Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September 7, 2006: Shakahari

I believe Cindy has briefly mentioned in a few of her posts some Melbourne based friends of ours, Krusty and Jason. After a few failed attempts, we finally arranged to meet up for dinner at Shakahari. I’d read some pretty good reviews of Shakahari and was really looking forward to giving it a try. The space is all warm colours and vaguely pleasant ambience without being particularly memorable (perhaps because I had my head in the impressive menu as soon as we’d found a table). There were only about half a dozen entrees and as many mains (all vegetarian), but each was a creative and modern interpretation of Asian flavours and ingredients.

With the arrival of Krusty and Jason, we were distracted from the task of choosing our food and drink, and we forced the wait-staff to come back a couple of times while we all made our decisions. Cindy and Krusty both went for the same option: Croquettes Chinois, vegie patties in a tangy sauce, served with steamed broccoli, kim chi and some cold tofu. I didn’t get around to tasting it, but Cindy tells me that the patties had a mashed-potato type of texture, with a few other little vegies and some nutty lentils scattered throughout. She was pretty happy with the patties and the broccoli, but found the kim chi a little spicy and was a bit over tofu after a few too many tofu-based meals and snacks. Jason went for the satay sticks – seitan and some vegies smothered in peanutty sauce and served with rice. I didn’t solicit a review from him, but they were demolished pretty efficiently, so I’m guessing they were pretty enjoyable. I had the Chilli Passion – a noodley pasta dish that was mixed through with an olive tapenade, chilli and tomato and served with greens and a separate bowl of ratatouille. It was (happily) spicier than I expected it to be and the chilli and olive flavours worked particularly well together.

While Jason and I were talking, Cindy and Krusty agreed to have a look at the dessert menu. I suspect that they knew full well that nobody can ‘have a look’ at a dessert menu and not end up ordering something, but they maintain it was innocent indecision on their part. Regardless, each couple opted to share a chocolate and cardamom pudding soaked in a coconut sauce. The spices and the rich chocolate were a divine combination and it took great restraint for me to stop when I’d polished off my half. Unfortunately our photos didn’t work out too well on the night (and we didn’t actually to take any photos that focussed on people) – the lighting wasn’t great and everyone was having too much fun to spend ages fighting with the camera. I was pretty impressed with the Shakahari experience, and at round $30 a head for mains, dessert and a bottle of wine, it was only a bit more expensive than most our slightly less fancy nights on the town.

Address: 201-203 Faraday St, Carlton
Ph: 9347 3848
Price: mains $17-$18
Website: www.isthmusofkra.com.au (not very helpful)


1 comment:

  1. I've been going to Shakahari for the past 20 years that I have been living here. I have many happy memories of food, friendship and a lot of frivolity at Faraday St and their earlier Lygon St site. It's great to find a vego restaraunt that meat eaters like!

    Thanks for the link to my site :)