The Moody Noodles invited me and some other friends across to West Footscray to share a meal at Krishna Indian Restaurant. Although this family business has been established for 20 years, it has only recently become 100% vegetarian. They've really gone all out, often skipping the ghee and using ingredients like tofu and soy nuggets to bring a diverse selection of vegan-friendly, as well as traditionally vegetarian, dishes. Vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options are well marked throughout the menu. The staff know what's what can will happily lend advice on request too. If you call ahead, they can even prepare gluten-free naan!
We started out with some complimentary chips and a jammy tamarind sauce with a surprise little slow burn. Onion bhaji ($6.50) and mushroom pakora ($8.95) had a lovely besan batter and a vegan-friendly minty-creamy dipping sauce.
It was tough picking from the multidude of mains! The vegetable korma ($10.95, bottom left) and soy nugget masala ($10.95, top right) were pleasant but turned out a little samey. We were more taken with a saag mushroom curry ($12.90, bottom right) and their unusually vegan-friendly malai kofta ($12.95).
The vegan garlic naans ($2.95) were still crispy-edged and buttery. Their gluten-free analogue reminded me of an arepa and it was roundly enjoyed by K, the table's coeliac.
Krishna's most exciting innovation might be their dairy-free desserts - so often vegans have to skip this last menu section! K shared a small bowl of carrot halva ($4.95) with little S while the rest of us ordered a gulab jamun ($2.00 each). The little doughballs were gorgeous, one of the loveliest, fudgiest versions of this dish that I've ever eaten.
We had many more hits than misses at Krishna Indian Restaurant. It's wonderful to see a family Indian restaurant catering imaginatively to a range of dietary requirements. Their prices are reasonable and the service is very accommodating. We hope the local community will embrace their newly meat-free menu.
Krishna Indian Restaurant
Shop 3, 578 Barkly St, West Footscray
menu front page, thalis & entrees, entrees & mains, mains 2, bread & rice, accompaniments & desserts
Accessibility: There's a step up on entry and the tables are well spaced. We ordered at our table and paid at a high counter. I didn't visit the toilets.