Man, there was a day when a $50 note was like an open ticket to the town! Well, as we all know, that day is long gone and that same $50 would hardly cover a round of drinks in Melbourne’s CBD! But, never you fear our foodie friends! The Bears’s search for nom-nom yum-yum Indian food is always on the go, and on this blessed day, we found a bottomless pit of delicious food for only $54, including corkage, for the both of us at Haweli Indian in Thomastown. Did you catch that!? $54 for the both of us!
A relatively clean set up with the classic hodge-podge decor was what we saw when we walked into the wide, and long, dining room. All the essentials were covered: set tables & comfy chairs; pictures on the walls; Indian music; and a glowing blue bubbling water wall 😀 Everybody loves a glowing blue bubbling water wall. Alright! Time to look at the grub!
We wasted no time checking over the standard fare on offer and quickly made the decision to go: The Banquet. After we ordered, we were informed that the banquet is all you can eat. So once you empty that shallow little curry bowl, raise your hand baby and BAM! Here comes another! Take that all you non-believers in miracles and Santa Claus!
We dipped and nibbled on the crispy papadams while we waited for our Veg Samosas to arrive. The crunchy pastry encased moist mushed-up potatoes and peas, topped with a light dusting of spice.
The Chicken Tikka pieces were well cooked in a spiced infused marinade. Not much was said from my carnivore hubby, other than: finger lickin’ good !
The Dal Makhani, one of the staples on the banquet menu, was tasty. The thick onion & tomato based gravy hid the little freckles of dal; overall – standard, good, finished.
I make no bones about my love for paneer cheese, so we asked to swap out one of the banquet’s meat dishes for a Shahi Paneer, which the server happily obliged to once she asked the Chef. We both enjoyed grabbing the chunks of soft paneer from what one could only call a “70’s orange coloured” creamy gravy. Semi sweet, but not too sweet – this tasted more like what I would call a Paneer Makhani, but hey. Different strokes for different folks. It was good nonetheless!
There are very few Indian places that Hubby Bear will proclaim has amazing lamb. So welcome to the club Haweli (along with Privileged Punjab in Preston)! My meat-eating partner loved your Lamb Rogan Josh! A rewarding and robust flavour wrapping around pieces of ‘fall apart’ lamb. More finger licking goodness!
The Saffron Rice was as to be expected and the Garlic Naan just right. They also brought out a small bowl of Raita, which is a cucumber-yogurt to help cool down anything that might be a bit too hot & heavy for you spice-wise.
The last course, as if we could really eat anymore, was the classic Indian restaurant dessert of Gulab Jamun. A hot, sticky little donut-like ball sitting in an extremely sweet syrup. Oh yes, time to unbutton that top button to breathe again!
Unless you have a thing for bubbling blue water walls, the location and fit-out of Haweli isn’t going to knock your socks off. But the banquet price combined with the solid flavours? That’s worth going to Thomastown for!
Address: 215 High Street, Thomastown Victoria 3074, Australia
Tip! No-brainer: get the banquet! 😀 😀 😀