Suburb Magazine ©

The newest restaurant in Dalkey’s impressive quota of eateries is Jaipur, opened a few weeks ago in Castle Street . The atmosphere is new Indian – no shades of Empire here; large bright, abstract paintings hang on the walls. The food, however, is the most traditional – real Indian home food, reflecting the variety which comes from a nation made up of 26 states and speaking 26 different languages. This in itself, for those used to the same old heavily sauced meat – oriented Indian curries, is a novelty. Though strongly spiced, the food retains a freshness and lightness – a zing, especially in the spinach and seafood dishes.

The presentation is top-class, reflecting Chef Amit Wadhwan’s experience in New Delhi ’s top hotel, the Oberoi. Asheesh Dewan, the proprietor of this longer established Jaipur in Georges’ Street (as well as Thai restaurants in Blackrock and Baggot Street ), brought Amit and seven other chefs over from India . Their work exudes authenticity and polish. Chef Roy, Chef kuldeep, Chef Qureshi and their team are dedicated professional chefs, each bringing their own individual styles of cooking. Amit is dismissive of restaurant which repeats the same old Vindaloos. Fresh vegetables and fresh fish are staples, with lamb and chicken dishes culled from old family recipes. “There are so many dishes we can easily replace the whole menu every three months,” says Amit, who emits all the passion of a true artist when discussing Indian food. ‘And if not, we can always contact Mom by Internet.’

Having tried selection of Jaipur specialities, each greeted with a new wave of enthusiasm, my companions and I felt we had no room for dessert, until Amit obligingly brought the freshest tasting blueberry, mango and lemon sorbets, which disappeared in a trice.

The house wine was most palatable and the range of Indian breads offered wider than usual. While the restaurant was busy, the atmosphere was relaxed and the chefs took time out to diners as if they really had nothing else to do. Meanwhile, in the background, the small, pristine kitchen buzzed with highly coordinated activity.

Suburb Magazine November 2001 ©