House of Mandi, 326 Racecourse Road, Flemington. Phone: 9077 3963
Latin Foods & Wines, 809 Ballarat Road, Deer Park. Phone: 8358 5503
A substantial desire for Somalian food is upon us.
But instead of recourse to an icky app, I’m happy to head out on a Friday night to Flemington.
Discovering as I do so, and as I’m sure many others are, that driving logistics and stress is much lessened in current circumstances.
House of Mandi looks like just about every other eating places these days – the place is in a state of friendly disarray, with tables pushed back to the walls.
But it’s open!
I order, get our food and am back in Yarraville in what seems like no time.
Just what sort of meal we’re getting remains a mystery until we open the polystyrene boxes on the kitchen counter.
Gosh – it’s all brilliant.
And then some.
There’s no soup involved, which is not unexpected as this takeaway.
The rest is sublime.
Rice – studded with cardamom and cloves.
But this has depth of smoky flavour that we have never before encountered in countless Somalian meals.
Bennie has no qualms about calling it: “This is the best rice I’ve ever had!”
Spiced yogurt and green chilli sauce – plenty of both.
Our lamb shanks are tender, tasty and perfect in every way.
We’ve paid $15 for this amazing meal.
The next day is as bleak a Saturday as can be imagined.
Because of the rain and chill, I have something of a plan that involves grabbing empanadas and other supplies at Latin Foods & Wines and then whizzing home on the ring road to enjoy our lunch in warmth and comfort.
But Bennie has other ideas – he definitely wants to wrap his choppers around our fave Latin Foods & Wines sandwich, the chacarero.
So far as I can recall, we’ve never eaten a meal while sitting in our car; the idea has no appeal.
But I reluctantly let him have his way – and it turns out to be a most excellent call.
We get what I strongly suspect is an iso deal – so my advice would be get it while you can.
Chacarero, top-notch chips that are hot and crisp and a can of soft drink – all for $10.
Wonderful, with their squeaky green beans and sliced beef that is of such high quality that it defies the gnawing aspect that usually leads to regular steak sandwiches disintegrating.
We enjoy our lunches yet never spill a drop of food juice on ourselves or the car.
Maybe I should re-adjust my attitudes to this kind of eat-in meal?