Raga Indian Cuisine, 223 Nelson Place, Williamstown. Phone: 9397 6982
A couple of years ago, Consider The Sauce was very excited to try – for the first time – the funky South African workingman’s soul food that is bunny chow.
Sadly, before I got around to a return visit to Sanctuary Lakes shopping centre for a return encounter, the humble cafe concerned closed down.
(See here for that story and some background on bunny chows!)
So I was delighted, as we ambled away from enjoying Nelson Place’s new Italian joint, that Bennie noticed the above notice in the window of a nearby Indian eatery.
At the first available, opportunity I’m there.
After I order my lamb bunny, the staff/management soon work out I’m “that guy with that camera” – and I am unsurprised to learn Raga has ties to the now defunct Point Cook cafe at which I first tried a bunny chow!
So I am brought a complementary dish courtesy of the chef.
Quail 65 is a knockout – and probably the best Indo-Chinese dish I’ve ever tried.
The rotund fritters are wonderfully crisp and nicely salty on the outside, while the shredded quail meat inside is fabulous.
All is attended by lovely, spiced cucumber noodles.
They are so good!
But I am mindful of leaving room for my bunny so donate the remaining two fritters to the grateful inhabitants of the adjacent table.
Now take it as given that my experience with bunny chows is limited … but that said, I reckon my Raga lamb bunny is a killer delight.
The accompanying salad, served in a giant prawn cracker, is just right.
The lamb curry is plentiful, very spicy and studded with tender spud chunks.
This time around, knowing a little of bunny lore, I make only small use of cutlery, mostly use my hands and love every mouthful of curry and bread.
But it’s a big meal and I call a halt to my feasting after consuming all the curry and about half the bread.
I suspect experienced Durban bunny hounds will snort with derision at paying $17.50 for what is ostensibly blue-collar street food.
But I don’t have any problem with the price tag – it’s a good investment, IMO, for a fine meal.
And especially given this is probably the only place in Melbourne, and even within Australia, that serves bunny chows.
After all the cafe-style Indian places we frequent, it’s been real nice to spend some time in a proper, well-appointed Indian restaurant.
And the thalis ordered by a happy a neighbouring table seem like a great deal. The thalis, like the bunnies, are served on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The mint/tamarind sauce that came with my papadums was adorned with latte art!