Babaji’s Kitchen is a vibrant restaurant in the Dandenong Ranges run by husband-and-wife team Billy and Max. It began life as a beachside restaurant in Max’s home state of Kerala on the south-west coast of India. When the pair moved to Melbourne, they turned their restaurant into a street-food stall. It was such a resounding success, they ended up opening this permanent restaurant in Belgrave (the street-food stall still exists and appears at festivals and events around Victoria).

The menu is varied and vibrant, full of authentic Keralan street food. There are lots of options for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. Mainstays include dosa with homemade relish, the thali tasting plate of five south Indian curries (which vary daily) and the Pani Puri Bombs: deep-fried balls stuffed with spiced potato, chickpeas, onion and served with homemade chutneys and spiced mint water.

Strewn with colourful decorations, from the patterned plates to the streamers and lanterns hanging overhead, the Belgrave iteration of Babaji’s Kitchen is affordable, welcoming and popular with locals and tourists alike. It’s open daily for lunch and dinner, and group bookings for birthdays and celebrations are welcome.

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Updated: September 21st, 2021

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