Kerala cuisine in a modern Australian pub!
Surprised? I am…..
I constantly crib about how poorly Indian cuisine is represented in Melbourne with just a handful of restaurants that serve decent fare. And also none when it comes to South Indian food except for plenty of dosa serving restos that are often a disappointment.
So the new South Indian menu at The Rochey came as a huge surprise.
The Rochey has been an iconic part of Fitzroy for many years now but recently went through a whole revamp in terms of food and drink, both of which has been taken up several notches. Mischa Tropp from ‘WeareKerala’ has designed the new menu which showcases regional Kerala cuisine at its best, with some snippets from the Goan cuisine too.
The ambience at Rochey is typical Fitzroy (the architecture is so unique there), retro with contemporary influences but also with the industrial touch that the suburb does so well. While the front portion is the dedicated pub space, there is a cozy dining area towards the back. There is also a beer garden and a party space if you are looking to hold events.
The new drinks menu at Rochey deserves mention too. There are the classics given that it’s a pub, but there are also some interesting cocktails and new wines, beers etc…. on the list, some of which are specifically included keeping in mind the flavours of the new menu.
I was fortunate to try out a couple of wines that were exceptional and paired extremely well with the flavour profiles of the new South Indian menu.
(I have outlined the specifics of each wine beneath the photographs)
The food menu, as I mentioned, is largely based on the cuisine of Kerala. But there are also dishes from the Goan cuisine. And it’s a classic example of old meets new. While some dishes are traditional, staying true to the roots, others are a modern interpretation of the flavours of Kerala and Goa.
(As with the drinks, all the details of the dish will be outlined under each photograph)
For the mains, it’s best to get an assortment of dishes and share which is the best way to enjoy regional Indian cuisine. We ordered a selection of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes; also got rice, flaky bread and pappadoms to accompany. Quite chuffed the traditional red rice (Rose Mata) was served instead of the regular white rice; has a different texture and so much healthier than the white. The flaky bread or parotta as called in Kerala is a delightfully flaky creation that’s perfect to mop up the curries.
To summarize, it’s the best Keralan food that I have eaten at a restaurant in Melbourne. Enough said!
Rochester Hotel aka ‘The Rochey’
202 Johnston St
Fitzroy, Vic, 3065
Phone no: 03 9419 0166
Mon-Thu: 2pm– late
Disclaimer – I dined as a guest at The Rochey, but all the opinions expressed are entirely mine.