Lakshmi is nestled on the corner of leafy Rathdowne Street and Curtain Street.
Named after the Indian goddess of Fortune, this restaurant is a trans-Asian Curry Palace. Whilst curry is traditionally associated with either Thai or Indian cooking, it historically has a rich multi-cultural history involving much of the sub-Asian continent. Lakshmi has attempted to honour this history by creating a menu that blends traditional Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Sri Lankan curry recipes.
The recipes here have been inherited from the cookbooks of one of the owner's Indian-Malaysian grandmother. Who, it seems, was a bit of a whizz in the kitchen.
The first thing that hits you when entering Lakshmi is the strikingly modern interior decorating. There are no gaudy table cloths, no beaded carpets draped on the walls and no traditional Indian music playing. It resembles a High St Cafe more than a typical curry restaurant. This is deliberate as Lakshmi has been designed to blend traditional ethnic cooking with modern Australian design.
It shows a culinary philosophy that says that curry is as much an Australian delicacy as an Indian one.
The menu at Lakshmi is concise whilst still offering a good selection of meat dishes and gluten free options. There are, however, only a couple of vegetarian options. The prices are pretty standard- maybe a bit above average - and the service on the night was good, with the curries coming quickly. The care put into serving the curries, roti and rice was excellent and the plating matched the modern vibe of the restaurant.
Eating at Lakshmi is as much a visual feast as an edible one.
We enjoyed the curries that we ordered: the Beef Rendang, Butter Chicken and Pumpkin Coconut Curry were well balanced in terms of flavours and tasted great. Furthermore the meat in the Rendang and Butter Chicken was tender and the tomato and cream sauces did not overpower the spice bases. These curries were a decent size and left us with decent sized bellies.
Whilst the dishes has been formed with a careful, selective eye, I would have loved to have seen a few more types of Naan – maybe an Alooh Paratha or Keema Naan – on the menu. This is only a minor criticism however, and all in all the dining experience here was great.
Noticed you have been reviewing some delicious restaurants around Melbourne. Here is a brand new pop-up selling southern Indian savory crepes called dosas I thought you would love to check out. These are vegan, gluten-free and absolutely divine, the guys are super fresh and have been around for just under a month now operating out of a warehouse in fitzroy, pop-up style!!
They are called OVERDOSA and here is their faccey pagewww.facebook.com/overdosa