- Nicolette Stathopoulos
Favourite Indian in Melbourne
One thing I love about Melbourne is being able to find so many different cuisines in one city. One of my favourite cuisines would have to be Indian. I love the bold flavours, the extensive use of spices in their cooking and their friendly hospitality whenever visiting an Indian cuisine restaurant. Regardless of if you’re going to an Indian take away store or a high end indian restaurant, the wait staff always manage to go above and beyond expectations when it comes to great service.
I have three favourite Indian restaurants when it comes to dining out in Melbourne. All three showcase modern Indian cuisine, with one having a more fine dining vibe to it. These three locations are Piquancy, Babu Ji and Atta. Piquancy and Babuji are sister restaurants and often have a couple similar dishes on the menu.
Piquancy is located in Hawthorn at 123 Auburn Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122. I love that Piquancy is an amazing place to go with the family, they offer a more casual dining experience but serve amazing food. To start with when visiting Piquancy a must have is the Pani Puri. Pani Puri are fried puff pastry balls filled with mashed potatoes and chick peas. They come with a delicious tangy sauce that you pour in, and omg these are just delicious. Another no brainer here at Piquancy is the Butter Chicken, a free range chicken cooked with tomato, cardamom and fenugreek. I also love that Piquancy has a “help yourself” concept when it comes to getting drinks from the drinks fridge. Keeping it casual at Piquancy you’re able to go up to the bar fridge and grab a beer at your own will, of course you will be charged accordingly to what you grab. Don’t forget to book ahead if you can, especially for larger groups. Piquancy is always busy, but don’t stress if you don’t book or cant be bothered getting out of the house for the evening, Piquancy is on Deliveroo.
Babu Ji, is located in the heart of St Kilda at 4-6 Grey St, St Kilda VIC 3182. Just a short walk from St Kilda beach Babu Ji is a great place to visit for lunch three days of the week or for dinner six days of the week. Babu Ji is the sister restaurant of Piquancy, so like I mentioned earlier they share a few similar dishes. One of my favourites at Babu Ji would have to be the Samosa. The samosas are filled with potatoes, peas, pomegranate and dried green mango powder. This mix is filled into a handmade crisp pastry. All the dishes here at Babu Ji are packed full of beautiful Indian spices, each with a modern twist. The Papadums at both Babu Ji and Piquancy are also a no brainer. These come served with fresh mint, tamarind and sweet mango chutneys, with a chilli sauce and mixed pickles.
Atta restaurant is also a quick walk from the beach in Albert Park, located at 159 -161 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park VIC 3206. I love that Atta is able to provide a modern contemporary modern twist on Indian cuisine. The presentation of the food here is next level when it comes to Indian food. If you think the food tastes good wait till you taste it, the flavour packed into the dishes here are amazing. The use of traditional Indian spice at Atta with modern twists really makes you appreciate how far the Indian cuisine can be from just your casual take away in a plastic container. Please just do yourself a favour and book a table here, I can’t stress enough how great the food really is. A massive thank you also to Brij who was our host for the night. His hospitality went above and beyond any expectations. His enthusiasm and obvious passion for the food and hospitality his team creates can clearly be seen through is gracious smile throughout the night. Brij’s knowledge of Indian cuisine and flavours was greatly appreciated as he educated us on different Indian flavours throughout the night. I was lucky enough to enjoy a lot of the menu as everything just sounded too good, so ill take you through some of my favourites. Firstly the Murgh tikka, this was a spicy tandoori chicken, baby spinach and coriander infused oil. One of the most delicious tandoori chickens I’ve ever had, served with perfectly cooked baby spinach this dish was a winner for me. The Sikandari Raan, braised leg of lamb, sous vide dutch carrots, herb potatoes and mint chutney. This dish came out with a cloche over the top, filled with smoke, which gave the dish a beautiful smoky hint. The Tandoori Aloo, spice infused stuffed potatoes, pumpkin cumin puree and chilli chutney. This came as a hallowed out potato cylindrical ring, filled with the insides of the potato with spices, absolutely beautiful flavours. Another favourite was the Murgh makhani (Butter Chicken), succulent tandoori chicken, spices and tomato gravy. Hands down one of the best butter chickens I’ve ever had in my life. Again don’t stress if you can’t come down to Atta, they also have this delicious butter chicken available on Deliveroo. The Jhinga coco was another favourite. A curry of king prawns, tempered mustard & sun dried chillies with coconut gravy. Lastly my other favourite is the Lamb biryani, lamb, steamed rice, mint, dry fruits, spices and saffron. All these delicious components are layered in a pot with the rice half cooked. The pot is then covered with a layer of pastry and then the cooking is continued until the rice is cooked through. This dish comes to the table nice and hot where you then get to peel of the pastry and get into the delicious biryani underneath.
There you have it, my three favourite Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Please note these reviews are genuine and are not sponsored whatsoever. I have not stopped raving about these places since I’ve been. The food at these places is just so delicious I cannot wait to go back again and try what’s new on their menus.