Sri Murugan, 27 Watton St, Werribee. Phone: 9741 9656
Sri Murugan is a first restaurant adventure for Rathi and Vellayan.
They’ve been up and running for about five weeks, bringing their native Sri Lankan food to the party and combining it with your regular fish and chips and burgers, the ins and outs of which the previous, Greek management imparted to them before splitting and leaving the lovely, friendly couple to their own devices.
Based on our swell Sunday lunch, we reckon they’re doing a pretty good job of handling both aspects.
The place unmistakably bears all the hallmarks of its origins as a genuine, old-school Aussie chippery and burger bar, yet the menu is also festooned with Sri Lankan dishes.
We have a four-way bash at quite a wide bunch of it.
I’m happy to let Bennie have his way and the lad does real good with his burger pack of one with the lot, chips and a can of drink for $8.
Unlike our previous outing with this style of burger, this one is a glorious hands-on delight, with real beefy meat patty, gooey egg and all the bits and pieces you’d rightfully expect.
The chips are hot and OK in an average sort of way, but the burger is an outright winner.
As Courtney opines: “Sometimes it’s just got to be a fish and chip shop burger!”
Two vadai (90 cents each) served with coconut chutney are a delight – softer and more moist than is often the case, they’re liberally studded with green chilli. The masala vadai ($1) doesn’t impress quite as much.
Likewise, a three-piece serve of idli ($6) goes down well with the same chutney and a portion of thickish sambar/dal.
Rice and curry turns out to be a lovely looking thali.
The star without doubt is the lamb curry, which is coconutty, rich and delicious.
The chick peas are good, too, and have a similarly hefty chilli whack.
The vegetable serves – one of cabbage, the other a mixed concoction of zucchini, beans and carrot – are way overcooked but suffice.
Still, at $8 – and especially if the vegetables were replaced with a dal of some sort – this is a bargain.
In admirably curious spirit, Courtney and James get busy thumbing their mobiles to find out about kothu rotti, and order a couple based on this Wikipedia entry.
The first, lamb kothu rotti, is the darker and heavier of the pair.
The second, egg kothu rotti, is both kinds of lighter.
But both are damn tasty, stuffed with all sorts of vegetables and chopped rotti, and with a whiff of wok hei about them.
They are a very satisfying feed, coming across as something like a superior Sri Lankan version of fried rice.
We’re all impressed with the food, service, our ability to enjoy such a wide-ranging meal and the sublime hipness of finding such a cool mixture in the west.
We’d actually started the day meeting up at a foodie pub up the road apiece, but have no regrets about adjourning – based on a CTS reader tip (thanks, Martin!) and mutual gut instinct – to this multi-approach joint.
We wish them well.
Werribee, we’re happy to reflect, is becoming a happy hunting ground for us.