Red Pepper is a sublime family run Indian restaurant in the CBD which provides authentic and excellent fare with North Indian influences in ambient surroundings. The owners have consistently offered great Indian cuisine to the delight of students and office workers and there's a pervasive pride in what they do. Credit to Jagjeet Kaur from a Punjabi village. Not only is the food wonderful but it is presented well with a sense of joy.
Red Pepper is a great place to visit with friends in a classic building with ambient artwork, spaciousness and two rooms to choose from, large windows imbibing natural light and friendly service.
Red Pepper has an extensive menu with all the favourites - and excels in its large range of vegetarian options. Order at the counter and nominate a table. The prices are reasonable for what you get for a lunch meal ($12.90 and I was satisfied).
I ordered Butter Chicken as recommended by the lady who served me. My meal came wonderfully presented on a large white plate with superb Naan (not too dry thankfully), excellent rice in a bowl and sensational butter chicken. I hadn't had a butter chicken like this since the one I had in Mussouri in Northern India in the foothills of the Himalayas... The altitude made one breathless but the occasion was unforgettable with amazing cuisine, delightful company and the Himalayas in view.
This butter chicken was among the best I've ever had anywhere. For a start it was a generous portion and the balance of spices was sublime. I dislike westernised versions of butter chicken that are super mild - but this had some kick! The sauce was superb and there was a decent amount of chicken pieces (cooked to perfection, again not too dry).
I found myself putting some of the butter chicken on my naan and eating it by hand - is this acceptable? I tend to do what I want in restaurants these days...
Having eaten at many Indian restaurants over the years I still couldn't remember whether to put the rice in the curry or the curry in the rice. So it was rice into curry. I need to take an etiquette class.
Red Pepper is a place I want to return to. Having lived in Adelaide for years I rate that city as having excellent Indian food. Here in Melbourne I've struggled to find many great Indian establishments. Here in the CBD I'm superimpressed with Red Pepper and want to taste more of their menu.