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Wednesday 28 June 2023

Not your traditional Indian: a fusion menu to challenge expectations

It is fair to say that recent Melbourne restaurant arrival DesiNental is not your standard Indian eatery.

Banish all thoughts of traditional curries, tandoori chicken and naan bread.

Instead think quirky burgers, Indian fried chicken and chips with spicy dipping sauces.

Owner Gurvinder Sandhu, known to all and sundry as Gary, says his vibe is Bombay, Bollywood and Burgers. 

Which sounds interesting. It's certainly on my list for next time I am in Melbourne

The restaurant on High Street, Prahran, bills itself as Australia's first Indian fried chicken and fusion burger bar. 

The menu highlights include House Masala Fries with twisted dipping sauces like date and tamarind mayonnaise, roasted cumin and plum chutney aioli. 

Or perhaps Soya Chaap with chaat vegan soy meat, grapes, lime, spring onions, tomato and sweet and sour glaze (actually that one sounds dreadful). 

I'd be more tempted by the IFC (Indian Fried Chicken), or burgers with chicken, red meat and vegetarian options. Think a Super Smashed Samosa Burger or the Delhi Tikka Burger with fried chicken, creamy tikka masala sauce, nigella seeds, roasted cumin and plum chutney aioli. 

Kulfi, an Indian take on an iced dessert, comes in flavours including pistachio and cardamom; mango and rose, and raspberry - and part of the proceeds of kulfi sales go towards a rotating selection of charities including earthquake victims in Turkey and cancer research.

DesiNental is open 5pm-10pm Tuesday to Thursday; 5pm-11pm Friday, and 1pm- 4pm and 6pm-11pm on Saturday. 

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