Our friends Ben and Nat took us out for a surprise date on a Thursday night in the city - we didn't know where we were heading and I'd never heard of the place we ended up: Daughter in Law. It's an offshoot of Horn Please in North Fitzroy and has a very similar vibe: slightly high-end Indian, a great booze selection and a relaxed atmosphere.
Ben took care of ordering for the table and came up with a wonderful mix of dishes. We started out with a selection of small plates: balls of happiness (top left, $3.50 each), Colonel Tso's cauliflower (top right, $18, vegan) and papadi chaat (bottom, $18, vegan).
The balls of happiness are crispy hollow fried dough, stuffed with chickpeas, yoghurt and spices - they explode with flavour in your mouth! They were happy to adapt these as vegan too. The little chickpea bubbles they came served on were great as well. The Colonel Tso's cauliflower was probably my favourite dish of the night - super spicy little battered delights. I ate well more than my fair share. The papadi chaat is billed as Indian nachos - a great mix of crispy wafers, veggies and delicious chutneys.
We followed up with a couple of curries: vegan roast pumpkin and butternut squash ($18) and palak paneer ($22), with a naan basket ($12) and a serve of the spiced mushroom and beetroot tandoor ($12, vegan).
These all hit the mark too, although we were already filling up by the time we got through the tandoori veggies. The palak paneer is a good test of an Indian restaurant and Daughter in Law do a very fine one.
We somehow pushed on for dessert - a serve of gulab jamun (top left, $10), kulfi (top right, $8), coconut sorbet (bottom left, $8) and chocolate ice cream (bottom right, $8). Both the bottom two were vegan. I only tried the chocolate ice cream - it was incredibly rich and creamy and utterly too much. Cindy had the kulfi, which came served in what we gather is the traditional style.
Daughter in Law is an excellent CBD dinner option - there's a good range of vegan stuff, the servings are generous and everything we had was super tasty. Service is lovely as well - definitely a good option for when you want something a bit fancier than dumplings.
We couldn't find any blog reviews for Daughter in Law (which might say as much about how hard it is Google makes it to find blogs these days as anything else).
Daughter in Law
37 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
food, mocktails, dessert
Accessibility: There are a couple of steps up to enter. The interior is pretty crowded, with full table service. We didn't visit the toilets.