Tuesday, August 22, 2006

August 7, 2006: Bhoj

In our first homeless weeks in Melbourne we stayed at the Eltham home of Carol, my aunt. We did our best to provide her with grateful dinners but eventually resorted to Indian take-away. Bhoj Templestowe is a sister restaurant to Bhoj Docklands, which was favourably reviewed in Cheap Eats 2006 and we were further enthused by the low prices. We picked up a huge bag of food, including complimentary pappadums and dal.

I chose an appetiser that I’d never seen before, Sounth Papdi. These were small flour shells with a potato filling, topped with a yoghurt sauce and served cold. The shells and filling were quite bland, but fresh coriander and a tamarind tang to the yoghurt gave the papdi flavour. They were a refreshing change from the hot and heavy samosas I usually order from Indian restaurants.

For dinner, clockwise from centre: palak paneer, malai paneer kofta, vegetable korma, saffron rice and garlic nan. The korma was pleasant and mild, with a discernable taste of almonds that I enjoyed. The malai paneer kofta were just cottage cheese chunks floating in overly sweet sauce, not the fried vegetable and nut balls that I expected. The palak paneer, rarely a pretty dish, was my pick of the curries we chose. The balance of spinach and tomato was just right, and it was pungent with garlic. The garlic nan, however, lacked flavour and was a bit rubbery.

If I were staying in Eltham for the long term I might return to Bhoj to sample a few more dishes, but it probably won’t tempt me away from my new Carlton home. If we want more Indian on Carol’s turf, we’ll check out Ginger Garlic next.

Address: Shop 14, 114 James Street, Templestowe
Ph: 9846 7799
Licensed, BYO wine only
Price: $7-$9.30 for veg mains
Website: www.bhoj.com.au


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