Melbourne is known for having one of the most culturally diverse culinary scenes in the world, but you already know that and so do we. What you may not know though, is where to find the cream of the crop when it comes to Indian food. There are takeaways and dine in restaurants dotted all over Melbourne, and we know you’ll argue that your local is the best. But after doing the rounds, we’ve come up with the ultimate list of the best Indian restaurants Melbourne has to offer.
Both the food and the decor are as colourful as Holi festival at Horn Please. The flavours are just as tantalising with a generous selection of street eats and curries which you can share or feast on solo. They also offer a super tempting set menu for just $50 per person which includes a variety of entrees, curries, rice dishes, naans and desserts — you definitely won’t go home hungry.
Part restaurant, part cocktail bar, Masti is the latest offering from restaurateur Manpreet Sekhon. She’s put together the ultimate sharing menu with loads of vegetarian and vegan items on there. The best bit is Vegan Curry Night which happens every Tuesday — you can get a range of vegan curries, naan and vegan wine all for just $39 a head. We’d recommend planning your outfit accordingly — you’re going to need stretchy fabrics.
A local institution in Melbourne’s east, Tandoori Den has been serving consistently brilliant and authentic North Indian cuisine since opening 40 years ago in 1981. The menu is packed with vegetarian options and there’s a whole page dedicated to tandoor breads made fresh in house—you might want to rethink that low-carb diet after a trip to this place.
Modern Indian food doesn’t get much better than this. Tonka takes family recipes from Executive Chef Adam D’Sylva and Head Chef Hendri Budiman and fuses them into punchy plates fit for city dining. The kitchen includes two tandoori ovens cooking all your classic naan favourites, plus loads of small and large bites for sharing and grazing.
Packed over four levels, Mr Brownie is a pub, bar and curry house all wrapped up into one big foodie destination. Jessi Singh is the man to thank for this wonderful establishment, following the success of his other venues — Mrs Singh, Daughter In Law and Horn Please. The venue comes to life at night with the speakeasy-style bar in the basement, a beer garden and rooftop terrace. Choosing where to settle in is the tricky part, but once you’re in, keep those beers coming.
Fitzroy’s Mukka is all about sharing. Sharing sides, sharing curries, sharing entrees — sharing the love, basically. Their tandoori mushroom skewers are tried and tested favourites, the pani puri is the ideal crispy snack and their samosas always hit the spot. Definitely one of Melbourne’s best Indian restaurants in our opinion.
Technically, the menu at Aagaman combines Indian and Nepalese flavours but we’ll let that technicality slide. It’s lentil as anything, with a team of chefs who specialise in vegan cooking, you can expect some seriously good veg. It’s some of the best vegan food in Melbourne, but don’t take our word for it, go and try it for yourself.
Punjabi Curry Cafe
Punjabi Curry Cafe is a family business serving up some damn good grub along Johnston Street. They’ve been in the business for fifteen years and their longevity is a testament to their food and their super friendly service. The list of entrees alone is enough to get your mouth watering, we’d recommend the vegetable platter for starters to cover all bases — it includes samosas, pakora, onion bahji and aloo tiki. We’re not drooling, you’re drooling.
Bala Da Dhaba
A favourite amongst locals, Bala Da Dhaba is one of Melbourne’s best local Indian haunts. The lamb vindaloo is a challenge for all you hot heads out there who think you can handle spice. For those preferring a milder dish, the chicken makhani is one of their most popular dishes — served fresh from the tandoor with tomato, spices and fenugreek.
If you’ve got dietaries—or if you don’t—then Bhang is the best Indian restaurant in Melbourne for you. The whole menu is coded with symbols for vegetarians, vegans, coeliacs and nut allergies—we know it’s a struggle dining out when your diet is restricted, we hear you. Bhang is the Indian venue that’s all about catering to you, and serving the best of modern Indian cuisine, fuelled by charcoal and cocktails. That’s right, they’ve got quite the booze list with all infusions and syrups made in house.
Feeling hungry? Hit up your local with Melbourne’s best suburban restaurants.