A growing appetite for aromatic curries and naan bread and an influx of Indian chefs are behind a big rise in the number of restaurants dishing up Indian fare in Perth.
Restaurant and Catering Australia says Indian cuisine is the biggest growth area in the WA restaurant scene.
Association chief executive John Hart said Indian was the fourth most popular ethnic cuisine, behind Chinese, Italian and Thai that have been widespread in Perth's eateries for years.
Mr Hart said a survey last year showed 12 per cent of respondents said Indian was their favourite cuisine.
"There was a very high concentration of particularly Chinese and Thai restaurants, but now the one growing at the greatest rate would be Indian," Mr Hart said.
Mr Hart said WA had the biggest skill shortage for cooks and chefs so big numbers of skilled migrants had come to the State on 457 visas to fill the gap.
He said India was the biggest source of cooks coming into Australia. There had also been a flood of Indian students entering the country to study cookery.
Online restaurant review website Urbanspoon lists 185 Indian restaurants and takeaway stores across the metropolitan area.
Varq owner and head chef Shyam Verma opened his Wembley restaurant in August after working at several Perth eateries.
Verma, who moved to Australia from India in 2005, said Varq was doing well because it had a point of difference.
"If you learn in India you have a good base," he said. "We have authentic style."
Anand Kaushal, who opened Metro Indian Restaurant in Subiaco in September, said there was only one other Indian restaurant in the area and a big demand."We thought it would be a good investment because Indian food is very popular," Kaushal said.
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