Still Magic after all these years

Rogan Josh

By Trevor Pepys

Trevor Pepys reviews Magic of India

Back in a previous century finding a good Indian feed in Noosa was like finding an honest politician – almost impossible. And then, just like magic, Magic of India popped up on Thomas Street, just a few doors down from where Trevor at that time toiled manfully making magazines, and learning to alliterate.

Magic of India won awards from the get-go, and if you’ve got a particularly long wait between courses, you can read about each and every one of them from page three of the menu. Let’s just note here that the place was featured on SBS’s Food Lover’s Guide To Australia – you must remember that! – in 1997 and is still winning plenty of people’s choice gongs today.

These days we’re a bit spoiled with several good options for Indian around town, but a visit to Magic is like a pleasant trip down memory lane. Okay, it’s not as old as the idea of Maisie’s, just around the corner, but it’s rather like slipping into a comfortable old Nehru jacket, and you never know who you’ll run into. On a visit last Sunday night, Trev and Mrs Tucker caught up with a former politician – one of the honest ones – grabbing a takeout.

“Always enjoy the curry and naans from Magic,” he hooted as he skipped out with a bag of dinner, “especially the malai kofta!”

Trev was after something with a bit more oomph after a week or so in the bland heart of Queensland, but the missus was a bit delicate in the tummy department, so we compromised on a mixed entr¨¦e ($16.90) which we shared as we knocked a hole in a bottle of 2019 Taku Pinot Gris ($33), and note the sensible pricing on this good quaffer, all you surrounding wine gougers, and you know who you are. End of sermon.

Alas and alack, the entr¨¦e was a little disappointing, although Trev may not have felt that way about it in 1997, but this is now, and, with the exception of the delicious samosa, it was a bit tired.

We gave Magic a chance to redeem themselves with a shared lamb Rogan Josh ($23.40) and that they did in spades. It was delicious, succulent meat in just enough Kashmiri spice with a subtle overlay of coriander. Basmati rice ($3.90) just so and a plate of crunchy papadoms ($3.50) and our Sunday arvo Noosaville intoxicological perambulation has reached a suitably happy ending.

The verdict: Still a crowd favourite with good reason, there’s plenty of magic left in the old girl.

Magic of India, Islander Resort, Thomas Street, Noosaville. Phone 54497788 for bookings and takeaway.

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