Friday, May 27, 2011

Classic Curry Sunshine

I was once told of life with small children that a day can seem like a year while the years seem like days.  It is so true.  Now that my kids are getting older, all those endless, boring days trying to entertain tiny babies seem a distant memory.  What time is there to be bored now with the endless merry-go-round of kinder, swimming, playdates and so on?  Stressed, perhaps, but not bored.

Curry Circle 001

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.

Curry Circle 002

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.

Curry Circle 003

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!

Classic Curry (Sunshine) on Urbanspoon

Classic Curry
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


  1. Isn't the location fab? I'm a meat-eater, but almost always order vego thalis. I figure the meat offerings are always the basic (and tired), whereas the non-meat route more often seems to offr nice surprises.

  2. What a beauriful cat! I hope somebody finds little Oscar. Good luck!

  3. I've tried Classic Curry. Once. The problem is when you have a fantastic benchmark such as Kitchen Samrat, Classic Curry falls short every time. The meat falls pale in comparison not as tender as Samrat's version as well as the gravy being unauthentic as you've described in your post.

    I hope you keep trying though, maybe you'll get lucky (I hope you do!), but in the mean time I'll probably with Kitchen Samrat.

  4. Jay, wanna know where I had the worst thali I've ever had in the western suburbs?

  5. Oh oh, are you going to say Kitchen Samrat? Jay, I haven't been to Kitchen Samrat for ages because I am so in love with Indi Hots, but will try them again!

  6. Um, yes ... but a while ago now. I guess I'm always seeking consistency in thalis. That, for me right now, means Classic Curry and Hyderabad Inn. Others' mileage may vary!

  7. There was a cat in Liverpool St two weeks ago that had been sadly killed by a car - it was gone before I got home and I didn't get a good look at it - hopefully it wasn't your Oscar.

  8. You're always welcome to park in our street if you're looking for a park in Footscray - I'll even give you our visitors permit! I'd be very disappointed if parking drives people away from Footscray ... that said though i must try Sunshine more often. I get lazy being so close to Footscray shops I don't get around the west as much as it deserves.

  9. I've been here many times and always make a point to visit Classic Curry restaurant in Sunshine whenever I travel to Sunshine. Typically we have a different appetizer each time, but always have the Butter Chicken, Rogan Josh, Naan, Basmati, and Raita each time...can't stray from something I know is soooo good! Last trip though I ordered garlic naan instead and OMG it's sooo tasty. We each ordered a mixed platter this time as well and I guess we should have taken the waiter's advice that one was plenty for two people as we both went home with enough for another meal! The Mint Chutney is great for dipping your papadums into! Be sure to have a mango lassi as well! YUM!!! The service was very attentive and friendly.One great thing I learned last time in Melbourne was that Classic Curry in Sunshine will deliver to your home as well as your working place! Just one call and you will definitely enjoy their food. I was totally stuffed and thoroughly satisfied with food and service!!

  10. I am a regular at Classic Curry, they are wonderful people who know me by name.
    While i have had a better butter chicken (sangam tandoori, nelson place Williamstown), the pricing at Classic Curry is unbeatable.

    I was however disappointed with the restaurant in the city (the rice was undercooked and the food was not up to their usual standard).

    You have to try their shaahi paneer it is to die for, i have never had another quite as nice

  11. Megan, thanks for your comment and the Sangam Tandoori tip! Always looking for a great butter chicken. I will keep the Classic Curry shahi paneer in mind!


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