Cooking Indian food is a challenge. Achieving the correct mix of herbs and spices is akin to mastering a magic potion and overdoing just one ingredient is liable to produce disastrous results. Luckily Sydney-siders have the likes of Kumar Mahadevan to delight us with his delicious Indian cuisine in two fabulous locations: Abhi’s in North Strathfield and the more recent Aki’s in Woolloomooloo. Both restaurants are named after his sons, continuing a family connection that began many years ago when his taste for cooking first transpired in his mother’s kitchen in Madras as she taught him the family recipes.
Beginning his training at age 17 at India’s Institute of Hotel Management, Mahadevan went on to complete his apprenticeship the Taj Intercontinental Hotel in Bombay. He soon found himself in Australia heading up the kitchen at Mayur restaurant where he cooked for the likes of Prince Phillip and Mick Jagger. Abhi’s opened in 1990 with Aki’s following in late 2003. Both restaurants showcase Mahadevan’s light, delicate flavours and fresh, aromatic spices in a modern interpretation of traditional Indian food, reflecting all regions of the country. His signature patrani machhi consists of an exquisite fillet of wild barramundi wrapped in banana leaves and steamed with fresh mint, coriander, ginger and lime.