Curry Cafe: It’s Thali Time and everybody’s happy!

Wednesday was exhausting – work, appointments and parent-teacher-student meetings. It was only 6.30 pm, but we were all exhausted, we hadn’t made it home – we needed food and we needed it fast.

We all (yes all 4 of us!) agreed to meet up at Curry Cafe in High Street, Northcote (or Westgarth to Westgarthians) and happily, we lucked out – it was Thali time!

In case you don’t know (I didn’t), a thali is one of those metal dishes with the little sections in it, that is used to serve up different parts of an Indian meal.

Thali time at Curry Cafe is the first hour of opening time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (i.e. 6-7 pm). During that time, you can get your choice of 2 curries (at whatever heat level you choose), rice, a bready thing and a snacky thing, – all for $15.

Curry Cafe menu

I love that all the steps are set out on the menu, so you know exactly what’s available – and the choices aren’t overwhelming.

For a family where everyone has individual dietary requirements/likes/dislikes this was fantastic, because we didn’t have to share. And most importantly, I could choose the eggplant without anyone moaning about it.

my thali dinner

This was my delicious dinner – I started eating, then dropped my fork when I remembered I had to take a picture!

The even better part is that vegan/veganisable (no, I don’t think that’s a real word, but it should be) options are clearly labelled, as you can (hopefully) see on the menu picture.

I chose eggplant curry, saag aloo (potato and spinach curry), onion bhajji, roti and rice (above).

H's dinner

H had to choose between mushrooms and eggplant (her 2 least favourite vegies) for her second curry. She chose eggplant…so I helped her eat it. 🙂

The food came out quickly, and it wasn’t your average Indian cafe food – although that’s always delicious too. This was different and delicious and in a manageable serving size, so I didn’t have to waddle home. It was cheap, everyone got what they wanted (including beer, cider and Indian cola), and we all left happy…but still exhausted.


When we first moved to Northcote in 1992, I’m pretty sure this place was called Salamander Sisters. It was very groovy, with lots of 50s furniture (still there) and a sandpit in the backyard for kids to play in. It soon became Curry Cafe Salamander, and sadly, the sandpit was gone by the time we had kids who were old enough for it.

It hadn’t changed a lot since then, but a recent renovation has given the cafe a totally different look – it’s now bright and fresh and modern. I suspect the management has changed along the way, but I don’t really know. Whatever has happened, it’s really good and we’ll be back.

Go to Curry Cafe

Address: 73 High, Northcote, Victoria, Australia 3070

Tram: Stop 27 on the 86 tram.

Train: Near both Merri Station (South Morang line) and Westgarth Station (Hurstbridge line)

Bus: 246, 250, 251, 506

Phone: (03) 9489 9066

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 6.00 – 10.30pm.

Make your own dosas

If you now have a taste for Indian food, check out this really simple recipe for besan flour dosas.

It’s another one that I found while I was looking for besan flour recipes, when I was writing my last post. It looks so simple and delicious. Hopefully it will taste as good as the dosas I get at the Bundoora Farmers’ Market.


10 thoughts on “Curry Cafe: It’s Thali Time and everybody’s happy!

      • yes the first – sylvia just loved being there with her teacher – which I think is a good thing that she loves her teacher (I still remember my prep teacher very fondly)

      • I’m so glad Sylvia loves her teacher. My prep teacher was wonderful. Her name was Miss Dennis, and it was only her second year teaching. There were only 15 kids in the class and, when I met her at a school reunion about 3 years ago, she told me our tiny classroom was actually a storeroom! She is as nice now as she was back then…and still seems shockingly young!

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