A good kind of Friday night. We had a couple of beers at the Wig & Pen, a curry at Rani's, and saw Lust, Caution at the Dendy.
Rani's is quite new - they opened about two months ago in East Row, where Niche used to be. It's a straightforward midrange cheap and cheerful Indian. They have black velvet paintings on the wall, and paper tablecloths. They're licensed, with a small bar. There's takeway, and a $15 lunch buffet, and at dinner it's a la carte, with a good selection of the usual suspects. There's Tandoori dishes, and North Indian and Goan. Butter chicken and beef Vindaloo and Mattar Paneer and such, for $11.50-14.50 a dish (prawns to $19). We had Chicken Tikka Karara ($12.50), a dry tandoori dish with hotter spices than usual; and Lamb Rogan Josh ($13.50). Add in a couple of pieces of Naan, some chutney, raita, salad and rice, and a beer and a lassi - and we paid just under $60 for the two of us.
But although the menu is unsurprising and unspecialised, the execution is well above average. The chicken pieces were still juicy, the lamb was lean, tender and without gristle. The spices were nicely balanced, and the "hot" dish had a good bite. It was neither murderously hot, nor blanded out to some mythical Australian chilli-hating palate. The condiments were plentiful and good quality. The tandoori Naans were really excellent. It's a welcome addition to the range of options in Civic.
After dinner, we rolled off to the Dendy, which was packed. Our film session started just a little bit late, so we waited in the bar area. This was made pleasant by a quiet jazz trio playing old standards; they were very sweet and young looking and I suspect may grow up to be very good one day. Especially the pianist.
Lust, Caution is an excellent movie, but not one for a night of light entertainment. It's set in World War Two Shanghai, amid the terrors of the Japanese occupation. There's a lot of emotionally wrenching sex and violence. It was a long movie, too, so we didn't get home until nearly 1am, and then were a bit too mentally engaged to get to sleep easily. The bloke has been fighting off a nasty chest infection, with the aid of a course of antibiotics, and this didn't help. Today we've been pretty weary, and not up to much except some shopping. (Sorry, Shelby!)