Thursday, June 27, 2013

Green Coriander Mauritian Cafe, Dandenong by Big Fil

Mauritians, they are more common in Melbourne than you think.  You may even be sitting next to one without knowing it.  Chewey's parents are Mauritian, and one of our work colleagues, Ms K, was born there.  The majority seem to be centered around Dandenong so it was natural that we headed done that way for the Green Coriander Mauritian CafĂ©, a small casual place tucked away in an obscure Dandenong arcade.

Mauritius is a mix of Chinese and Indian, Creole and African, with a bit of French layered over the top.  The food reflects these various influences but Green Coriander serves mainly Indian influenced food.

Before going I'd had a bit of a chat to Ms K about what we should order, and her recommendations had included the various fried goodies.  While I (a little embarrassingly) neglected to get the Indian names of the dishes they included the fried taro, chilli chickpea, eggplant and curried potatoes.  These were the most popular dishes of the day if not my personal favourite, with the best the fried taro and the accompanying green chilli salsa.

Clearly my favourite dish was the curried octopus, served with achard (pickled vegetables) and wrapped in roti.  Tender pieces of octopus in a mild curry sauce, with the texture added by the vegetables and served snug in a warm roti, it was both unusual and delicious.  The only negative, the care needed to be taken to avoid juice flowing down arm syndrome.

It's only that the octopus was so good that would stop me raving about the lamb curry, which we again ordered with achard and served in a roti.  Tender lamb pieces in a mild curry, nice meaty flavours but without the strong 'lamb' smell which occasionally puts off my Asian friends.  In a weird way it was almost like an excellent Indian yiros.

Something I'd heard of but never had before was dholl puri.  Apparently it is the Mauritian street food to try, an Indian style flat bread stuffed with yellow split peas.  A bright yellow in colour, it was both tasty and filling and I can well see why it is the quick and cheap food of choice.

By this stage we still had a little space left so the chicken biriyani it was.  The rice is soft, and fragrant from the spices used in the cooking, with chicken pieces served on the bone, a whole boiled egg and a few pieces of salad on the side.  Nice and comforting and by itself comfortably a meal for one.

Following instructions, despite the others flagging at this stage I ordered two of the more dessert style items, the alouda and the Napolitaines.  The alouda is a drink, light green in colour, vanilla in flavour and with some little green worms reminiscent of cendol.  To me, not a dessert on its own but a pleasant drink to go with a meal.  The Napolitaines comprise two biscuits with jam filling, coated in a sweet pink icing.  Not really my cup of tea, but nice enough in their own way.

Good food, good prices and helpful service, even if it is somewhere you are unlikely to ever come across if you weren't specifically searching for it.  One of the things I like most is getting out and trying to find something a little different, and the constant stream of customers looking for a taste of home was a good indication of somewhere worth trying.

Food - 8
Ambience - 6
Service - 7
Price - 7.5

131 Walker Street
Dandenong VIC 3175
Tel: (03) 9791 8955

Green Coriander Mauritian Cafe on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Great photoshop, i had bad experience going there. The image and taste is out of parallel.

EatAndBeMerryCrew said...

Umm, none of our photos are photo shopped - I can guarantee they'd look better if they were.

And while I can't comment on your experience as I wasn't there we had a really nice lunch with some dishes (or variations on them) that I'd never seen before.

Anonymous said...

Just came back from having a pair of dhal puri, frites bringele and alouda there. Very nice if not a little different to how I'd usually have dhal puri (the achard and potato filling was ok, but I'd prefer rougaille haricot).
Definitely worth a visit if you just want a few little Mauritian treats, I can recommend the gateaux piments from a previous visit. Would be great to have a full Mauritian restaurant experience somewhere in Melbourne but can't knock this place for a quick stop, yum.

EatAndBeMerryCrew said...

Hi Anon, thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Sounds like you had good Mauritian meal! Obelix loves the gateaux piments at Lucy's Divine Cakes in Hampton. Have you tried Lucy's?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...