Earlier this week S. and I found ourselves down at Coburg ’round about lunch-time and feeling a bit peckish. So we thought we’d give a new place a try and went to Saudagar Indian Restaurant. Saudagar is in a very unassuming location on Munro Street. A number of restaurants have come and gone here since we’ve been in this part of the ‘Burg and this is the latest. I hope it stays around for a while.
The offerings are limited but tasty. On the day we were there there were five North Indian style curries available, two meat and three vegetarian. We each had a thali plate, which comes with raita, pickles and a choice of rice or chapati.
S. opted for a chicken and a lamb curry with a chapati. I had the chicken and one of the vegetarian curries with rice. I really enjoyed the chicken curry, which full of soft pieces of chicken in a chilli gravy tempered by the strong, sweet taste of capsicum. The hottest of my curries was the vegetarian. This one was full of vegetable balls made from carrot, cauliflower and potato. Is it possible for a curry to be cute? I thought this was was. It also packed a punch heat wise! The lamb curry was more spicy than hot, the gravy thick and flavoursome and the meat quite tender. And while the curries weren’t overly complex in their flavour we were both impressed with them, particularly quality of the meat.
The owner was very chatty and gave us potted history of the restaurant. It seems that there is a bit of a Saudagar empire and they also have a restaurant in Footscray, where the sweets are made. There was once also a restaurant where Kake di Hatti in East Brunswick is, and most recently one at the top end of Lygon Street, East Brunswick, which was recently sold.
The sweets caught our eye the minute we sat down, in particular the carrot halva (above). This turned out to be disappointing, intriguing in colour but not compelling in taste, as was the cream square which were very bland despite the presence of condensed milk and coconut.
What was nice were the rum baba-like sweets. These had been soaked in a sugar syrup and filled with custard. They were sweet without being cloying. A definite yes to these.
Saudagar is not a place I’d travel out of my way to go to but given I live in Coburg, I’ll be back there. For $8.50 for a meat thali ($7.50 for a vegetarian) the meals at Saudagar represent very good value. Perfect for a quick lunch while you’re down at Coburg or if you want a quick take-away dinner and you’re just too tired to cook.
Saudagar Indian Sweets and Restaurant
2 Munro Street