Seeing dogs being taken for a walk in the evening is unexceptional, but seeing a pair of goats being led down the back streets of Newtown was a bit of a surprise. They looked quite spoilt. One was walking on a leash. The other was trusted to walk alone, and wore a coat to keep warm. Wearing a coat is one way to keep warm, but it’s also nice to eat a hot curry on a chilly evening. Perhaps not goat meat curry after spotting these nice fellows.
If you want to warm up with a curry in Newtown you can visit Kammadhenu. The restaurant specialises in South Indian cuisine, especially bread dishes. The selection includes dosais, hoppers, and even Malaysian roti chanai. While the food is South Indian it’s very mild. The restaurant is clearly catering for uni students and Newtown locals who aren’t accustomed to red hot South Indian food. This seems to be a successful strategy, since the crowd is large and loud even mid-week.
As well as a vegetarian menu there’s an egg menu, which is rather exciting. The egg dahl features two boiled eggs, halved, in a red lentil curry. It’s creamy, and flavoured with cumin and mustard seeds without being spicy.
The mushroom masala is another creamy curry. As well as the mushroom and peas it’s packed with sweet pieces of onion. It’s definitely the pick of the two dishes.
Since neither of the curries is particularly spicy our side of raita was hardly necessary, but it was a good raita. The cucumber is grated, and the tang of the yoghurt is allowed to show without excessive sweetening. The other side dish, a garlic roti, disappoints the naan-lover. The toothsome layered bread lacks the fluffy appeal of naan, and the garlic is understated.
Kammadhenu seems to err on the side of caution with the strong flavours of garlic and chilli, and could probably be a little more adventurous without turning the crowd away. However the prices around the fifteen dollar mark are well suited to the location and clientele.
To one side a little shrine pays tribute to Ganesh, Buddha and the sacred cow. The cow is a beauty with her droopy ears, almost as cute as the goats going for their evening stroll.
Ratings (out of 5 snorts)