A freelance writer, sharing all my new discoveries with the world.
Published October 26th 2011
Authentic Indian food in restaurants can be hard to find, as so many establishments cater for Western customers. If you enjoy proper home cooked Indian food, Desi Dhaba is one of the few places to find it.
Located on Flinders Street, just a short walk from Federation Square, Desi Dhaba is open from 7am to 1am, offering traditional Indian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The venue is nothing fancy, but the food can not be faulted, and even during the busiest hour, the waiting time is never too long. With bicycles and drums hanging from the ceiling, and multicoloured fairy lights circling the room, the atmosphere is vibrant and bustling, just like India.
Unlike most restaurants in Melbourne, Desi Dhaba is very reasonably priced, with most main meals costing around $10 and sides and bread are around $2-$3. The food here is remarkable, fresh and authentic. If you like spicy food, I'd recommend the chilli and garlic chicken, and if you want something a bit different try any of the goat dishes.
The chefs at Desi Dhaba know that their customers are looking for the real deal, so the menu is more diverse than most. With traditional additions like raita, pani puri, papdi chaat, mango lassi and gulab jamun, it's hard to believe you're eating in the heart of Melbourne and not in the capital of India.
If you feel too spoilt for choice there are also banquet options for either $19.90 or $24.90 per person, and if you want to go all out and hold a function there, the venue can seat up to 80 people and entertainment can be provided too. Just visit Desi Dhaba for more information.