Elchi, Melbourne CBD

MELBOURNE | Elchi is new restaurant from Punjub-born and raised owner/chef Manpreet Sekhon. It’s her third venue, coming after the popular Eastern Spice in Geelong and Masti in Fitzroy. I was recently invited in to take a look.

Occupying the space that was once home to George Calombaris’ Press Club, there’s not much that’s changed visually, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a beautiful light space, with plush leather horseshoe booths, a eye catching copper ceiling, and golden hued lighting. Opulent without being stuffy.

The restaurant continues the path set by Manpreet at her other restaurants, in her most upmarket venue yet. It’s about challenging what Melburnians think Indian food is, serving dishes that have their origins in the homes and street food stalls of India, in a contemporary way, making use of the best produce and ingredients that Australia has to offer.

The menu is broadly split into snacks, larger dishes, and accompaniments, and desserts. Start with golgappa (aka pani puri). Potato, green chilli, and tamarind dressing eaten as a ‘shot’ inside a crisp puffed dough casing. There’s the traditional version, plus a couple boozy takes. Another starter worth hitting up is Mumbai street snack vada pao – a well spiced potato patty served with chutney and lettuce and sauce inside a soft bun.

For larger dishes, the signature Amritsari fish, a whole fried spiced snapper, served whole and curved on the plate, with lime, tamarind, roasted rice, cherry tomatoes, and mint dressing, is delicious. You also need to try what’s arguably the highlight of the menu, ‘not your average chicken tikka’. Wonderfully charred and succulent chicken thighs, served with an addictive tomato-chilli caramel.

Black Beluga dal makhni with a serve of yakhni mushroom, wild mushroom, and truffe pulao, is a great way to finish your savoury dishes before moving onto dessert.

For drinks, it’s a two page selection of well chosen Aussie and international wines, local craft beer and cider, and a small spirits selection. The cocktail list is where it’s at, featuring a tasty selection of Indian inspired creations. Try the ‘Roses are red?’, a fragrant blend of gin, rosewater, and creme de violette. For non-alcoholic options, there’s mocktails, plus the full range of Strangelove sodas.


Elchi

72 Flinders Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9654 6717
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Sun: 12:00pm to 3:00am; 6:00pm to 10:30pm
Wed – Sat: 6:00pm to 10:30pm

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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