Thursday, May 5, 2011

Agra on James @ James Street, Brisbane

The Brisbane Entertainment Book is bit of a double-edged sword. While it contains plenty of discount vouchers, it only means spending more time eating out instead of obediently cooking at home. From what used to be a 6 or sometimes 7 nights of cooking at home, we have been eating out probably 2-3 times a week or maybe more if we are lazy during the weekends. Thankfully the change in lifestyle has been somewhat subsidised by the Entertainment Book.  

One of those impromptu nights, we decided to find a place from the Book. After considering traffic jam, car parks, bookings, discounts and cuisine (good places usually are fully booked and no walk ins are considered), I called up Agra at James a couple of hours before dinner and got a booking.  

Considering the enthusiastic reviews on Urbanspoon, the place was relatively empty on a Friday night although when we left we saw two big tables of at least 10-15 people being seated. I shudder to think of the waiting time if we had arrived after them!

So was the food any good? To test, I ordered my staple dishes.

Picture 185

The Butter Chicken came out too sweet with no oomph from the spices. Although edible, it was certainly a let down.

Picture 182

I suspect maybe sugar was mistakenly put in the salt jar because the Palak Paneer came out too sweet as well. On top of that it was rather watery as well, missing the elements of spice.

With the first two dishes rejected outright by the Wife, we dived into the menu and ordered a Fish Curry. 

Picture 188

The only dish that wasn't sweet and was heavily scented and flavoured with coconut. While we thought the sauce was acceptable, the Wife questioned the quality of the fish fillet used. 

Picture 186

However, they do know how to make their naan and rice well and I happily overloaded it with sauce; sweet or otherwise.

Picture 178

I couldn't resist an Indian Beer to finish off the meal.

Not terribly impressed and I think this is going to be a long trial and error journey to find some really good authentic Northern Indian cuisine. 

With the 25% discount voucher, our meal was around the AUD20-25 per pax range.

Address and contact details: 

Agra Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars at best, probably 2.5 stars if I was in a bad mood. Unfortunately, I don't see myself coming back unless as a last resort


Sean said...

ok, i learned something new today. i never knew about the existence of indian beer (that's how ignorant i am about beers, heh) :D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sean: i wonder if theres indian wine..hmm

Michelle Chin said...

I think there are Indian wines...I read that somewhere in my DK Guide to Wines.

Brisbane Devoured said...

Ok so this is southern indian food, but you should try southern spice indian at mount gravatt...

Gastronomy Gal said...

disappointing! I've always wondered if the entertainment book is a good option or not... What are your thoughts? Would you buy again?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

gastronomy gal: well the good restaurants do indeed offer some value but with the thick stack at the back, its a hit and miss really.

brisbane devoured: this is northern, southern indian is very spicy and less creamy but will take up on your recommendation.

mchin: im not surprised!


I totally agree with the entertainment book being very dangerous!! But I have found that the restaurants in the book are abit of a mixed bag, so I have bought it primarily for the the fine dining section =P
Thanks for posting about this place though, one less to have to think about going to. LOL! =)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

omggimmenow: it is isnt! either the fine dining or places that i have already gone to b4..

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