This bold Blair Street outfit serves boundary-pushing Indo-Chinese dishes.
How best to describe Sizzler Alley? An eatery that refuses to be pigeonholed into a singular category, one look at the menu is enough to convince you that this is a place willing to push fusion to its extremes. It's an early indication that your expectations are best left at the door as you let the food simply speak for itself.
As far as the fit-out goes, 'impeccable' is one of the first descriptors that comes to mind. We went early on a Saturday evening, just in time to see the last of the day's sun stream in through the large windows. This gave the polished wooden surfaces a glorious sheen, an ideal ambience in which to tuck into some fusion goodness.
We chose some of the most adventurous-sounding bites to get us started (believe us, there are plenty), and the panipuri pizza shots ($11.90) were the unanimous pick of the bunch. The puri are filled with pizza sauce and classic toppings such as capsicum and black olives, all seasoned with the slightest of spicy kicks. Think Indian pizza pockets.
While the panipuri shots got us off to a solid start, the rest of our starters left a bit to be desired. We ordered the chow mein samosas ($5.90), fried mac and cheese ($7.90) and vege 'bullets' ($11.90), and while they get top marks for creativity, they were a tad bland and could have done with plenty more punch.
If the starters were a mixed bag, our sizzlers did a laudable job of swinging the tenor of the evening back into positive territory — and just as well, as they're the flagship items on the menu. The sizzlers are a range of meat or vege options served with rice on a hot plate for maximum enjoyment, and while they took a while, they were worth the wait.
The grilled chicken sizzler ($24.90) was a standout, featuring generous strips of succulent chicken doused in a rich, creamy mushroom sauce. Not to be outdone, the chilli paneer and tofu sizzler ($21.90) also held its own well, with the blocks of paneer and tofu cooked in a tangy, almost sweet chili sauce.
With an inviting, spacious environment and plenty of curious choices to whet both the appetite and the mind, Sizzler Alley is certainly worth a look. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on offer, the portions are copious and all in all, it's a fun night out.
19 Blair Street, Wellington