03/07/2007 - 22:00

Culinary fusion at Little Chutney's

03/07/2007 - 22:00

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Murray Kimber, who owns several Indian restaurants across Perth, reckons an Indian dining at his latest establishment would think they were eating Australian food, while an Australian would think they were eating Indian cuisine.

Culinary fusion at Little Chutney's

Murray Kimber, who owns several Indian restaurants across Perth, reckons an Indian dining at his latest establishment would think they were eating Australian food, while an Australian would think they were eating Indian cuisine.

It’s what he calls Indian fusion, and is a style of food he says has become popular in London and Delhi.

Mr Kimber has gone the fusion route in part to offer his new eatery, Little Chutney’s, a point of difference to the restaurant that he owns that is right next door – Chutney Mary’s Indian Restaurant.

Mr Kimber also owns Nine Mary’s Restaurant in the city and The Cinnamon Club in partnership with Sid Grewal, who established Northbridge’s Maya Masala.

Mr Kimber says he also chose Indian fusion as the food focus for Little Chutney’s because he had access to a talented pool of Indian chefs, who are working in Perth on 457 foreign worker visas.

“Getting staff is so difficult for any business right now and I have got Indian chefs and they are much better with this type of menu,” Mr Kimber says.

As the name suggests, Little Chutney’s is much smaller than Chutney Mary’s.

It’s a slick modern design that incorporates a stylish bar, and in time Mr Kimber hopes to gain a tavern licence, meaning guests can turn up just for a drink.

Mr Kimber spent years battling the City of Subiaco to get tavern development approval for the small venue and says he has held off on the next step – applying for a tavern liquor licence – until the new liquor reforms came in.

And he says while he intends to apply for that licence soon, the venue will remain a restaurant.

Mr Kimber describes the cuisine at Little Chutney’s as Western dishes with “Indian accents”.

“All around the world, cuisine is morphing,” he says.

“They are doing similar types of food in restaurants in London and Delhi and most of the recipes at Little Chutney’s come from restaurants from around the world.”

For instance, there is a tandoori baked swordfish with flavoured with ‘gunpowder spices’ tomato makhni khichdi, roasted pine kernels and curry leaf oil, and a tandoori baked salmon with mustard and honey. Another option is Chutney’s mussels in tomato and curry leaf broth, which the menu describes as a dish of fresh mussels steamed with a blend of warm spices and then tossed with sweet grated coconut and fragrant coriander “to make an utterly more-ish dish”.

But, for die-hard Indian curry lovers, the usual favourites remain, among them butter chicken and lamb masala.

The menu also includes a broad range of salads and vegetarian dishes, with more than a dozen vegetarian main courses to choose from and half a dozen different salad options.

Mr Kimber says the broad selection offers diners lots of mix-and-match options.

The fusion focus remains when Little Chutney’s opens for breakfast on the weekends – the eggs benedict come with a mini-roti rather than an English muffin and the scrambled eggs are served ‘Indian style’.

Mr Kimber says he is considering opening a new Indian restaurant, but this one is likely to be located on the other side of the country, in Sydney.

“I really like Sydney. It is very vibrant and I think we could stay there three to four months of the year,” Mr Kimber says.

“But it is a question of finding the right location.”

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