Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Essential Desi Food Guide in Melbourne - Part 1

I have got lots of people looking and asking for good Indian food in and around Melbourne. I will post about places only I have been to and tell you about my experiences. This is going to be a continuing thing and will hopefully keep the guide updated on every visit to an Indian restaurant.

First off Hyderabadi food, best food on the planet. Like Telugu language being appreciated by others, this food is appreciated by Indians from other parts of the world as well.

Nila's Restaurant, Coburg: Acknowledged by The Age, this Malaysian-Indian restaurant serves both Indian and Malaysian delicacies. The Indian food in the menu is mostly dominated by Hyderabadi cuisine. Most notable are Paya (Lamb Hooves Curry) and Haleem, and they are not just notable, they are made with perfection only Hyderabadi cooks could master.

The Malaysian food is made hawker-style, I took my Malaysian friend along and she said that the taste here is much like Malaysian food. (I say this because food cooked outside a country is cooked close to the liking of the people of that particular country. Like how we have spicy Chinese food in India.)

This restaurant is recommended for any one who is really interested to get the real feel of Hyderabadi food and those who are feeling homesick just ask for them to make it spicy.


702 Sydney Rd Brunswick 3056
(03) 9383 4888
Bismi, Brunswick: Similar to Nila's in their menu and offerings, I heard that the owner is Singaporean-Indian and serves a bit of Indonesian, Malaysian and primarily South-Indian food. Taste is ok, but I avoid it as I have had a few mis-adventures with their food.

Taj Palace Tandoori Indian Restaurant: This restaurant serves real North Indian food with their delicious Naan's and spicy food, this place is a must visit if you want a taste of the Tandoori Chicken. You can also ask for Kingfisher beer while you are there and wash it down when you are stuffing yourself with that bit of Prawn curry. Go and speak to the friendly chef and ask him to make the food military-style for the real Indian taste.

228 Nicholson St Footscray 3011
(03) 9687 1020
Kake Di Hatti: Lygon street is known for the innumerable restaurants, but this one is further up on Lygon street where it is a bit quieter on the streets, but once you walk in to this restaurant it is not quiet at all. What this restaurant lacks in ambience it makes it up on the taste. Who needs a good ambience when the Tandoori chicken is so good, you don't want it to finish. Also, call in advance to avoid disappointment, there will be no place to sit (or stand) if you just rock up. I think that itself makes it up for the delicious food they serve.

When I was there, an Australian, who probably did not have much spicy food, was wrestling with a piece of chicken Tandoori, an artist trying to paint this scene would use the same colour for both the piece of chicken and the colour of his face. In the end, the piece of chicken lost.

128 Lygon St Brunswick East 3057
(03) 9387 7771

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Trip Around the Bay

Making money and travelling don't go hand in hand. There wouldn't be backpacker hostels if everyone who travels is rich. Unless of course your job is a travel reporter, getting time off work to travel is very tricky. How long do you take the leave for? Will these many days be enough for this destination? Do I go according to the tourist operators schedule or do it alone? All these questions gnaw at your mind when you want to go somewhere, and there is the big question: Will I get my job back once I get back from that long holiday? May be I should just stick to my career.

But this same career gave me long weekends, last week I happened to get 5 day weekend. Don't ask how, it is a long story. So, I took my car to travel around the bay.

Sorrento, was the first stop. A Beach facing East and a Beach facing West, about 5 minute drive apart is the highlight of this quiet town. A ferry would take us through to Queenscliff another lovely and quiet town on the other end of the bay.

The feature of the ferry ride is one gets to watch dolphins, I have to take this ride again very soon because the dolphins come out in Summer.

Queenscliff to Geelong (Largest non-Capital city of Australia) takes about 15 minutes drive.

Beauchamp falls in the middle of Otway National Park, this takes a bit of walking downwards and then more of walking back. But who would think of going back when you are at such a lovely place?

At the end of my journey at Warrnambool I was fortunate enough to see Whales, though they were too far for me to capture them.... in my camera. :) I hope to see more of Victoria and get to go on a ferry to look at the whales. But till then it is back to work and slogging for me.