Discovering a loyal Sapphire | Newcastle Herald

An appetising atmosphere of tangled piquancy aromas

A REAL GEM: Sapphire entices passers-by with a outlandish aromas. Pictures: Marina Neil

Raj has had Indian cuisine cornered, so to speak, in Newcastle for a long, prolonged time. Well, down on a dilemma of Glebe Road and Jun Street, Merewether, Sapphire Indian Restaurant really has Indian cuisine, um … cornered.

Find a park somewhere on a street and enter by a vast potion shifting doorway into a ample well-lit room humming with a sound of ravenous, in-the-know Novocastrians with an ardour for samosa. The walls are embellished in worldly tones and are splendid by splendid down-lights, and drop made chandeliers hung high above white tablecloth lonesome tables and high-backed, soothing (p)leather chairs. 

An appetising atmosphere of tangled piquancy aromas set us rapacious for a menu to see what succulent treasures wait us.

Vegetarians and people with a welfare for correct protein are both good catered for in a snack territory of a menu. There’s kaju kebab, that is a seasoned pureed potato coated with dejected cashew nuts, and fungus duplex, that has zero to do with affordable housing founded on fungi, and all to do with mushrooms pressed with potatoes, packet and lodge cheese that’s been smashed with spices.

The same goes for a categorical menu. Here you’ll find seafood dishes, like low boiled black tiger prawns coated in a light and spiced batter, differently famous as zingha vada, or, daal makhni (v); black lentils with kidney beans baked solemnly overnight for limit flavour, as good as many variations of chicken, goat, lamb, and beef dishes, and sides, including a lovely raita (yoghurt, cumin seeds and black salt), naan breads and roti, and, of course, rice, such as basmati, saffron, and a impossibly savoury and flavoursome coconut rice, which, in all honesty, has adequate constrained flavours to be eaten on a own.

Evidently, it’s tough to confirm what to order. Nevertheless, we do a best and start with a mysterious-sounding Chicken 65 and Kaju Kebab for entree, followed by beef biryani and a goat curry for main.

Sapphire is protected and facilities a good preference of wines, beer, ciders, spirits, soothing drinks, and lassi, including mango, rose, sweet, and salt flavours. It’s BYO too, and we take advantage of this by bringing a bottle of pinot noir from Hawke’s Bay, in New Zealand, that turns out to be ideal for soaking down a low flavours of tonight’s meal.

FULL TABLE: Kaju kebab, goat curry, beef biryani and raita yoghurt

First out is a kaju kebabs. They’re a pleasing warn in terms of their ambience and texture: softly spicy, herbaceous and sweet, generally when dipped in a concomitant smoky, plum and chilli sauce. Purveyors of ‘hot-wings’ in Newcastle take note; Sapphire’s ‘Chicken 65’ consists of low boiled chunks of outlandish spiced chicken, ginger and shallots that is some-more flavoursome and approach some-more sharp than any hot-wing you’ll eat in this town, presently. I’ve already got my sequence in for Origin.

However, one note to a chef: save some income and embankment a musical sleet pea shoots. The sliced cucumber’s adequate to modernise a taste between bite-sized morsels of both dishes.

As shortly as all a mains were on a list we knew we’d over-ordered. Not to worry, since we can take leftovers home, usually a same as if you’d systematic take away.

HOUSE-MADE: The pistachio ice cream comes rarely recommended.

The beef biryani is a charming earthy-orange architecture of rice that encases chunks of beef seasoned with copiousness of formidable spices – cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, to name some-more than a few.

The goat curry is a favourite of a dual mains. Soft pieces of deliciously gooey goat adhere kindly to slow-cooked bone that swims in a tiny balti play filled with a rich, worldly and sharp sauce, ideal for dipping crispy pieces of roti in later.

We finish a dusk by pity a tiny play of house-made pistachio ice cream, primarily suggest by a waiter, and now rarely suggest by me.

It’s a lovely approach to finish a fun and flavoursome dish that’s full of warm, comforting food ideal for a imminent winter.


  • What: Sapphire Indian Restaurant
  • Where: 367-369 Glebe Rd, Merewether
  • Drinks: Lassi, Soft Drinks, Beer/Cider, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails, (BYO also)
  • Hours: Dinner: 7 Days 5pm-10pm / Lunch: Sun 12pm-3pm
  • Vegetarian: Yes
  • Bottom Line: $85 for dual incl. drinks 
  • Wheelchair Access: Yes
  • Do Try: Chicken 65, pistachio ice cream
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