Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Indian Palette

December 2010 086

Disclosure: Owner Sue is a friend of mine.

I have a magnet I bought from Le Chien in Seddon a long time ago that says "Seddon - shh, it's a secret".  Well, it was a long time ago!  Seddon is such a sweet little village and has a great community feel.  Now Seddon residents have their own Indian restaurant to add to the ever-diversifying restaurant lineup, The Indian Palette.

December 2010 087

The decor and presentation is rather genteel with embroidered napery and with high-backed, wooden chairs.  It's very quiet inside - some Bollywood on the stereo would be very welcome.  The menu is a tour of North and South India including a full range of tandoori dishes, plus a flourish of Indian-Chinese specialties.  As well as all the classics, there are lots of interesting things like curries with gongura or sorrel leaves, gutti vankaya kura, mini eggplants with peanut and tamarind, and dal pancharangi made with five different types of lentil.


Caught mid-munch, complimentary pappadums to start with cool yet spicy mint and yoghurt sauce.

December 2010 089
Vegetable Manchurian, $6.50

Indian-Chinese food is not for everyone, but I love it.  It's Chinese food reinterpreted for an Indian palate in the same way the Sino-Australian "classics" of lemon chicken and sweet and sour pork came into being.  Soy sauce is used along with curry leaves and other classic Indian ingredients to create what I think are very unique and delicious flavours.  When Indians go to an Indian restaurant, they are often looking for the best chilli chicken or gobi Manchurian rather than rogan josh or dal makhani or the other "classics" non-Indians associate with Indian restaurants.  Anyway, these Manchurian dumplings were balls of grated vegies including cabbage and carrot, deep-fried and tossed in a dark soy and black pepper sauce.  They were a little oily but very moreish.

December 2010 091
Mutton Chettinad, $10.00

This is a dish from Madras in southern India, cubes of tasty lamb in a dark, slow-cooked, rich sauce full of curry leaves.  It was delicious, very meaty but super spicy!  Indeed, The Indian Palette don't mess around with spice so if you are not a fan of chilli, do ask for the dishes to be mild.

December 2010 092
Mutter paneer (cheese and peas), $8.50

An honest, homestyle dish of Indian fresh cheese and green peas, cooked in a tomato and onion sauce.  This was great but also knock-your-socks-off hot.  A serve of raita ($2.50) provided balance and cooled things down.  It was filled with chopped onion and cucumber and sprinkled with cumin. 

The Indian Palette is just new and is still finding its feet somewhat.  Their alcohol licence is still in the works (as of Dec 2010) so it is not yet licensed or BYO.  Some music would be grand as well as a little bell on the counter for takeaway service or to get the bill.  The prices have to be seen to be believed.  Most dals are $6, vegetarian mains from $7 to $10 and meat mains $8.50 to $12!  That's Kitchen Samrat prices for Aangan quality, or very close to.  Now that's a secret worth sharing.

Another secret worth sharing is the new child-and-parent dance classes coming up at Jeremy McPherson Ballet and Dance School in Hillary Street, Braybrook (just near Central West).  My friend Emily is the teacher and has a background in performance and teaching.  She is a passionate and accomplished person and does nothing by halves, and her classes are just going to be brilliant, really unique.  There are 3 levels, pre-crawler, crawler/toddler and preschooler, a steal at $110 per term.  Free try-out class on Monday, 24 January.  Check out the Facebook page and the recent Maribyrnong Leader article or call 9312 4664.  Go Em!!!

The Indian Palette on Urbanspoon

The Indian Palette
140 Victoria St, Seddon (map)
Phone:  9689 8776
Hours:  Tues - Sun 5 pm - 11 pm (closed Mondays)

Wheelchair Accessibility
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  1. On the Indian-Chinese restaurant front, have you tried Mumbai Hakka in Barkly St, West Footscray? It's where the (very short lived) Paradise Chat and Curry House was, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same owners.

    I'm not really into Indian-Chinese as a whole - so I'm not the best judge - but it is quite amazing that we can get the whole gamut of Indian food in the West.

  2. I haven't had Indian for a while, not sure why, seeing this post has reminded me it's been too long!

  3. Oh, I wish this place were in Canberra! My mum is constantly trying to find quiet restaurants so that my 81, 90, and 96 year old grandparents can hear what's going on... and I'm constantly trying to find dishes that are actually spicy :P

  4. I've been once, looking forward to more visits to see how it settles in

  5. Not had Indian for awhile... not a real fan unless it is curry fish head!

  6. … vegetable Manchurian! Cute, hehe. Funnily, I understand how the Chinese influence came about. When my curries are not salty enough, I do add soy sauce, haha! (shhhh…)

  7. Thank you all for stopping by and commenting! Phil, I have not tried Mumbai Hakka but a friend did who is a fellow Indian-Chinese aficionado and she gave it a big thumbs down. :(

    Bryan, soy sauce is the best for adding salty flavour! I was scandalised when I first read Damien Pignolet's French cookbook and he put soy sauce in the stocks and sauces, but it adds so much depth than just salt.

    I just think it is so interesting that there is Indochinese (Thai, Vietnamese, Laotian etc) and now Indian-Chinese (vegetable Manchurian!) Like the fact that children are just endless combinations of their parents, you never get two that are exactly the same.

  8. I've a buddy who's lived on Charles St for going on three decades. He's a bit miffed that these days he lives in what is called Seddon. According to him, the border between Seddon and Footscray IS Charles St. He reckons that the fact that these days the borderline is generally recognised as being Buckley St is all down to sly shenanigans by real estate agents.

  9. went here last night for dinner with 3 others.. only 2 other people in the restaurant and it took 50 minutes to get served our two appetizers, then just over an hour after that to be served the 4 main dishes we ordered. food was great, prices were excellent but service was terrible.

    really wanted to like this place but unfortunately don't think i'll be going back. waiting two hours to have my food is unacceptable. :(

  10. Danielle, what a massive bummer. That is definitely too long to wait. Thanks for your feedback. BTW, can't wait for your new food blog!!


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