Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ministry of Curry - East Brunswick

Lygon Street, East Brunswick, is fast becoming my favourite food and bar strip in Melbourne. Where once there was just the iconic Gelobar swimming amidst a sea of Indian curry houses, now there are countless wine bars, pizzerias, and other restaurants serving dishes from all corners of the globe...except for maybe Greenland. From Burger houses, to Mid-Eastern cuisine, and an array of Asian restaurants, Lygon Street has a little somethin' somethin' for all and sundry. AND, being in Melbourne's hipster inner North, you can bet your sweet bippy there'll be veg. options wherever you choose to chow down.

Ministry of Curry is one of the relative newcomers to the strip. I know I know, another curry restaurant in East Brunswick? I can hear John McEnroe's catch-cry "you cannot be serious!" ringing in my ears. But this place differentiates itself in that it is the only restaurant around these parts to serve up traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. Well, that was enough to prompt this curious cat to investigate.

First of all, I should say that there is quite a bit of range on the menu, so naturally I didn't even come close to getting an adequate sample size, but let's just work off what I did try. There is only one vegetarian option amongst the entrees - lentil croquettes (5pcs - $10.90) - so naturally these seemed like the logical way to begin. The croquettes are nice and crispy on the outside, with a lightly spiced, floury lentil and potato filling, drizzled with a mild, tangy dipping sauce.

For the mains, a couple of curries to share were the order of the day. On recommendation from the rather shy waitress, we went with the green bean curry($8.50) - served with onions and a little chilli, swimming in a lightly spiced coconut sauce - and the parippu (lentil) curry($7.50), with sides of rice and the coconut roti - thinner and firmer than the Indian equivalent. Both curries were fairly mild, but not lacking in taste by any stretch. The prevalence of coconut - milk and shavings - added that tropical fragrance to the dishes, really enlivening the flavours and combining perfectly with the rice, roti and the parippu curry.

I'm a little sick of going out to eat at establishments where blandness in cooking is accepted and celebrated. I want my taste buds to come alive with flavours, not have to conduct some sort of CSI experiment to determine whether any DNA traces of taste exist in my mouth. Thankfully, none of that was necessary at the Ministry.

It's not all flowers and chocolates. The service was a little awkward, and they managed to initially forget our order of rice. But that's just me nit-picking. Ministry of Curry is a place still finding its feet on what is now becoming a very congested restaurant strip, but I really hope they hang in there. I'll be returning, that's for sure.


1 comment:

  1. Sweet. I live a couple of blocks from there; will definitely try it out.