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Haldi Indian Restaurant

Home > Melbourne > Dinner | Food and Wine | Lunch | Restaurants
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published June 15th 2019
Haldi-lujah - it's authentic Indian food at its best
Haldi was already humming early on the Friday evening we visited. The sudden downpour outside had failed to stop keen locals from turning up to what is clearly a favourite restaurant.

Haldi Indian Restaurant
The entrance to Haldi, on Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds

On arrival, we were given a friendly greeting by Raj, the general manager. His warm, open manner suggested a depth of experience in hospitality.

Haldi Indian Restaurant
Inside Haldi - bright and modern

"Haldi" means 'turmeric' in Hindi, a staple spice in many Indian dishes, and a nod to the fact that head chef Atar is strongly focused on serving the freshest produce, cooked using freshly ground spices. Raj informs us that each dish is prepared when it is ordered, ensuring maximum freshness, but also, he confides, adding time to the preparation. So you may need to be prepared to wait a little longer than you might expect for your favourite dishes. And with a 15% discount on offer to online orders that are collected from the restaurant, the kitchen undoubtedly had its work cut out for it to keep up with the demand.

We started our meal with the Batata Vada (potato and lentil parcels with yoghurt and pineapple sauce) ($16) from the entree menu. It was a great way to start, with the well-balanced piquancy of the pineapple kick-starting the tastebuds. As you can see from the photo, a lot of thought has gone into the presentation of the dishes, making them very 'Instagram-worthy'.

Haldi Indian Restaurant
Batata Vada

The next dish was Sharabi Raan (lamb marinated with Old Monk and spices, smoked with herbs) ($22). This was presented in a theatrical fashion, with Raj whipping off the glass cloche to reveal the still smoking lamb underneath. I thought this was the dish of the night, the lamb was perfectly tender, and the complexity of flavours a triumph.

Haldi Indian Restaurant
Sharabi Raan - presented with a flourish

Moving to the main courses, we first chose the malai kofta (crispy cottage cheese and potato dumpling, cashew gravy, cream and dry fenugreek) ($19). The kofta were succulent and luscious. If I had them on another occasion, I'd order them perhaps with a spicier dish, like a vindaloo. The subtle, rich gravy would complement a hotter dish very well.

Haldi Indian Restaurant
Malai kofta

By coincidence, our final dish also featured fenugreek: Kasturi Murg (fenugreek flavoured chicken in semi-dry aromatic gravy) ($21), again beautifully cooked and presented. Served with the main courses was some perfect fluffy steamed rice, and a Kashmiri naan - the sweetness of the fruit in the filling making an interesting contrast to the almost nutty flavour of the fenugreek with the chicken.

Haldi Indian Restaurant
Kasturi Murg

Chatting with the group at the table next to us, we were informed that one of the diners had visited India no fewer than eight times, and he was strongly endorsing the authenticity of the flavours, especially of the butter chicken.

So for authentic Indian food, at reasonable prices, I can recommend Haldi. What sounds like particularly good value is the lunch buffet which is available from Wednesday to Saturday: $14.99 for three curries with rice and roti.

Haldi is located at 30 Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds. It is open for lunch from Wednesday to Saturday, and for dinner from Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays).

While walk-ins are welcome, you can reserve a table via the website, call the restaurant on (03) 9370 4822, or email on

The images in this article were taken by the writer.
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*Fiona Anderson was invited as a guest
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Why? Fresh, delicious, authentic Indian food
When: Tuesday: 5.30 - 10pm, Wednesday to Saturday: 11.30am - 2.30pm and 5.30 - 10pm, Sunday: 5.30 - 9pm
Phone: (03) 9370 4822
Where: 30 Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds
Cost: See menu for prices
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