Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Rickshaw, Fitzroy

199 Gertrude Street
Victoria 3065

We were wandering down Gertrude Street after work on a Friday evening looking for a bite, on the way to catch up with some mates. We had a vague idea of a few options but decided to give The Rickshaw a try after checking out the menu.

From outside and as soon as you walk inside you can't miss the front section of the restaurants name-sake.

The fit-out is low key and cool with a view through to the kitchen at the back.

The wavy wire ceiling features lights hanging down over the bar. It was pretty quiet when arrived around 6, but the tables filled while we were there. Amit the owner welcomed us and was a friendly presence through the evening.

The menu is fairly short with a mix of dishes from India and across the rest of Asia.

We kicked off by sharing the beautifully presented Papdi Chaat of crushed chickpeas with cumin yoghurt, pomegranate and date sauce. The 'street food' inspired dish tasted as good as it looked!

Amit persuaded us to try the Pani-puri, another Indian street snack, in this case a a hollow semolina puff, containing spiced potato and tamarind and topped up with the coriander and mint emulsion. The resulting delicate casings slip into the mouth then burst with flavour.

We stuck with the veggie Indian theme for our main dishes. The pumpkin lakhanawi was subtly flavoured with mustard and coriander seeds and cooked to leave the pumpkin soft with disintegrating into a mush.

The slow cooked daal bukhara was a wonderful blend of lentils and spices. It had a surprising kick amongst almost smokey flavours. While we tucked in to our mains the head chef came out to chat to us, explaining each dish was cooked with it's own specific base.

The onion seed and basil naan was a nice twist on the classic bread and the rice nice if a little on the small side, indeed we ordered a second serve later.

We would have finished up at that point, but Amit was so keen for us to try a sweet that he shouted us gulab jamun. These again were presented beautifully with the soft dumplings sitting on Chantilly cream, with rose petals and a pistachio crumb. The flavours and textures complimented each other to finish the meal with a flourish!

The service which seemed to have caused a few comments on Urbanspoon was great for us, with plenty of opportunity to hear from Amit and the chef about the food and their influences and inspiration. The bill came to $87.50 including a few beers. The ambiance and attention to detail with the food and it's plating impressed us both and we'd be keen to return and try more of the dishes on the menu.

The Rickshaw on Urbanspoon

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