Hawthorn’s recently opened Piquancy a special treat for Indian food lovers

Piquancy. Photo: Michael Rayner

Piquancy. Photo: Michael Rayner

There’s more to Indian food than butter chicken, especially at Piquancy, which opened on Auburn Road last month. Owned by the folk behind Babu Ji in St Kilda, this 50-seater has an ambience that can err on the side of hushed until tables fill. Cushioned banquettes line one side of the narrow room, and you can almost see the moustache-twirling, turbaned babu ji (grandfather) smiling from the opposite wall.

The menu is mostly gluten-free, whether it be perfectly charred tandoor prawns (I ate them whole) or beetroot-marinated paneer. Mop up comforting dal makhani (black lentils cooked for 12 hours with ginger, garlic and garam masala) with gluten-free quinoa, psyllium husk, and chickpea and lentil flour naan. As for the butter chicken, it’s free range here and goes down a treat with one of 40 craft beers from the help-yourself fridge.

Desserts make a nice change from chocolate and salted caramel, perhaps syrupy gulab jamun doughnuts decorated with silver or ras malai, cheesecake dumplings in saffron-laced cardamom milk.

Hot tip Piquancy also offers Indian breakfast, lunch and $28 all-you-can-eat curries and rice on Sunday nights.

PIQUANCY

 

WE LOVE …

Ras Malai. Photo: Michael Rayner

Ras Malai. Photo: Michael Rayner

Photo: Michael Rayner

Photo: Michael Rayner

Beetroot Paneer. Photo: Michael Rayner.

Beetroot Paneer. Photo: Michael Rayner.

In the kitchen. Photo: Michael Rayner

In the kitchen. Photo: Michael Rayner

Papadum. Photo: Michael Rayner.

Papadum. Photo: Michael Rayner.

Spice box in kitchen. Photo: Michael Rayner

Spice box in kitchen. Photo: Michael Rayner

Tulsi Nimbu Fish Tikka. Photo: Michael Rayner

Tulsi Nimbu Fish Tikka. Photo: Michael Rayner

In the kitchen. Photo: Michael Rayner

In the kitchen. Photo: Michael Rayner

Tulsi Nimbu Fish Tikka. Photo: Michael Rayner

Tulsi Nimbu Fish Tikka. Photo: Michael Rayner

In the kitchen. Photo: Michael Rayner

In the kitchen. Photo: Michael Rayner

Papadum. Photo: Michael Rayner.

Papadum. Photo: Michael Rayner.

Photo: Michael Rayner

Photo: Michael Rayner

Beetroot Paneer. Photo: Michael Rayner.

Beetroot Paneer. Photo: Michael Rayner.

Babu Ji's speciality, Palak Paneer (green) Fish Curry (yelloe) and goat curry (red). Photo: Michael Rayner.

Babu Ji’s speciality, Palak Paneer (green) Fish Curry (yelloe) and goat curry (red). Photo: Michael Rayner.

Tandoor Prawns. Photo: Michael Rayner

Tandoor Prawns. Photo: Michael Rayner

 

Recommended

East Melbourne style

East Melbourne style

Alison Barclay
Port oasis & city views

Port oasis & city views

Alison Barclay
Serial renovator's diary

Serial renovator's diary

Sarah Harris
Toorak's timeless appeal

Toorak's timeless appeal

Joanne Brookfield
Essendon entertainer

Essendon entertainer

Kay Keighery