The relatively newly established Invesco Centre in Pietermaritzburg boasts a number of top quality restaurants all offering their own unique brand of cuisine. One of those restaurants, The Jewel of India, was my latest port of call on my travels through KwaZulu-Natal, and what an amazing experience it proved to be.
My good friend Mary-Anne and my mom accompanied me for this review and they both agreed that The Jewel of India was quite possibly the most exclusive restaurant they had ever had the pleasure of dining at. The expensive décor and the smart attire of both staff members and patrons served notice that this was an upmarket establishment, in fact so much so that I almost felt out of place among all the glitz and glamour.
However, I had dressed for the occasion and was looking forward to a great dining experience. The menu features traditional Indian cuisine and although I am not a huge fan of hot and spicy food, I thoroughly enjoyed the Lamb Do Piazza (lamb and onions cooked together in a delicious curry) I ordered.
The meat was tasty and tender and although I found the curry to be a little on the hot side (despite it being billed as ‘mild’ on the menu), it by no means detracted from a great tasting meal. The only gripe I did have was having to pay an extra R18 (over and above the asking price of R85) for a plate of Basmati rice to complete my dish.
Mary-Anne, obviously not wanting to tackle anything too spicy, opted for the chicken korma (a very mild flavoured chicken cooked in a rich cashew gravy) while my mother, always one to sample even the hottest of dishes, decided that the chicken kadhai (tender morsels of chicken cooked with green peppers, tomatoes and onion) would be more to her liking.
She really loved the kadhai (R75), remarking that the “chicken was among the most succulent I have ever tasted.” Mary-Anne expressed similar sentiments regarding her korma (also R75), describing it as “possessing a rich aroma of flavours”. Despite their praise however, they also felt that their meals should have included rice.
Both Mary-Anne and I enjoyed a bowl of ice cream and chocolate sauce (R22) for dessert and although I’m sure my mom was tempted to indulge yourself, she exercised a measure of discipline and declined. After settling our bill we reflected on our evening and unanimously agreed that The Jewel of India was a restaurant we would definitely visit again.
The service was top notch with both the management and waitrons displaying a high degree of professionalism at all times, the ambience upbeat and the décor exquisite. The location, too, was befitting an establishment of this nature and I can only imagine that The Jewel of India will quickly earn a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Pietermaritzburg.
Tel: +27 (0)33 342 0334
Physical address: Invesco Centre, 16 Chatterton Road, Pietermaritzburg