Ammas Pantry, 33 Parker Street, Footscray. Phone: 0439 902 384
Meet Deanne Thiedeman, on the left, and Beth Lavelle.
Ammas Pantry is their first foray into the hospitality industry, having taken over the premises on the corner of Parker and Hyde following the closing of relatively short-lived predeccesor.
They met when their two Sri Lankan-background sons attended, and became pals, at the kinder opposite their new cafe.
As you’d expect, that kinder and the next-door school play a fairly big part in the life, and prospective prosperity, of Ammas Pantry – but there’s lots here for a broader audience, too.
So while there’s the muffins and sandwiches and coffee you’d expect of an establishment right opposite two education institutions, Ammas is also delivering fine lunch-time meals that are delicious, affordable and of just the right heft for a daytime feed.
As I find out to my pleasure and satisfaction during two lunch visits.
Both my meals are built around brown rice, something that would cause Bennie to get a tad sniffy – but which I enjoy, especially when two differing sets of Asian flavours are so adeptly harnessed.
This fine, mild chicken curry, for instance, at $15.50.
It’s handily accompanied by that brown rice, a veg-studded dal, chutney, raita, a Sri-Lankan-style dry coconut jumble and a papadum
It makes me happy.
Same deal with this identically priced lunch bowl of brown rice, pickled ginger, carrot, cucumber, radish, avocado, wasabi, mayo and smoked salmon.
At first glance, this appears to be considerably more strident in terms of earnest brown rice-iness.
But there is just the right amount of seasoning and lubrication to make the whole thing sing – and not seem like a wholesome chore.
Deanne and Beth tell me the line-up will be tweaked as we move into winter.
Meals such as the two above will remain, but will be joined by some things of the “comfort food” variety.