Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 25, 2008: Guru Da Dhaba

Update 31/12/2014: Guru Da Dhaba has been closed for ages, and the venue has housed another Indian restaurant or two before being taken over by the highly rated Addict cafe that we've yet to visit.

Jo-Lyn's Anzac Day Indian yearnings inspired us on an impromptu visit to Guru Da Dhaba in Fitzroy. Mike and Jo weren't as enamoured with De Orchid as we were, meaning that the quest for outstanding local Indian continues. The smells wafting from the corner of Johnston and Gore streets have tempted me every time I've walked past, but we'd somehow avoided making the trip until after we'd sampled almost every other Indian restaurant in the neighbourhood.

The menu is inspired by the dhaba street eateries of India - vegos are well catered for with 16 curries to choose from (aside: I've developed the theory - following our trip to Red Pepper - that Indian restaurants with beef-free menus are likely to be higher quality. For the record: there's no beef at Guru da Dhaba). Cindy, typically, went for the malai kofta ($9.90). She was a little disappointed with the kofta - it was a little floury and lacking texture. The sauce too was adequate without being particularly memorable. I went for a baingan bhartha - a roast eggplant curry that we really need to find a good recipe for. It was much more impressive than Cindy's kofta - richly spiced and silky, perfect to mush onto the well-cooked garlic naan that accompanied it.

Mike has decided that the real test of an Indian restaurant is its palak paneer and declared Guru da Dhaba's the best he'd bought in Melbourne. So it was a mixed performance: ordinary kofta, excellent eggplant and phenomenal paneer. We might need a second visit to come up with a definitive opinion.

Update (29/6/09): Guru da Dhaba has closed down, and has yet to be replaced...

Address: 240 Johnston Street
Ph: 9486-9155
Price: Veg curries ~ $10


  1. I have to say that I agree with the mixed reactions - I was never a huge fan in the few times I have been there but I have friends who think it is the best indian in melbourne!

  2. Johanna, your dealings with the Guru seem very similar to mine. I'll probably be back, but it'll be De Orchid all the way when we're not sharing meals with Mike and Jo-Lyn.

  3. spot on: we had a similarly mixed experience when we were there last week.

    we shared a few outstanding dishes on the menu (i won't embarrass myself by trying to remember the name/spelling) but others *just* fail to hit the mark. only just.

    still, it's great to have another food option near the tote :)

  4. Huh, Jfox, it sounds like Guru Da Dhaba is pushing only half of everyone's buttons. :-D