New Rocky restaurant takes diners on a flavour journey
IMAGINE going out to a restaurant six times and each visit you taste an amazingly authentic dish from another country.
Rockhampton's newest restaurant, TruFusion Indian Bar and Grill, opened on Thursday, the culmination of owner Amit Rana's masterplan to dazzle the fussiest foodies' taste buds with an impressive array of flavours.
Food is Mr Rana's passion and he prides himself on nailing every dish.
For years, his friends had sat around his dining table, dazzled by his impressive cooking, urging him to open his own restaurant.
Much to their delight, Mr Rana, 36, gave up working in community services to take the plunge with his wife Anjali to open TruFusion - one of the most exciting concept restaurants CQ food lovers will be likely to experience.
The concept behind the name TruFusion is to take a number of authentic dishes from various countries and fuse them all together in one location.
Their menu takes diners on a culinary journey through the Indian subcontinent, featuring trademark dishes from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
"For me this is not work, this is literally my dream and passion,” Mr Rana said.
Growing up with a farming background in northern India, he learnt how to cook various dishes from his mother as well as from friends who hailed from different countries before continuing to learn through trial and error in his own kitchen.
"For me, what got me in this profession, I was not happy with the food we were getting [when eating out],” Mr Rana said. "It was not for our taste, the authenticity was not there, it was nothing as it should be.
"How I see it when I go out, it's just curries, curries, curries.”
He said it was the British, struggling with food pronunciation, who lumped all of the different foods under the curry banner and there was a lot more to Indian food that he was very keen to educate diners about.
Freshness is critical to Mr Rana's approach and he isn't afraid to boldly experiment with flavour combinations to improve upon the flavour of centuries-old traditional dishes.
The bulk of the ingredients he uses in the kitchen are picked fresh from his backyard, and what he can't grow he'll source from reputable local suppliers including Doblo's Farmers' Market, Fine Foods and Rockhampton butcher Boodle's meats.
"I grow my own stuff, I have all the exotic vegies, fig, mango, radishes, spinach, cucumbers, pawpaws, guavas, lime, herbs and at one stage I had 45-50 different chillies,” Mr Rana said.
Although the initial menu is quite compact, as the sources of quality ingredients are established, Mr Rana intends to expand the number of dishes he has available and become even more adventurous with his food combinations.
Mr Rana says he is more than willing come out and explain the background behind the dishes and suggest appropriate drink pairings.
He said he believes a good single malt whiskey is the perfect accompaniment for certain foods on the menu.
Having tasted a number of the dishes (and the whisky) personally, this journalist can vouch for how different, yet fresh and flavoursome, they were.
TruFusion Indian Bar & Grill, 137 East St, Rockhampton. Bookings, 49212990.