I haven't been to Acland Street for a very long time and was quite surprised how noisy and packed out each of the cafes, restaurants and pubs were. Despite the location being my choice, it was a bit busy for this suburban chick.
Lamb and vegetarian dish
For a more peaceful location walk to the junction and you'll find the cosy Spicy Times Café at 194 Barkly St, St Kilda. It's right near the bus stop right near the corner of Acland St.
I must admit we were in two minds as to whether to try out this new cafe as it was almost empty when we went in. I'm awfully glad we did. Apart from prompt service, the and food right up there with some of the best spicy Indian cuisine I have tried. In addition, the serves were very generous.
Just looking at that pastry makes me hungry!
They had the usual menu items like tandoori items and the favourite butter chicken, and a few dishes I have not tried before. If nothing else, it's worth going to Spicy Times just to get a laugh from reading the menu. The unique enthusiastic comments about the tastiness of the items reveal a passion for their own food. For example: Fresh fish fried flipping fantastic. Okay, one thing is for sure, the Sikhs in India know how to have their fish. This is Fish Pakora like no other.' ($13.95 for 4 pieces)
I consider myself a connesieur of roti and naan and their garlic naan was steaming hot and had a melt in your mouth texture. These could have been a fresh and a delicious meal on their own. Naans are from only $3.25. The samosas pastry ($6.50 for 4 pieces) was unbelievable. They were crisp, flaky and pretty spicy. Cooling yoghurt lassi drinks are only $3.90.
Be adventurous, add some fruit and nuts to your rice.
The lamb was very tender and the vegetarian dish superb. There were more than usual vego dishes which was very pleasing to me. The Malal Kofta ($13.90) was made with cottage cheese and potatoes, stuffed with sultanas and cashews and cooked in a delightful creamy sauce with fennel. The sweet rice was a tasty change. I could have eaten it all night. I was so impressed by the coconut rice I have bought the ingredients to make it myself.
All my favourites on one plate
From my seat I couldn't see the erotic artwork on the wall... Perhaps that's why they called it Spicy Times. Incidentally they can personalise the heat on a scale of 1-10.
Take a look at that Lamb!
If the truth be known the trip to Acland St was motivated by the lure of the cakes. I was a girl on a mission. I was barely tempted to stop for all of the street entertainment. The night was topped off by methodical, careful selection of two delicious cakes. We loved the cherry gateau cake and the pineapple coconut slice for breakfast the next day.... I know it sounds bad but in our defence we didn't have to be a good role model because the children were out and we were very full from the delicious Indian food. Have a look at the Spicy Times menu… it's hot, it's garlicky and very sweet.