Sunday, October 29, 2006

October 26, 2006: Gopal's

Thursday evening found us wandering the CBD, needing to find accessories for our Monkey Island themed costumes for a friend's halloween party. Drained by fighting our way through various Bourke Street shopping zones, the relaxed atmosphere and relative quietness of Gopal's was a relief. Gopal's is a hare krishna style vegetarian restaurant and, based on our experiences at Govinda's in Brisbane, we immediately settled on the chef's special: a green split pea soup with tomato and bittermelon, thai style curry with veges and tofu, basmati rice with poppy seeds, green salad, a pappadam and a tangy fruit juice, followed up with fruit crumble and custard. Once we'd sat down and spent a few seconds actually looking at the menu, we discovered that there were a range of set meal options, some of which were more suited to Cindy's smaller appetite than the gargantuan chef's special. Such is life I suppose.

The soup was tremendous - the slightly salty pea flavour combining well with the bitter taste and firm texture of the melon, all enhanced by some judicious use of spices. The pappadam made nice Indian-style croutons as well. Pushing on to the rest of the meal required fortitude - in reality the soup would probably have sufficed - and luckily the thai curry was worth the effort. A little milder than I enjoy, but still far from bland, with a good smattering of veges and plenty of tofu. The salad was fairly average, but you don't really go to a krishna restaurant for the salad. The fruit crumble was tasty, but by the time we got to dessert, the idea of eating more food was a bit of a problem, so we probably didn't appreciate it as much as it deserved.

At $12, the prices are a bit higher than Govinda's, and the lack of kofta balls in the special was a bit disappointing, but we left completely stuffed and very satisfied.

Address: 139 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Phone: 9650 1578
Price: mains: $6 - $12

1 comment:

  1. Went to Gopal's back when it was free and I was studying across the road. Kurma Das was the chef back then and we still exchange the very occasional email. Now I'm closer to retirement than training (apron 35+ yrs ago). I rode my bicycle in a couple of months ago for old times sake. I wasn't disappointed, very little has changed. We left satiated having very much enjoyed the experience and look forward to heading back with my daughter who is a strict vegetarian.