There’s nothing I like more on a chilly evening than warming up with a big bowl of steaming curry. But quality Indian restaurants can be hard to come by in Melbourne, so I have made it my mission to find the best Indian cuisine in town.
Follow your nose to Brunswick Street Fitzroy and you’ll soon find Mukka, home to all the simmering, sizzling, kneading, roasting and flipping, the way it’s done in India. It’s about time a little authentic slice of India was delivered to Fitzroy.
For a contemporary restaurant, Mukka is packed full of charm and personality. Interiors are warmed up with cosy handmade furnishings and all the small touches like exquisite stencil art, origami flowers and elephant ornaments make it feel like home. A mural takes centre stage on the exposed brick wall to remind diners we are still in the heart of hipster Melbourne.
Inspired by Indian street food, the menu takes me on a culinary journey through India, from the bustling streets of Bombay to the hilltop villages of the Himalayas. There’s all the usual suspects like butter chicken and tikka masala but plenty of dishes I have not seen yet on an Indian menu in Australia like Bhel Puri, Tibetan Momos, Aloo Chaat, Pav Bhaji, Dosa and Matar Paneer.
For drinks, Mukka also has a great range of craft beer, local wine and cocktails including the ‘Mumbai Monsoon’, a delicious infusion of Indian rum, ginger and lime or if prefer something a little lighter and sweeter, try ‘Rosey the Heartbreaker.’
Co-owners and brothers Prateek and Aditya Dhawan are behind Mukka. Their philosophy is to keep things simple and create fresh and traditional dishes which showcase the best of India. As a family business, many of Mukka’s dishes are inspired by their mother’s cooking, paying homage to their heritage. Each dish is freshly cooked from scratch with love and care and even the spices are ground in house.
On the street food menu, the bhel puri is a flavourful and textural delight, chock full of puffed rice and bursts of juicy pomegranate, while the Tibetan momos (Indian dumplings of sorts) are filled with cabbage and potato encased in beautifully silken skins teamed with sesame chilli jam.
We then moved on to the dishes from the tandoor grill. Mukka nails the chicken tikka; the thigh fillet is marinated overnight in a subtle mix of spices and yoghurt, then cooked in the tandoor oven. The spicy lamb shops are also a must order paired with a refreshing Kachumbr salad and coriander chutney, which explodes with flavour and spice, upon every mouthful.
In traditional Indian style, curries are a definite feature of the menu. My personal favourite is the slow cooked goat curry, which literally falls apart with the slightest of fork nudges (the result of slow cooking for a minimum of four hours in tomato and onion gravy). The gravy has a great depth of flavour so trust me, you will want to mop up every last bit with a side of light and buttery naan.
Although the dessert menu is limited, we couldn’t go past the refreshing Bombay Falooda Kulfi, a beautiful medley of pistachio, kulfi, rose syrup, falooda and tapioca pearls. Served in a glass, the dessert allows you to experience all of its contrasting textures and flavours with every bite.
Mukka definitely surpassed my expectations, delivering quality food which is great value for money. It is sure to become one of the hottest destinations in the Brunswick Street precinct.