MKS Spices’n Things, 23 Pultney Street, Dandenong. Phone: 9701 3165
Living in the west means, by definition, living away from Melbourne’s centre.
Yet by other measures the west, or the inner west at least, is very much inner city.
The greater western suburbs may be growing at a prodigious rate but they still have some way to go to match the imposing sprawl of of Melbourne’s east and south.
In fact, such a big spread is Melbourne that getting to those far flung-areas for food adventures requires planning and some significant driving.
The Maroondah Highway is our least favourite!
Dandenong, I know, is packed with many sorts of foodie wonders and I wish we could explore there with more ease.
But with nothing pressing in the west, I’m more than happy to indulge in an overdue catch-up with Nat and a quickie lunch trip to Dandy.
It’s a bleak day and we don’t really explore, for instance, the Indian and Afghan precincts but it’s all good fun.
For lunch we hit MKS Spices’n Things.
Says Nat: “It’s got the best ever bain marie!”
He’s not wrong!
The live food aspects is just part of what is a very big supermarket operation but the area around the bain marie displays is crazy busy this Saturday.
We take our numbers and wait to put in our orders.
The range on hand for this first-time visitor is bamboozling and in the end I feel like I could’ve done better.
Two parathas with goat and okra curries plus chutney costs a fine $8.45.
But all is just adequate and some of it is distinctly not hot or even warm.
The vegetable curry also has onion and capsicum but the okra pieces themselves are splendid and the highlight of my lunch.
A fried chicken maryland is sticky, cold but actually quite good.
Nat, for whom this not a first visit, appears to do way better with his plate of biryani, goat curry, greens and a fab-looking dal.
He cleans his plate.
Yes, all the plastic here is a drag.
But observing the place in operation, I’m pretty sure management figures it’s the only viable way for them to go with their current set-up.
On the way home, we stop at the fabulous establishment known as Oasis Bakery in Murrumbeena so I can happily spend almost $100 stocking up on Lebanese pies for the freezer and much more.
As Nat says, it ain’t the cheapest but for me the quality is terrific.
Sadly, it also is nutty busy, preventing us from stopping awhile for coffee and sweets.
But I do like how one of the Oasis folks at the cash register refers to me as “young man”.