9/73 Point Cook Rd, Point Cook. Phone: 8360 9229
Pulling into a parking spot of the small and rather nondescript shopping precinct, I take my bearings.
It’s a mixed bag.
Bottle shop, convenience store, Indian grocery and so on.
A fish and chip shop that sells kebabs.
A kebab shop that does pizzas.
I’m headed, though, for All India Curry Company, a sister place to the one in Maribyrnong Rd, Ascot Vale.
It’s a very sleepy Friday lunch hours and I’m the only customer.
The place comes across as your basic, tidy suburban eatery.
I resist the temptations offered by a sign in the window advertising chole bhature for $7, going instead for onion bhaji (spelt bhujia here) and a vego thali.
The onions are smaller, less crunchy and more chewy than I’ve been enjoying lately, but I really like them anyway. They go down beaut with the tangy tamarind water and creamy raita that accompany, and are a cool bargain at $3.50.
There’s more than enough raita left over to double as a support act for my thali ($11).
This appears, at first blush, to be a rather dull affair, but happily it tastes better than it looks.
The loser, for me, is the pumpkin masala. Formative years spent gagging on pumpkin various ways is a significant hurdle to enjoying any dish made with that vegetable, even if the sweetish mash served here is not unpleasant.
The aloo palak is a handy mix of spud in a creamy spinach gravy; it has a nice smoky flavour.
The dal is a little dry for my tastes, but goes down a treat anyway.
The single chapati is fresh and pliable and likewise disappears with relish.
The regular dish prices at All India appear to be very reasonable – vegetable mains at about $8, meat mains a tick under $10, half a tandoori chook for $8.50.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, from 5pm, the star is a $12.50 all-you-can-eat buffet, that comprises six mains, rice, naan or roti, pickle and raita.
Seems like a pretty good deal!
If this place was closer to home, we’d be regulars.
The All India Curry Company website is here.