436 Bridge Road
Richmond VIC 3121
+61 3 9428 1166
My friends Nick and Bibi moved in together earlier this year and because I’m a lousy friend, I haven’t
made the effort had the time to visit them in their new abode in Richmond. After several rainchecks, I finally trammed it down Bridge Road several Saturday evenings ago to check out their new pad.
What impressed me most about their new place was not its close proximity to their work (they work in the same company), but the fact that it was close to an enviable variety of eateries. I seriously don’t blame Nick and Bibi for eating out more often than staying in on any given week. While Bibi had to dash off to meet some of her other friends for dinner that night, Nick and I decided to roam around Bridge Road for a feed. He had a few recommendations but wanted to try something new. In particular, he was eyeing a Hungarian place but I shook my head for I had eaten two boxes of dumplings for lunch that day and I wasn’t in the mood for some hearty Hungarian. Next time, I promised.
Instead, we ended up at Curry King, an Indian restaurant that was eerily quiet on a Saturday night. Now, a virtually empty restaurant is normally a sign for us to not venture any further but 1) we couldn’t be bothered walking any further and 2) the owner of the place saw us eyeing the menu at the window and jumped off his perch to open the front door for us, ushering us in.
Uh okay, we thought as we gingerly walked in.
We were given some complimentary pappadums to nibble one while we read the menu. A very nice touch.
We didn’t take too long to make our decisions, but for some reason the owner and his waiter seemed keener to talk amongst themselves than to serve us. After flailing our arms around to get their attention, service was finally received.
‘Do you have to take a photo of everything you eat and drink?’ asked Nick, incredulously. ‘YES, I DO. SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE,’ I retorted, while snapping away probably to his amusement. The drink you see there is my mango lassi ($3), something I always have when I’m having Indian food. Curry King’s version was perhaps a tad too sweet and looked more ‘artificially yellow’ than what I’m used to, though.
Our food did take a while to arrive, which struck us as odd given that there were only three occupied tables. All was forgiven, however, when the dishes arrived in neat succession – and they weren’t actually too bad.
I had their version of the classic butter chicken aka the murgh makhni ($12.50). At the risk of sounding like a chump, I’d have to say that butter chicken is my default dish at Indian restaurants. It may not be authentically Indian, but there’s just something about the beautiful combination of chicken, spices, butter and tomatoes that makes me go nuts. In this case, the sauce erred on the sweet side but otherwise, it was a very decent dish. Nick agreed, saying that it was ‘excellent.’
Nick had the prawn malai ($15.50), which is essentially a dish of prawns cooked with a butter and herb sauce. Although the dish was pretty much five prawns and lots and lots of sauce, Nick enjoyed it. It’s not a dish that I would normally order but I did enjoy trying something new as I don’t normally order seafood dishes at Indian restaurants.
We had a bowl of basmati rice ($3) and two varieties of naan – garlic and plain, both $2 each – to mop up the sauces. It doesn’t look like a lot of food but we were extremely full – and that’s saying a lot as we’re both big eaters.
Curry King may not serve the best Indian food in Melbourne but they do the job if you happen to live in the area and want some decent Indian without breaking your wallet. While Nick is keen on taking Bibi there for dinner during the week, I think I’d be happy to try some new places on Bridge Road the next time I pop by to visit them (which will hopefully be soon if I want to avoid the ‘bad friend, Libby’ tag).