Time for a peaceful lunch to read the paper and take a deep breath. Classic Curry in Sunshine got the thumbs up from Kenny a while ago. Gotta love Sunshine - you can get a park right out the front in a free car park, which is more than I can say for Footscray at the moment.
It's surprisingly spacious inside. I was expecting an Indi Hots style fit out but it's much more restaurant like, albeit with plastic tablecloths. There's a full menu which you can peruse here. Prices are pretty unreal - all veg curries are $9 and all meat $10 with free basmati rice.
I'm a sucker for a good thali - this is a traditional Indian "mini-buffet" meal where you get rice, bread and three curries for a ridiculously low price. They always come on these silver trays which, as Matt Preston said, are reminiscent of prison riots.
A traditional Indian meal always has one wet and one dry element. Here was dal makhani which was satisfying and earthy - slow-cooked whole lentils, quite thick and with a good helping of chilli. Traditionally this dal would be left in the dying heat of the tandoor oven overnight to emerge thick and rich. Complementing this was a dry sabzi-style dish of perfectly-cooked potato and cauliflower, deliciously chilli-hot and spiced with turmeric, cumin seeds and dried fenugreek leaves.
The chicken was so flat, though. The meat was tender and of good quality - three slices of breast meat - but the gravy was, I hate to say it, reminiscent of condensed tomato soup mixed with cream. This is perhaps not inauthentic in a sense - Lizzie Collingham writes in "Curry: An Autobiography" that Chicken Tikka Masala, Britain's national dish, was created when a customer complained that his chicken tikka was too dry so the chef whipped up a gravy of tinned soup, cream and a few mild spices. Still, its lack of spice and personality was so incongruent with the other two quality vegetarian dishes.
In Indian restaurants, you will often see next to the till a little glass bowl of coloured things and seeds with a spoon in it. This is a traditional breath freshener and often incorporates fennel. Here at Classic Curry, there were sugar-coated fennel seeds on offer which are quite delicious, tasting a lot like liquorice.
I reckon Classic Curry deserve another chance. They have a few good meal deals like $35 for a "family pack" with mountains of food. A good stress reliever for a mid-week dinner, perhaps!
Shop 3, Clarke Street, Sunshine (map)
Phone: 9312 6766
Hours: 7 days, 11 am til late
Can you help?
Oscar went missing on Saturday 21/5/11 from Adelaide Street in Footscray. He is 5 years old. He has black fur with white nose, paws, chest and belly. He was last seen wearing a purple collar with a bell, but no tags. He is desexed and microchipped. Any information greatly appreciated! We are offering a reward for his safe return.
Alice 0466 303 177 / 0466 408 032