Whether you're done with work and looking to grab a bite before embarking on the lengthy commute home or just looking to eat before enjoying the bars and clubs that line the streets of Northbridge, Govinda's can probably help. Well positioned directly on Williams St, spitting distance from the railway tracks and directly across from trendy watering hole 'Ezra Pound,' it's also an easy place to find.
Govinda's is a Hare Krishna run restaurant, so if you're looking for meat, you're going to be sorely disappointed, but don't let that put you off. Many a dour, red-blooded meat-eater has begrudgingly admitted that a 'sans meat' meal from Govinda's is just as satisfying as its protein filled alternatives (Jus Burger is over the road for those that cannot subsist without).
The food has a real home-cooked feel to it and the staff are as friendly and generous as their spiritual beliefs would lead you to believe. If you make it to Govinda's on a weekday between 4pm and 7pm you'll be able to pick up a mish-mash vegetable curry with dhal and lentils atop a serve of basmati rice for just $4, while a similar serve at lunch typically runs closer to $10 ($8 if you've got concession). Pakora or Samosa can be added for a small cost, $1 and $3 respectively.
The generous serve comes on a paper plate or in a plastic take-away container, making it the perfect companion meal for a trip to Northbridge Piazza to catch a film or to simply take home. If you choose to eat at the restaurant there is a small selection of yoghurt and salads available.
Unfortunately, despite Govinda's being a relatively healthy alternative to anything comparably priced, the fare is limited. No meat is served and there is no real variation to the ambiguously named vegetarian curry - when lentils and dhal cease to impress, you might find yourself looking elsewhere for a cheap meal. Serving on tin or paper plates depending on staff and time of the day, while offering plastic cutlery, Govinda's is also unlikely to turn any heads insofar as the dining experience is concerned.
Ultimately, Govinda's is a tough place to try and recommend as a great restaurant. It is however, easy to recommend as a place that you should definitely try at least once. The prices are enticing when you're counting the last of your shrapnel and wondering where your next meal might come from. Not to mention it's handy to know of a place that can serve you up a cheap meal after work or before a big Friday night on the town.