Simple, sensational, $6.50

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Parotta Station, 28A Millers Road, Brooklyn. Phone: 9314 9934

At Parotta Station, you’ll be served south Indian food.

So anyone even passingly familiar with the west’s many dosa joints – or even its Sri Lankan places – will feel right at home.

There’s string hoppers, a simple dosa offering, the chopped bread dish that is kothu – along with things of broader Indian outlook such as lamb and chicken kormas, biryanis and a small range of Indo-Chinese dishes.

But the proprietor has some twists going on here very much down to his home state of Tamil Nadu.

Most emphatically, they come in the form of the eponymous parotta, a version of the eternal flatbread.

In this case, the bread is lovingly moulded into a scroll before being fried, the result being a marvellous, magical and flaky experience.

Parotta Station serves them in a variety of ways, including egg-stuffed ($3.50), two of which we take away for Bennie’s next-day school lunch.

 

 

But the big hit for us is the combo named “parotta with saalna” ($6.50).

Two standard, fresh and sublime parotta.

A salted fried egg.

And a generous tub of coconut/tomato curry gravy. We’re told this is meat-based to the extent it uses a mutton stock as part of the base. I’m sure it’d be no problem to have it substituted by  the potato or mixed vegetable dishes on offer.

How good is this?

Right up there.

We’d rate this as good a cheap eat as can be found and rank it right alongside the very best to be had at banh mi or dosa establishments anywhere.

 

 

These look like plump ginger cookies.

They’re not.

Shamiyan ($11.50) are patties made of lentils and lamb mince that taste and feel of neither.

They have a very mild spice kick and are very dry; we happily dip them in the curry gravy served with our parotta.

They’re an interesting experience, but not one that completely bowls us over.

 

 

Aatu kaal paya ($12.50) is a stew of lamb trotters.

Forget any ideas of similarity to pork hocks or even lamb shanks.

The most precise comparison here is with chicken feet – there’s no meat whatsoever, just various shards and lumps of random glutinous material.

So not everyone’s cup of tea – obviously!

But if you are hip to Chinese-style chicken feet, go right ahead.

But at Parotta Station, parotta are the main go.

We reckon we’ll be inhaling that “parotta with saalna” combo many times in the coming year.

Parotta Station is on Uber for those in appropriate postcodes and is closed on Tuesdays.

 

Westie eats goss 7/4/16

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The premises that housed the now-closed Nando’s outlet on Anderson Street in Yarraville is to be a Vietnamese eatery.

The windows remain papered over but the signage is up!

 

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Around the corner on Ballarat Street, the wonderful Friend or Pho has extended its opening hours.

It’s now open for lunch and dinner on Thursdays, with Wednesday the only non-opening day.

 

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Over in Brooklyn, Dosa Palace is open at 28A Millers Road.

I dropped in on opening day for a very nice masala dosa – the potato stuffing was particularly memorable.

Unlike its WeFo sister restaurant, Hyderabad Inn, it’s a low-key cafe-style place but will, I’m sure, do the locals just fine.

Westie eats goss 13/3/16

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Down on sleepy Woods Street, Laverton, Seven Star Chinese Restaurant has been open a few months, inhabiting a property formerly occupied by an Indian grocery.

 

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Strolling inside, I am delighted to find a rather lovely and swish dining room.

At Seven Star, dishes such as beef with black bean sauce and satay beef with vegetables are relegated to the “Oz style Chinese dish” section of the menu.

Under the “Authentic Chinese dish” section are to be found such overtly interesting fare as garlic pig tripe, fish flavour eggplant with pork mince, crispy pig trotters and boiled fish with pickled cabbage and chilli.

There’s also a cold list that includes fried peanut salad, oily chicken, wined chicken, pig ear in chilli oil and braised chicken giblets.

CTS will be checking this place out for sure, so stay tuned for a review!

 

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Taste Of The Middle East is on Synnot Street in Werribee, right next to Coles.

Following up on a reader tip – thanks, Clint! – I am surprised to find that it’s no longer in the “coming soon” category but is up and running for Sunday lunch.

However, I soon discover a menu that’s dedicated to eggs, steak sangers, parmas and the like.

Turns out the regular cafe menu will continue to run in the mornings and I’m a day early for the Middle Eastern goodies, which will kick in later in the day – beginning the day after my brief visit.

We’ll be checking this one out, too.

 

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Coming soon is Dosa Palace in Altona.

Brought to us by Nagesh of Hyderabad Inn fame, it’s located on Millers Road, Brooklyn, between the West Gate Freeway and Geelong Road.

This is undoubtedly a novel place to open a restaurant, with solid commercial/industrial on one side of Millers Road and a rather lovely residential neighbourhood tucked away on the other.

Will be interesting to see how it goes.

Despite the name, expect pretty much a full-service Indian line-up of food.

Tasman Market Fresh Meats

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Tasman Market Fresh Meats, 26-30 McDonald Rd, Brooklyn. Phone: 9318 9077

The last time we hit Tasman Market Fresh Meats in Brooklyn, it was a warm/hot summer day and we pretty much froze in the chilly interior.

It was just like shopping in a freezer.

In fact, doing business here IS shopping in a freezer, such is the quantity of chilled and frozen produce on hand.

On that day, we couldn’t muster enough of a shopping list to breach the $20 EFTPOS limit, so left empty-handed.

We suspect this is the sort of place more suited to larger family units than our two-person show.

Nevertheless, today Tasman happens to be on our route home from that morning’s rugby match and we are happy to stop and shop.

As well, the snag stand outside does fine duty in providing Bennie’s post-match snag – with onions, BBQ sauce, $2.50, thank you very much.

It’s a sunny Saturday morning but still very chilly, so the temperature seems the same inside and out!

We wonder if we’ll see any meat derived from the notorious “it’s raining sheep” incident of a day or so earlier and a few kilometres up the road!

Our meat-eating tends to be a matter of moderation and spontaneity inspired by both temperament and restricted fridge and freezer space.

So unlike most Tasman customers, we’re not here for the meat – though there is a whole lot of it.

There’s even a fairly extensive range of offal, but how the prices compare overall to other outlets and markets is difficult to gauge.

The lamb shanks, for instance, don’t seem any cheaper than anywhere else.

While there is a vast amount of plastic used in packaging here, the signage and the butchers on hand make it clear the service can be more customised and flexible than may at first appear to be the case.

We know someone who loves this stuff, and we no doubt eat enough of it ourselves on our periodic visits to charcoal chicken shops, fish and chip joints and the like.

But ours is not a mindset that would see us actually toting bags of the stuff home.

The best bargains we spy – and those that go in our basket – are of the dry goods variety.

Three cans of Mediterranea canned tomatoes for $2.

The big 700g bag of Le Serenate biscotti provides low-rent crumbly cookies, but still fine for school/work lunches.

Two packs of pasta for 88 cents each; some cheap olive oil for cooking so we don’t use the good stuff for same; some hot chilli pate just for fun.

Bennie and I have struck deal about the breakfast standoff – he’ll give the bought cereals away and eat the same as dad, just so long as dad does away with the white sultanas (“white maggots”) and uses other dried fruit instead for the muesli.

So we grab almonds, dried apricots and dates to join the oats already waiting at home.

We don’t recall – from previous visits – there being fresh produce here.

Truth be told, the Tasman range is not much more than basic, but does the trick I dare say for those wanting to cover their bases without making another stop on the way home.

We pick up an armful of bananas, some sweet potatoes, a $1 bag of mandarins.

It’s a little out of the way for us, so Tasman is unlikely to become a regular haunt.

But it’s been just the ticket today for us in a $37 shop that has set us up for the rest of the week.

As we leave, Bennie opines that it still seems more like a butcher than a supermarket.

And they don’t stock coffee.