MELBOURNE NEWS

Economy

Creator of Melbourne’s hottest curry recognised in small business awards

23 October 2023

Curry. Some like it hot, some like it not. But one thing we can all agree on is that curry connoisseurs are spoilt for choice in Melbourne.

But if it’s heat you seek, Le Taj Restaurant and Lounge in West Melbourne is home to the hottest curry in Melbourne. It’s a hefty claim but restaurateur Prabjeet (Pat) Oberoi said Le Taj’s recipe for the bhut jolokia packs a heat level to test even the most seasoned spice lover.

“Melbourne’s hottest curry is our bhut jolokia curry made with the world’s hottest chilies,” Pat said.

Made using Naga Viper peppers or ghost chilies as they’re also known, the bhut jolokia is “five times hotter than a vindaloo”, Pat said.

“The idea for the dish came about when I thought of cooking something super spicy which not many Indian restaurants were doing.”

A man with a turban standing in an arched doorway with a Bollywood painting on the wall behind.
Pat Oberoi opened Le Taj in 2006.

From breads to biryanis, crispy samosas to savoury pakoras, and vindaloos, tindaloos and every curry in between, Pat and his team combine authentic Indian spices and techniques to create a menu of traditional and contemporary North Indian meals.

“Each dish on the menu tells a story of the vibrant Indian culinary traditions passed down through generations. All dishes are adapted authentic north Indian recipes,” he said.

A “must try” for diners is the chicken kadhai wala, chicken fillets cooked with juliennes of capsicum, tomatoes and ginger served in a wok. While Pat’s preference is the bhuna lamb, succulent lamb cooked with sauteed onions and capsicum served at a medium spice level. Migrating from India to Melbourne in 2001, Pat knew he was destined for a long career in the hospitality industry, and it wasn’t before long he opened Le Taj in 2006.

“I have always had a passion to work in hospitality and start my own venture,” Pat said.

“Le Taj has been in business for almost 17 years serving the local north and west Melbourne communities. We serve delicious Indian food in a fine dining and relaxed environment and consider ourselves a destination for Indian food lovers to enjoy quality and tasty Indian delicacies.”

A woman and a man hold a framed certificate. They are standing in front of a large projector screen.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp presents Pat Oberoi with a Small Business Achievement Award.

We’ve recognised Pat and Le Taj Restaurant and Lounge with a Lord Mayor’s Small Business Achievement Award for more than 10 years in business.

“Melbourne is one of the most liveable cities in the world and it’s a great place for any business to succeed,” he said.

“We feel really honoured to be recognised after successfully running this business for the past 17 years.”

Book a banquet or take home a tikka masala from Le Taj Restaurant and Lounge at 70-74 Rosslyn Street, West Melbourne.

About the Lord Mayor’s Small Business Awards

Melbourne is full of fantastic small business success stories.

The business owners showcased on these pages are recipients of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Small Business Awards.

The awards celebrate the people behind inner-city businesses that have stood the test of time.

Among the recipients are legends who have been in business in the city for 10+, 20+ and 40+ years. We also name a Small Business of the Year and Small Innovation Business of the Year.

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