Barkley St: KFC, Sweet Grass tea garden … and Indian restaurants


Formerly Taj Banjara, soon to be Vanakkam

It’s the end of Bennie’s first day of school for the year, his first in grade 5, so we figure it’s time to celebrate by letting him have his way with the mocktail list at Sweet Grass Bonsai Nursery & Cafe in Footscray.

But as we approach we take in the building activity on both sides of the tea house – time for some questions and answers.

Inside the premises that in recent years housed the Indian restaurant Taj Banjara, we talk to Jagadish.

He gives us the good news – the refit going here will soon house a new-look Vanakkam, formerly of Nicholson St and formerly reviewed here at Consider The Sauce.

Jagadish tells us that the menu in the new restaurant will be basically the same as in the old, including dosas, but that there will expansion along the lines of tandoori breads.

Opening day? Friday, February 10.

On the other side of Sweet Grass – and Vincent Vegetarian Food Mart – will be the new Pandu’s, at 351 Barkly.

Pandu himself is not around when I stick my nose in, but judging by the extensive renovationary activity going on, the new restaurant bearing his name is going to be bigger, more comfortable and swisher than the one that preceded it.

Let’s hope the prices stay the same, though!

The new Pandu's takes shape.

What an all-round boon this is bound to be – not just for locals (Hi, Juz!), but also for those of us who live slightly further afield.

The adjacent side streets are likely to offer some parking capacity, while the clearway restrictions end at 6pm on week nights.

Amusing or ironic? Both these new restaurants will help bring this stretch of Barkly St alive after being given the heave-ho from their previous abodes because of railway developments.

And, yes, Bennie goes for the Black Widow of vanilla ice cream, lime juice and cola.

In a big way: “This drink is so good I can’t not drink it!”


6 thoughts on “Barkley St: KFC, Sweet Grass tea garden … and Indian restaurants

  1. I just wanted to say I think this blog is wonderful 🙂 It’s great to see some reporting on the western suburbs, there’s some really interesting places out there, often with the bonus of being pretty cheap! I appreciate getting more of a insight into the people that run the businesses and so on as well. Keep up the good work 🙂


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