Is this Melbourne’s best thali?



Maurya Indian Restaurant & Cafe, 58 Station Place, Sunshine. Phone: 9364 9001

It’s been almost two years since we wrote with pleasure about Maurya, a cosy little Indian cafe tucked away and easy to miss opposite the Sunshine bus and rail aggregation.

Truth be told, I would not even be heading here today were not for the fact Bennie is attending and birthday party-and-movie shindig a little way’s away.

We’ve enjoyed an intense week that has included a quickie trip to New Zealand and the season’s first rugby game for Bennie, so I figure a little space is warranted – although I do subsequently join the party party for the movie.

Maurya is very much as I remember it – a small restaurant with a lived-in feel, menus stuck to the wall near the serving counter (albeit with more hand-written additions and substractions) and a vibe that evokes memories of eating in India more than any other I know of in Melbourne.

I wave aside my usual objections to paying for pulses in Indian joints by ordering a simple vegetarian thali ($10).

It’s ace – and different.

For starters, instead of rice there’s four wholemeal chapatis – warm, freshly made, pliant, superb.

The raita is minus vegetable matter and only slightly seasoned. It’s runny and quite sour, so I figure that it may be house-produced like my breads. I’m told such is not the case – though it sometimes can be here.

The dal is as I recall from my previous visits, if less spicy – a smooth blend of aduki and read beans, onion, ginger and … ?

My efforts to ascertain the remaining seasoning fail as the staff plead business.

Oh well – it’s all part of a delightful, homespun and healthy Indian lunch.

And proof positive that the best food can often be the most humble.

See earlier review here.



5 thoughts on “Is this Melbourne’s best thali?

  1. Hopefully the bus interchange works don’t cause trouble for the business. Still a couple months to go before it will be finished


  2. Nah, the thali at the Bikaner Sweets cafe (1 minute walk from the Dandenong Railway Station) is the best. MInd you, at $15 it would want to be! The have gol gappe (pani puri) too. I am afraid the Sunshine and West Footscray thali’s are left in the shade. Is an hour on the train too much for a good thali?


    • Yes, an hour on a train is too long! I’m happy to pay $15 for a fine thali. But the bottom line is, wherever you choose to go, that this affordable form of Indian chow is now widely available in Melbourne.


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