Welcome to Melbourne Foodie. The blogspace of a young foodie with a passion for cooking, fine dining and quality food and produce.
Melbourne Foodie, along with the other sources I write for is my way of casually expressing and recording some of the experiences I have had for others to enjoy. I always welcome any feedback,
comments or restaurant suggestions you may have and would love to hear from you soon.
MUST VISIT SOON: Livingroom, Hare & Grace
MOST RECENT FEASTINGS: Pei Modern, Sarti, PM24, Vue de Monde
BLOG OF THE MOMENT: I Eat Therefore I Am
After pondering the menu we opt to go for one of the banquet menus, which appears to be good value at $40 per head for a selection of entrees, mains, sides and dessert. It turns out that it is even better value than we had originally bargained for - we left so full - more on this later.
Overall it is a great Indian restaurant that is fitted out nicely and is very well priced, especially in the banquets. The quality that you get in most dishes is a cut above what you will find at most other Indian places so Bhoj is definately worth a visit. PS. Sorry about the food pictures - the camera flash was way too bright :-(
Here is a summary of the dishes we enjoyed in our banquet:
After the customary begining of papadums and raita, our entrees are presented. Each of us receive a mixed plate with four different starters including: excellent samosas - a particulalry large, vegetable variety that is done very well here. Chicken and lamb tikka - again very good: tender pieces of meat that are covered in a lighter style tandoori coating, very thoughtful of the chefs to start this way so your tastebuds are not overwhelmed before the curries arrive. The last offering on this plate is Vegetable Bhajia - an excellent crunchy fried, unstructured croquette, that is soft in the centre. A great combination of flavours overall, and the accompanying sweet sauce on the plate helps to add an additional element to the croquette item.
Shortly after our entrees the mains are presented: 2 meat curries, 2 vegetable dishes, saffron rice (made with real basmati), as well as garlic and plain naan breads.
Chicken butter cream: A very good version is served here. Tender pieces of chicken breast are presented in a mild, thin, creamy sauce. Yes, it is just another version of butter chicken - but a good one.
Beef Vindaloo - Another classic dish. We get a large pot of this. Large chunks of slow cooked, tender beef in a spicy gravy style sauce with a real kick. A very moorish offering, and quite a spicy one.
Palak Paneer - One of the vegetable dishes: Presented is a nice bowl full of ricotta cheese cubes in a thin sauce made from pureed spinach. I enjoyed this, although a little more seasoning (salt) would have improved it, perhaps a personal preference thing.
Mixed vegetable Korma - I really liked this dish - A range of vegetables including potatoes, peas, carrots and corn cooked in a creamy sauce with mild spices, coconut and yoghurt. Unfortunately there is an overwhelming amount of sauce in all the dishes which make it difficult to see a lot in the photos.
Saffron rice: Steamed Basmati rice with flecks of saffron infused rice mixed through, finished with some cumin seed and spices.
Naan bread (garlic and plain) - A really good version (most fresh naan is), heated before serving in the tandoor oven, and you can taste the difference, it is authentic bread.
There is so much food here, but about half way through is when we figure out the value for money here is even better than we had bargained for. We were running low on rice, and decided to order another serving. After this is brought out the waiter asks what else he can get us, explaining that the banquet includes unlimited rice, naan and curries. Oh my goodness - we end up getting an extra butter chicken as this dish was the only one we could finish and ultimately ate so much food that walking back to the car, which was parked a few minutes away was a real effort.
After mains we receive some light desserts - nothing particularly exciting or different in these offerings. A dumpling dish served with ice-cream is OK, as is a good version of mango ice-cream.
Final words for a good wine list that is well structured and reasonably priced with a good selection of wines by the glass.
We ultimately pay the bill ($40 each), plus wine and leave with big smiles raving about the value for money we have received.
With such a large spread of dishes on offer there are bound to be plenty of dishes to suit everyones tastes, and as mentioned the value for money is excellent, especially for an establishment that has been proclaimed as Melbourne's best Indian many times.
Bhoj received a score of 13.5 out of 20 in the 2008 Age Good Food Guide.
MY SCORE: 14/20 - Recommended
Good Food 6.5/10, Service 3.5/5, Ambience: Comfortable, informal, great views, not too noisy - nice 4/5
Recommended - great value for money - you will leave satisified. Just make sure you skip lunch and have plenty of room so you can fully enjoy all the dishes.