Indi Hots, 82 Hopkins St, Footscray. Phone: 9687 4626
Indi Hots has moved house – but only a few doors up Hopkins St to No.82.
The new place has more of a restaurant feel to it, as opposed to the utilitarian canteen vibe of the previous one.
All else seems to have remained the same – food, clientele, service and welcome.
In my first test drive of the new premises, I do what all my fellow patrons are doing and order a biryani.
My understanding is that biryani is a special occasion, celebratory rice dish that is extremely unlikely to be found in its full-blown glory in restaurants regardless of any price scale.
Maybe one day I’ll be invited to a Hyderabad wedding …
In the meantime, and within the confines of commercial realities, my Indi Hots biryani is as good as I can recall enjoying.
It may not have all the bells and whistles of the “real thing”, but it at least conveys the impression of being a close, if slightly impoverished, relative.
My Special Hyderabadi Goat Dhum Biryani costs $13.50 and comes with curry gravy, runny raita that I have come to love, half a hard-boiled egg and a can of soft drink.
The plentiful goat meat is not really tender but easily edible. Surprisingly, and happily, only about half of it is on the bone, the rest being just meat.
The spice level is sneaky.
What at first seems quite benign mounts steadily as I eat so my brow is sweating by the end.
It’s a fine thing because I am not only robust of appetite but also in one of those moods when some kick-arse spicy food is just the ticket.
The rice is oily in a nice way and interspersed with fresh coriander and lovely strands of fried brown onion.
With the egg, gravy, raita providing variety of flavours and textures, this is a beaut feast.
As ever when I order biryani, I find there’s simply too much rice for me to eat – but I’m surprised nonetheless how much of it I tuck away.
Indi Hots remains a cool and reliable place for a cheap, quick and tasty Indian feed.