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.
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.
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.
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.
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
140 Victoria St, Seddon (map)
Phone: 9689 8776
Hours: Tues - Sun 5 pm - 11 pm (closed Mondays)
Step to enter.