Elichi, meaning cardamom in Indian, is a true gem to be bestowed on the Bayside suburb of Black Rock. It is innovative, full of passion from its staff and chefs and most importantly of all, it is truly delicious. It is what you could call modern Indian with an Australian twist. The owners of this restaurant have two other restaurants, Babu Ji in St. Kilda and Piquancy in Hawthorn, so they have a lot of experience with trends and most importantly, high-quality Victorian produce.
The food is traditional in some dishes, yet sophisticated and innovative, made from quality products sourced from local markets and farmers. Many of the dishes are made for sharing,
with vegetarian and gluten-free choices among them. The difference between Elichi and other suburban Indian restaurants is the freshness and the individual flavours coming through each dish and tantalising your taste buds. The use of native(often foraged for) bush foods, such as finger limes and beach banana, adds new flavours and textures to the dishes.
Cauliflower with grilled fig, asparagus, and lemongrass aioli
The four of us chose the special banquet which was great value for the number of dishes we got to try. Able to choose 3 entrees and 2 main courses to share provided more than enough for all of us without feeling too full at the end. Tandoori salmon, achari cauliflower, tiger prawns, black lentil dahl, Macedon range roasted lamb curry were all delicious and gave us a good taste and variety of the new, fresh cuisine that Elichi is serving. The naan bread was one of the best I have tasted.
Dishes are served with beautiful presentation making it a true feast for the eyes as well as mouth. Staff, and that includes the chef, are engaging, knowledgeable and very happy to talk about the restaurant, its vision, and food. You feel like you are among friends who have just cooked the most delicious dinner for you. The atmosphere of Elichi is sleek and modern with blonde wood and black and grey tones in the furnishings. The black and white photos add a sense of tradition in contrast to the modern interior and are worth taking a closer look at. The open fireplace and lounge chairs around it will provide a welcome space once the temperatures outside get a bit cooler.
An interesting wine list with Australian and European wines and a well-stocked beer fridge where you can choose your own beer ensure that your meal is complemented with a drink of your choice. Check out the menu here. You can also order online for takeaway.