Spicy Hut, Shop 6/35 Aspen Street, Moonee Ponds. Phone: 9375 2191
Many times on our various visits to Puckle St, we’ve wandered down the cul de sac that is Aspen St, adjacent a huge, unsealed parking lot, to scope out Spicy Hut only to walk away unfed and disappointed.
Each time there seemed little by way of any activity, so we didn’t even venture inside.
This obviously speaks to a lack of boldness on our part, because Consider The Sauce pal Nat continued to maintain he had been enjoying swell, cheap and delicious Sri Lankan food there quite a while.
So I am delighted to join him there for lunch, knowing for certainty his assertions will be well founded and we will eat very well.
They are and we do.
The tiny cafe space is rather spartan but offset by the charming welcome of the couple who run the joint.
The menu includes various options of the snack/street food variety such as rotis, samosas, hoppers and dosas.
As well, on three days of the week there are specials, with today’s being lamprais – so that’s what we have.
According to the Wikipedia entry on Sri Lankan food, this dish is of Dutch derivation.
In Spicy Hut’s case, they are described as: “Rice cooked in chicken stock & served with eggplant, pickle, fish cutlet, boiled egg, choice of chicken or beef curry (all wrapped in banana leaf).”
With Nat going for the beef and me the chicken, our meals ($11) are delivered wrapped in foil and with papadams sitting atop.
Unwrapping the foil reveals mounds of steaming rice cocooned by banana leaves. The rice is moist but fluffy and quite nicely spicy.
My single chicken drumstick is tender and tasty, but really it’s the combination of all the bits and pieces that make this a splendidly enjoyable meal.
The fish cutlets (balls), made with mackerel, onion, potato, ginger and garlic, are delicate yet robustly fishy.
I enjoy my hard-boiled egg just as much as I do when they are served with biryani.
The “seeni sambal” sitting on top of my chicken adds a bitter element through the use of curry and pandan leaves, lemongrass and garlic.
And the dry jumble of eggplant, capsicum and onion on the other side of the rice has brilliant eggplant flavour.
Thanks, Nat, for revealing this lovely place to Consider The Sauce – I’m keen to return.
Spicy Hut is closed on Tuesdays.