Shop 3, Clarke St, Sunshine. Phone: 9312 6766
More recent Classic Curry reviewcan be read here.
After being a long-time if irregular customer of the original Classic Curry in Elizabeth St, near Vic Market, I decided it was high time I checked out the newer sister joint in Sunshine.
The premises were just the first of several pleasant surprises I was to embrace in the course of my Saturday lunch.
The room is big, airy, bright and welcoming.
It’s more like a restaurant proper, as opposed to the rather dim, dowdy backpacker vibe of the city place.
The prices at both, however, are significantly lower than your more formal, starched Indian places – on quite a long menu, the only items over $10 are two prawn dishes, a whole tandoori chook and the “Meat Lover Thali”. All the vego mains are $8 and the meat mains $9.
In the interests of variety for review purposes, I ordered the vegetarian thali.
I did so with some trepidation.
My standard order over the years, when I’ve hit the Elizabeth St branch, has become half a tandoori chook (three pieces, with salad trimmings) and one of the stuffed breads.
The thalis I’ve had from there have invariably ranged from passable to awful, the latter featuring tired, overcooked servings.
My fear in Sunshine proved completely unfounded – and then some.
The food had freshness and zing that I don’t normally associate with budget Indian eateries – be they serving food a la carte, on a thali or from a bain marie.
It was all delicious and I wiped every last drop with the nann that arrived as part of the $9 deal.
I’ve long had an aversion to main meals of any genre/ethnicity that have truck with:
The portion shahi paneer in my thali has put paid to that habit. It was awesome, the tomato gravy given a depth and richness from the chashews, the cheese nice and chewy – kinda like fried tofu.
The dal was made from several pulses – aduki and red beans included. It was the spiciest serving I had, the mildish chilli hit matching the smoothness and flavour of the gravy-like stew.
The aloo gobi was fine, too, its dryness offering a nice contrast to its two colleagues and the cauliflower and spuds retaining nice level of bite.
This was one of the best thalis I’ve had for quite a while.
And given the clever matching of textures, flavours and seasoning across the three dishes, I couldn’t see me ordering either of the two non-vegetarian thalis … knowing they’d almost certainly include OK-but-dull lamb/chicken curry, or even the over-rated and to-be-avoided butter chicken.
This is a cool place and well worth the drive to Sunshine. It could even become our Indian default setting.
Check out the Classic Curry website here.