It was a completely different menu at Urban Tadka on a weeknight recently. The vibe was completely MasterChef.
Actually, the much loved and easily recognised theme music from the popular TV show, played out a few times on the night. Plus, there were at least four recognisable faces from the show milling around, adding glamour and drama.
In a sold out special event, the Terrey Hills restaurant packed in patrons for an extraordinary meal, cooked by three past MasterChef Australia participants. Jimmy Wong (season 2016), Rishi Desai (2013) and Nonna Gina (2018) got together to create a special international meal for this gala Urban Tadka event.
With refreshing new takes on their native Chinese, Indian and Greek heritage respectively, the three chefs presented a wonderfully modern Australian meal – multicultural in its finger-licking appeal. The matching wines for each dish took it all to a completely different level.
Add to this the striking decorations (put together by top wedding stylist Anna Wang), the impeccable service, the attention to detail on the little things such as beautiful menu cards and informative wine glass mats, made it all a five-star dining experience.
Inder Dua, one of the restaurant’s three owners, was the architect behind the special event that he called ‘Tour de cuisine’. “At Urban Tadka, we love all food – not just Indian food!” he told Indian Link. (It’s true – spend five minutes with him, and he’ll whip out his phone to show you pics of food that he ate in various corners of the world.)
“This particular event came about because we like to challenge ourselves constantly, pushing the limits to see what we can do,” he revealed. “We must get out of our comfort zone or we will stagnate.”
Coming only months after having won their first Chef’s Hat, and being listed in the Gault & Millau 2019 Restaurant Guide of Australia’s leading restaurants, the Tadka boys are clearly not resting on their laurels.
They have already won a special place in the hearts of Sydney’s Indian community, as well as that of the northern Sydney community in which they are based. Yet they continue to look for new ways with their food.
For the MasterChef event, the three guest chefs cooked two dishes each. Jimmy served up a Japanese-inspired Kingfish ceviche for entrée and came back with a Jaffa mousse for dessert.
Nonna’s unique entrée, a gnoccolini, had won her the apron on the show, and this was only the second time ever that it was served up to the public. Her quail and polenta main course, she described as “my own creation.”
Rishi (who has now taken to spelling his name with an H) cooked up his signature dish ‘Sookha Kolhapuri Lamb’, slow cooked for 12 hours and then shredded like pulled pork.
It was Rishi’s second dish, the dessert named ‘Golden Gaytime Burger’ that provided the theatrics on the night. He created the ice cream for this dish in front of the diners with custard and dry ice, while also sharing his experience working with liquid nitrogen in a technique he learned on the show from – you guessed it – Heston Blumenthal.
Brokenwood Wines from Hunter Valley provided the vino.
The event took six weeks to plan, Inder revealed. And he’s keen to do more. “There’s plenty of talent out there. This is a great way of giving them a platform.” Also, he admits, it will be a new way of enhancing the Urban Tadka brand.