Cutlery you can eat, naan bread is an essential order whenever it graces your menu.
Adelaide’s best naan
The world of naan is vaster than CityMag knew.
In our hunt for the city’s best versions of this Asian flatbread, our horizons were broadened beyond the tried-and tested-garlic naan (although this classic rendition did make it onto our list).
Whether you’re after smoky, sweet, or even smelly, we’ve done the legwork and rounded up Adelaide’s best naan.
170 O’Connell Street
This has long been a personal favourite. It’s the yardstick to which all other naans are measured for this writer. It’s simple – the ratios are all correct. It’s deliciously buttery, makes a little crunch when you bite into it, and it’s jewelled with tandoori-roasted garlic and coriander. The portion is generous, but we always get through it. And it’s never, ever been a disappointment. The good news is you can get it from the North Adelaide store, or, if you’re in the city and in a rush, grab it takeaway downstairs at Rundle Place.
City Indian Cuisine
38A Hindley Street
It’s what they do with naan at City Indian Cuisine that creates queues down the street. The chicken tikka roll at City Indian Cuisine is a blanket for smoky pieces of chicken tikka, capsicum, cabbage (which we suspect was once lettuce, in less trying times), onion and raita. This gets extra points for being in the right place at the right time. Do you want this one in your belly after a night out? Yes, you do. And be sure to enjoy the rotation of Bollywood clips playing at the eatery while devouring your roll.
Gaja by Sashi
4/86 Pirie Street
Yes, it’s roti. No, it’s not quite naan bread. But we’re calling it as close enough. The house made lachha roti at Gaja by Sashi simply cannot be left off this list because, quite frankly, we need to rave about it. This is what you get when you cross a croissant with traditional Indian bread. The chefs layer ghee with the roti dough over and over again, a la puff pastry, to create some kind of steamy, flaky magic. We used the bread to mop up our chicken chettinad, but honestly, you need not introduce competing flavours here. Our server confirms the pastry is dangerously addictive – she’s trying to kick a one-a-day habit.
445 Pulteney Street
This one’s for the sweet and salty fans. Say hello to the Kashmiri naan. Often served at breakfast or with afternoon tea, this one has hot-cross-bun vibes. Stuffed with dried fruit, the spiced bread is a nice way to finish, or dip it into a spicy curry sauce and you’re on a winner, hitting all those savoury notes, too. The combination of sweetness, smoky savoury flavours and the golden, crispy exterior puts this firmly on our list.
114-116 O’Connell Street
The keema naan at Indii Flavours looks good. It’s spotted with pockets of smoky char we can’t wait to get our teeth into. But it’s what’s inside that matters most: spiced lamb mince sprinkled with coriander and mint. The tang and crunch of Spanish onion plays perfectly with the other flavours. Indii Flavours also has a close runner-up – the lachedar paratha. The crispy layered bread is the restaurant’s specialty.
Jasmin Indian Restaurant
31 Hindmarsh Square
Before we get into the detail here, a qualifier: you must be partial to blue cheese to enjoy this listing. If pungent dairy products are your thing, the blue cheese naan at Jasmin is for you. In eating our many naan dishes, we discovered a trend: softness and crispiness generally sit side by side. But with this naan, it’s all pillow on top and crispiness on the base. We’re focussed on what’s in the middle of the four little triangles we’re served, though. That blue cheese oozes with sweet and slightly spice chutney.
Raj on Taj
3/242 Hutt Street
Naan 1: During research for this piece, we were in search of a cheesy garlic naan with good, long stringiness. Our hopes dwindled as we visited restaurant after restaurant. That is, until Raj on Taj. The garlic takes a back seat for this one, but rightly so. The ample cheese had us researching healthy cholesterol levels – but that’s what you want in a cheesy naan, no? The edges are blackened to perfection. A tip to the wise, eat this quickly: you want it while the cheese is still all melty.
Naan 2: This blurb could just be a string of mouth-water emojis, but we will provide you with a bit more detail. The deep-fried bread is a plain-looking dome of cooked dough, but when we reach for it, the shape falls gently as the steam escapes, like a deep sigh of relief. Upon our first bite, we’re transported back to a prior CityMag list. Oddly, but happily, there are definitely notes of shallot pancake here. Rip off a chunk, drown it in curry sauce and expect to be visited later by dreams of returning to the restaurant for another round.
Spice & Spoon
94 Carrington Street
On a wall littered with pieces of paper, Spice & Spoon declares there is a $15 food wastage penalty. They needn’t worry when CityMag arrives. There’s no chance of us leaving any scrap of the barbecue pizza naan behind. The pillow-soft bread encases spiced chicken pieces. We’re not exactly sure where the pizza part of the offering comes in, but we don’t spend too much time questioning it. The chicken is dished up in big, meaty pieces surrounded by a slight flavour of cheese and butter. While the bread is definitely on the doughy side, it’s also subtly crispy and slightly oily.