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Curry doesn't often come with covetable sides of designer warehouse space, hip sounds or a cool craft beer list. A shame, we say, after visiting Tonka, where you can relish all three. The instant you arrive (via a laneway, off a laneway - how Melbourne), the hubbub hits. This is food to grab you by the throat - Indian with an Aussie twist. Purists may question South East Asian inclusions; flavour addicts merely savour the tastebud explosions. Waiters enthusiastic and keen to ensure a memorable time. That's easy with charry tandoori quail, served pink and smoky on the bone, with juicy grape halves alongside; or crisp pani puri almost too fragile to hold their spicy, sour-sweet cargo. Rich and fragrant Rajasthani duck curry, all savoury skin and fall-off-the-bone meat, is complemented by buffalo curd and cucumber salad. And to finish? Gulab jamun, steeped in saffron syrup and served warm. Silver leaf-topped bliss.

Photography: Marcel Aucar.

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At a glance

  • Food:
  • One Star
  • Wine:
  • Two glasses
  • Price:
  • E $5-$22

    M $29-$40

    D $5-$17

  • Feature:
  • Licensed
    Wheelchair Access
  • Cards:
  • American Express
    Diners Club
  • Bookings:
  • Bookings recommended
  • Chef:
  • Adam D’Sylva & Michael Smith



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