Mantra - Queenstown
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Sophisticated Indian cuisine in Arrowtown in a pink, black, almost womb-like interior, emphasising peace and tranquillity. Menu is varied, with an excellent vegetarian selection.
Mantra promises an elegant dining experience and is keen to push away from the traditional image of an Indian restaurant.
There are no gaudy statues, pictures or glitzy lighting here, it's all modern, clean lines, with uplighters, spotlights and a black, white and pink décor that's immediately stress-relieving and mellow. The ambience is smooth - no music blaring out from speakers - with slow-moving waiting staff deliberately taking their time to make sure the pace of life in here is suitably sedate.
The menu has a great Tandoor selection, from Lamb Boti and Banjara Chicken, to Tandoori Prawns and Achaari Fish Tikka. Portions are generous and very nicely-presented on the plate, which is usually quite difficult to do with Indian food. The Mantra banquets are good value at $45 per person, and are great for celebrations and catered-for events.
The restaurant also does a takeaway service, although you're also paying for the calming atmosphere here, which you won't necessarily get if you're taking a bag back to your hotel!