18 Jan Jai Ho Indian Restaurant, Richmond
Jai Ho is a family run restaurant that has been sharing their recipes through their hospitality since 2011. The family has other restaurants under the Jai Ho name, in Hoppers Crossing and Berwick, and they also provide Indian wedding banquets for Peter Rowland’s catering services.
The proceedings begin with papadums and a trio of dips: a slightly sweet, slightly tangy tamarind, mint, and a yoghurt-based spicy sauce. We also try a mango lassi, which tastes more strongly of mango than yoghurt. Perfect if you’re after more of a fruity lassi than a tangy one.
The entrees look promising when they arrive. There’s the big, plump samosa, filled with spiced potatoes, green peas, spices and coriander. Tamarind sauce is the suggested pairing. The pastry is groan-inducingly crunchy, and the insides are packed with the flavoursome and smooth filling. We also have the Fish Amritsari, which are boneless fish fillets marinated in spiced chickpea flour then deep fried. This one goes with mint sauce. The flakey fish breaks apart easily. It’s juicy, tasty and very quickly gobbled down. We’re off to a good start.
We then try a few different mains with naan and saffron rice. The Tadka Dal is made of lentils cooked in herbs, cumin seeds and other spices. It’s great eating with the naan. Saag is a ‘leaf’-based dish, usually spinach, and we have the Chicken Saag Wala today. The chicken seems to have been either grilled or roasted beforehand, as it has a nice, slightly charred flavour to it. My favourite of the three is the Lamb Rahara, which consists of both lamb pieces and mince cooked with onion, tomato and spices. Compared to the saltier Chicken Saag Wala, the Lamb Rahara has a gentle sweetness, and a rich tomato base.
We end with some icy kulfi that’s been conveniently segmented, making it easier to eat and share. The pistachio is very subtle in flavour. Though it’s still good, the tastier espresso is our pick.
Jai Ho aims to serve both traditional Indian dishes as well as some with a modern twist. The restaurant itself, full of Indian artwork and hand-crafted furniture, has a nice ambience to it. Although the curries and stews are tasty, don’t skip the entrees or you’ll be missing out!
Disclaimer: I was invited to Jai Ho as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time
Jai Ho Indian Restaurant
205 Swan St
Richmond, VIC, 3121
(03) 9078 7798