Yummy India, 21 Westwood Drive, Deer Park. Phone: 8337 0760
Yummy India in Deer Park has long been on our radar and finally the day has arrived.
We just didn’t think that in a million years the day would arrive on a Good Friday.
We’d already made Good Friday plans that involved the eating of Lebanese food in Coburg, but then the Yummy India folk posted on their Facebook page the day before that, yes, they’d be open over Easter – including for Good Friday lunch.
A pre-drive phone call ascertains that all is good and as advertised, so off we go.
The allure of Yummy India has for us is certainly to do with the pursuit of a good feed.
But it must be confessed the appeal is also undoubtedly to do with the restaurant’s location – on a Deer Park industrial estate and surrounded by fencing and swimming pool companies.
Of course, on this Good Friday there’s not a lot of traffic or any other kind of business going.
Like us, our mate Tony is transfixed and delighted by the sheer perversity, magicality and uniqueness of such a setting for such a restaurant.
Unsurprisingly, we are the only Good Friday lunch customers, although the service we receive is of the highest order and very friendly.
Our genial waiter tells they expect some takeaway orders and more trade by dinner time.
He certainly does the right thing by us right from the start be preventing us from over-ordering in a spectacular fashion.
The sort of rich and hearty food available here is quite a ways removed from the dosas, snack food and cut-rate thalis that are our normal Indian fare.
Nevertheless we’re out with a good friend and prepared to spend some money in order to get a fulsome, well-rounded lunch.
Three entrees, three mains and all the bits and pieces?
No, no, we are told – that’s too much.
And so it proves to be.
When asked about spice levels, I say – over Bennie’s protests – that medium will be fine.
Our entrees – which are at the upper end of our spice capacities – prove Bennie correct, and luckily we are in time to have the rest of our meal adjusted towards the mild end of the spectrum.
We are still learning our way with Indo-Chinese food, but that learning is involving increasing levels of enjoyment.
Apart from spice levels a tad too high for us, chilli and garlic mushrooms ($11.95) and chicken 65 ($12.95) have the high levels of oil we are coming to expect from this kind of food.
Moreover, despite the different names the flavours of both seem very similar, and the chook and mushie protagonists chewy where elsewhere I’ve enjoyed a more explosive crispness.
Not to be too picky, though – we enjoy both.
These are, of course, rather pricey for what are listed as entrees, but the serves are very big.
That trend continues with our main course curries and even the super large serve of raita ($3.50).
Indeed, I’m pretty sure the metal pots in which our curries arrive are bigger than those used in many other Indian restaurants of this type.
Nawabi chicken ($13.95) is, I’m told, based on a cashew nut gravy with your standard Indian spices and some tomato paste.
There’s some whole cashews, too, and what seems to be largish chunks of chicken breast are tender.
It’s good, rich chicken curry.
The lamb lajawab ($12.95) is our meal’s highlight.
It, too, is based on a cashew nut gravy.
But this one is heavily laced with honey, giving it an aromatic flavour that is unlike that of any curry any of us have previously tried.
The lamb pieces are on the small side, and there’s not that many of them, but the meat is tender and lovely.
Apart from the advertised nuts and spices, I suspect both our curries also likely have a cream quotient on board, but if we were going to get squeamish about such things we would never have come.
Our garlic naan ($3.50) is oddly unbuttered and even quite crispy but still fine.
The aloo paratha ($3.50) has an obvious and oily sheen, but is quite good, too.
Despite a few mis-steps, Yummy India has restored our faith in the value of more formal, “special occasion”, expensive and rich Indian food.
The prices seem very typical, but the serves are large. Our lunch fare ends up costing us about $22 each, which is very good value indeed.
Where else would you get such a fine Indian meal on a Good Friday lunch-time?
And certainly, parking is never going to be a problem here, no matter the time or day.
(For those seeking lighter food, Yummy India also does idli, vada and dosas.)