Indi Chutneys


Indi Chutneys, Shop 4, 203 Ballarat Rd, West Footscray. Phone: 9317 8624

Despite having eaten a lot of thalis, I have never before been presented with anything like the two tubes – one orange, the other a pale green – that accompany my non-vegetarian thali at Indi Chutneys.

I’m told they’re variously called, depending on your language of choice, wafers, bourugulu or gottalu.

Some online sleuthing turns up some Indian-food-related links when searching for those terms, but I remain not much more enlightened. A search for “Indian wafer tubes” turns up a whole results that refer to sweet wafer biscuit thingies of the sort that come from Europe.

What I do know is that the names of these “wafer tubes” and pondering their origins is a whole lot more interesting than eating them.

For these turn out to be identical in texture, crunch and (un)flavour to the prawn crackers dispensed at so many eateries of Asian persuasion.

The rest of my thali ($10.95)?

Gosh, that’s really fine.

A good chicken curry of greenish hue and mild spiciness.

Some rich, glorious dal of magnificent saltiness.

And equally salty lamb curry with a richly deep brown gravy.

Some fine raita with just the right amount of vegetable crunch (onions, I think).

And, of course, plenty of rice.

The restaurant that has provided my thali is in a shop once inhabited by Southern Spice and more recently another Indian eats business so short-lived its name has been and gone from my mind.

It is also opposite the newish Footscray branch of Biryani House, thus giving this stretch of Ballarat Rd/Gordon St an Indian vibe to rival that of upper Barkly St.

As such, I am eager to get a handle on what’s happening here by visiting Indi Chutneys, but soon realise I am on very familiar ground.

For Indi Chutneys shares the same ownership and management with Indi Hots of superb biryanis fame in Footscray.

The menu at the new branch is more extensive – there’s some rudimentary dosas and Indo-Chinese items.

But mostly it seems to inhabit the same entirely gorgeous realm of no-fuss Indian basics at cheap-as-chips prices as its older sibling.

And I like that a lot – just as much as I like the idea that there’s somewhere else to get one of those biryanis.

Indi Chutneys on Urbanspoon


5 thoughts on “Indi Chutneys

  1. Was walking past the other night and noticed how cheap it was. Goat rogan josh at $7.90 (I think) sounds great! Look forward to visiting soon.


  2. did you ever wonder how they manage to sell this cheap food.they underpay their staff some time make them work 14 hrs and pay only $80. recycling of food is a normal practice and using cheap cuts and rotten vegetables is also well known. i know this from my experience


    • Hello Sumit! Wow, those are some pretty heavy allegations you’re making there! I’m letting your comment be published – for the time being …

      Are you talking about specific knowledge you have of the practices at Indi Chutneys? Was it from that restaurant that you gained “experience” of “rotting” vegetables and “recycling” of food? Was it there that you were underpaid for long hours?

      If none of the above is the case – if you are not detailing specific knowledge you have of this place and of experiences you have personally had there – then it seems to me grossly unfair to leave such comments on a post about this one restaurant.

      I don’t think I’m under any illusions at all about the nature of the industry at the budget end. But in the west, most of the places we eat in have more of a family vibe. I know for sure the work is very hard and the pay probably not very good, but we see very few places where we suspect grossly long hours are matched with insanely low pay.

      Most places seems to be staffed by small, closeknit teams – and from my observations, that would include Indi Chutneys and its sister restaurant, Indi Hots.

      And what do you mean by “rotting vegetables”? If you mean vegetables that are nearing the end of their useful lives and need trimming of some “bad bits”, but some of which can still be used … well, I’m not sure I can have any objections to that.

      Cheap cuts? Well, of course!

      Finally, it’s my understanding that the kinds of practices you describe can – and do – happen in restaurants of all sorts, no matter how little or how much they charge.


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