This was a new restaurant for me but one which looked like it had been a local favourite for many years. That is easy to understand based on our experience, which was of above average to good food at way below average prices.
From the outside this restaurant looks like a typical neighbourhood Indian restaurant. The only thing which gives away that it might be something different is the string of cheap eats awards and newspaper reviews posted on the front window.
We were running early for our booking but our table was already waiting for us. Inside the restaurant has that real cheap eats feel, where you hope the emphasis is on the food rather than the décor.
Given there were only two of us we decided on the mixed platter, to sample as many of the entrees as possible. A little disappointingly, the mixed platter seemed to consist of pieces of cumin kebab and chicken tikka only, with a small amount of salad and some chutney served on the side. The flavours weren't bad and the meat fairly moist and tender. A little more variety would have been appreciated though - just because a dish is labelled as vegetarian or non-vegetarian doesn't mean that the non-vegetarian can't include some vegetarian dishes.
For mains we chose the lamb rogan josh and the chicken makhani. After talking to the waiter about the spice levels of the food we asked for both dishes to be medium. This was a good move, as while these dishes are normally quite mild even at 'medium' spicy I felt they could have done with a bit more of a kick on what was a particularly cold night.
I wouldn't describe either of these dishes as subtle, complex or the best of their kind available in Melbourne. That said, they were tasty, not too heavy and very cheap. The serving sizes were generous and after the meat was finished all the sauces were soaked up with garlic naan, a sign that we were both enjoying our food. Of the two I think the lamb was the better dish, with the flavour of the lamb coming through more than the chicken which was a little overwhelmed by the sauce.
There are only two desserts available, the kulfi and gulab jamun. Kulfi is a fairly dense, Indian style ice-cream, and gulab jamun always reminds me of the holes in donuts, which someone has fried and served with a sweet syrup sauce. While a nice way to finish off the meal, I think next time I will give these a miss and try more of the entrees.
Not a potential Good Food award winner, but it punches above its class at the prices it charges. There aren't too many places around were you can get a more than acceptable curry, rice, naan, entrée and dessert for around $20.
Ambience - 6
Service - 7
Food - 7
Price - 8.5
128 Lygon Street
Brunswick VIC 3057
Tel: (03) 9387 7771