysian, Mt Roskill, Auckland

We visited Santhiya’s South Indian and Malaysian Dine-In and Takeaways (1270 Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill, 09-6202986) as part of the Makan Squad to try their Malaysian dishes, but there was also a wide selection of curries (vegetarian, goat, lamb, seafood and chicken), and other ethnic Indian dishes.

We started with the gado gado ($11.50), a salad of deep fried tofu, cucumber, bean sprout and boiled egg served with a peanut sauce. Santhiya’s peanut sauce lacked the ‘kick’, it needed more spice and heat.

On Saturdays, Santhiya’s serves a nasi biryani set ($16). This consists of basmati rice cooked with spices and chicken, served with lamb curry, egg sambar (sambar is a dish of lentils cooked with potatoes, tomatoes, carrot, eggplant and spices) and achar (pickled vegetables). It also comes with a small teh tarik (‘pulled tea’). The rice was fragrant and delicately spiced, and the lamb curry was delicious.

The teh tarik ($3.50) was among the best we have tasted, just the right ratio of tea to milk, and ideal level of sweetness.

Masala thosai, $8.50 (pronounced ‘dosa’) is a rice crepe rolled with potatoes and served with sambar and coconut chutney. I really liked this; the crispy crepe balanced the spiced potatoes and the condiments. We also tried a roti ($2.50 individually, or $6 served with dhal or curry).

Santhiya’s dishes would be considered a bit bland for the Malaysian palate, but would suit the average Kiwi’s tastes. Plus, one advantage is that most children would find the food manageable.

On Sundays, Santhiya’s serves a Banana Leaf all-you-can-eat special for $16 for lunch, or $19 for dinner. There is a choice of two curries (topped up on request), two vegetables, a dahl and a spicy tomato based chutney, to be eaten off a banana leaf. Traditionally, you eat with your (left) hand, but here, cutlery is provided. Delicious and tremendous value.

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easyfoodhacks dined courtesy of the Malaysian Kitchen programme

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