Indian Palette, 140 Victoria Street, Seddon. Phone: 9689 8776
Indian Palette has been open quite a while – Footscray Food Blog reviewed it in early 2011.
So given the zeal with which we’ve hastened to check out many other Indian eateries blooming across the inner west, we’ve taken our time in getting here.
Happily, our dinner visit coincides with the restaurant’s half-price deal on mains and entrees on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, shaving a significant amount off our bill.
The long room is cool and rather elegant, and we enjoy the service of Sue, Francis and their staff, while the wait times are just right for the kind of food we order – we go full-on vegetarian for this dinner.
And it’s very seldom indeed that Bennie and I sup at a dining establishment with real-deal napkins.
We like and appreciate that!
The longish menu has many staples such as butter and tandoori chicken, and the Indo-Chinese element seems less obvious than at other neighbouring Indian eateries, but we are delighted to find some really novel – for us – dishes to order.
So we do.
Mirchi bajji ($7) – fresh green chillies dipped in gram flour batter and deep fried – is a good, if rather heated, starter for us.
The batter is pliable and a little chewy. I’m proud as can be that Bennie no longer hesitates for even a millisecond when confronted with such a dish.
My boy is hot!
Bennie also dives with relish into the kachumbar salad ($6.50) of chopped onion, tomato, cucumber and carrot with lemon dressing.
The lovely and fresh vegetables have been dusted with a mix of chilli, turmeric, garam mssala, pepper and lemon.
I would have preferred some more tomato and lemon juice to moisten things up a bit.
Gutti vankayakura ($13) is the most wonderfully distinctive Indian dish we’ve tried since the honey-infused number enjoyed on a memorable visit to Deer Park.
About three or maybe four baby eggplants, butterflied, reside in a smoky, nutty and chilli-studded sauce.
Nutty in fact, I subsequently discover – Francis tells me the sauce involves peanuts, cashews, tamarind, sesame seeds and coconut powder.
Our dal, gongura pappu ($13), is lentils cooked with sorrel leaves and is just as refreshingly unusual for us dal lovers.
So thick is it with sorrel leaves that it’s actually more like a vegetable stew than a soupy dal.
It starts good for me, but further in I feel a little overwhelmed by the quantity of bitter leaves and rather wish we’d ordered something a little plainer from the five-dal lineup.
Both our mains and our entree have had high, for us, spice levels, so we fully expect to be singing the Johnny Cash tune the next day.
With plain rice ($3.50) and onion raita ($5.50), our bill comes to $47.50, which comes down to a good-value $37 once the mains-entree half-price deal is factored in.
We reckon Indian Palette should be more crowded than we generally observe to be the case.
Maybe we should line up a Consider The Sauce Feast here.
The Indian Palette website is here.