Very cheap eats: The Rasoi, richmond

The Rasoi281 Bridge Road Richmond (corner bridge road and church street)94280008.

Ok, i have to admit, indian is one of my falling graces. up until 3 months ago, i refused to eat it. the flavours, the spices, the chilli, the smells, none of it appealed to me. to me, it was an aberration on an otherwise perfect plane of asian food.

then my eyes were opened.

it was malaysia that did it, that drew me in. those damned roti chanai for breakfast, at 30 cents a hit. it was like food crack. i was addicted. for two weeks straight, rain, hail, shine, hungover like a dog (and yes, there were many of those days), i still had to get my fix. it took a train ride, a 15 minute walk, and some careful walking (avoiding trucks, bikes, and wild dogs) just to get to my favorite crack den, but oh man, was it worth it! the mango lassi (still a little bit tart), the dahl, the roti. oh my god – the roti. i was in heaven.

so when i came back, i started to look around, to get my fix. i was like a man possessed. and now i’ve found it.

garlic naan ($2). notice the chunks of garlic liberally all over the bread. ultimate turn off, yes. ultimate flavour, definitely.

palak paneer ($8). cottage cheese simmered in spinach puree. my food testing friend loves this dish, but i have to admit, it was pretty damn good.

lamb bhuna (8) my favorite of the night. lamb cooked with onion, chopped mint and coriander. this was amazing. i love mint and coriander, so this did everything i wanted. there were a few small bone bits, but otherwise great.

Goat karahi ($9). goat cooked with tomato, onion and capsicum. so gamey.

saffron rice ($3). saffron rice. go figure.

this food was perfect, and so cheap – for two people, it was under $20 (with corkage). we ate more too, but by then my hands were shaking with delight, and i didn’t want to dirty the new toy (camera).

all the meats were tender, and the service was good – the waiter is the owner, and even brought us water without us having to ask for it (although to his credit, we’d already opened the screwtop wine and started drinking before he came to serve us. no, he wasn’t slow – we’d only sat down for 10 seconds before reaching for the bottle).

the tables are all designed for 4 people, and are just big enough (actually maybe a little bit small, but manageable). dark wooden tables, dark wooden seats, oh, and of course, the big widescreen tv playing indian music and bollywood films.

not much else i can say. i’ll be back.and once more: