Shop H (Healeys La) 535 Lt Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (map)
Funky Curry 2
2/212 King Street, Melbourne (map)
My journo friend DZ checked out my blog a few months ago and wrote to me saying he liked the look of the food at Riks Maha in Healeys Lane and would head there soon, only to write back a week later saying that it seemed to be closed. SURELY not, I thought - Riks is always teeming with people at lunchtime - and I arranged to meet my friend A there for lunch that day as I was craving the wonderful thosai that I'd had there before.
We met at Healeys Lane and ALAS! Riks Maha was no more! It had been replaced by a restaurant with the accurate-but-bland-sounding name Asian @ Healeys! And there was NO thosai! I stamped my foot in disappointed frustration and we dined elsewhere.
And then a week later, after complaining to my colleague L about the death of Riks Maha, L sent me an email entitled "dreams come true..." (reprinted with kind permission):
from the ashes of riks maha arises a veritable roti chanai serving breakfast spot. savoury eats of the asian variety, before 9am, on the doorstep of bourke place, $5 for 2 roti chanai and 3 curry sauces. loud thai pop music and "asian milk tea". so good...If you'd care to sample this fine fare i'll be there every morning.
L being a man of impeccable taste and good judgement, I decided to take him up on his offer, and went along one morning with him to try this roti chanai.
It was great! The roti was tasty and the coconut milk chicken curry was particularly good. Because it's a breakfast, the sauces are all quite mild. The satay sauce is perhaps a little on the creamy side, but I don't mind. Recommended if you like Eastern breakfasts! Asian @ Healeys also does lunches - lots of curries and stir fries sitting in the bain marie, plus they cook up some fresh Chilli Noodle Vegetables which L swears by.
And this tale of the Death of Riks Maha has not one but TWO happy endings - because the following week Funky Curry 2 added thosai to their menu, so I can still get my thosai fix! :)
Funky Curry 2 is on King St near the corner of Lt Bourke, a few doors down from the Derro. It's part of the Funky Curry family of Indian restaurants, whose website rather enticingly promises "we beleive (sic) in fulfilling your faith...". Its decor consists of brightly coloured pieces of cardboard on the wall extolling the virtues of India and its people (there's one statistic about the number of Indians working at NASA, and another about how many tonnes of cement are produced in India each year - ???) and the chairs have corny jokes inscribed on them (on my last visit my one said "first engagement ring, then wedding ring, then suffering" - ZING.)
The curries are served outta the bain marie and onto metal plates - while it doesn't look particularly appealing, the food is cheap and very good. The Age Cheap Eats Guide also holds Funky Curry 2 in pretty high regard - the fact that it's a block from their HQ certainly helps!
Thosai at Funky Curry 2 is spelled "dosa", and a serve like this, containing masala vegetables, will cost a mere $4.50. And they all lived happily ever after!