11 January, 2008

Kake di Hatti

128 Lygon St, Brunswick East; 03 9387 7771

It's 42C outside. It's after 8 o'clock at night. Your favourite Italian place is still on holidays. Where to eat? I admit not everyone would immediately think 'curry' in these circumstances, but plenty of people obviously had, since Kake di Hatti was pumping when we gratefully stepped into its air-conned dining room.

Kake di Hatti is one of the best-value eateries in town. The vast majority of its curries are served for under $10, the only exceptions being the Goa and Garlic Prawns. And you can order extras to your heart's content, with rice for $1.50, roti for $1.00 and naan for $1.20. It's BYO, but if you haven't brought anything with you Indian Kingfisher lager is $4 a bottle and astonishingly they sell their Australian house wine for $2.50 a glass.

The Hatti prides itself on speedy service and it's a certainly a close race between two bottles of beer and two plates of curry to get to the table. The lamb degchi comes in a tomato-based sauce of spices, onion, ginger, garlic and capsicum.The meat has obviously been stewing for a suitable period of time, perhaps since the mercury peaked at 5pm or so. The sauce too has the balance and subtlety of flavour that shows it was prepared freshly but with time to mull over its contents.

The chicken korma lives up to its reputation as an entry-level curry, light on the spice but rich in creaminess and flavour.The garlic naan is exceptional: crispy bubbles from the oven, soft and chewy dough and lathered with minced garlic. Just fantastic.

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