Tadka Boom! presents a menu that is an imaginative twist on European favourites such as eggs and porridge by adding sub-continental notes.
“There are so many styles of Indian cooking,” explains Lalitha Rajan, the chef behind the new daytime Indian venue. “But Australians only know a tiny, tiny part of the spectrum, and there’s so much else out there.”
The people of Mumbai eat scrambled eggs prepared the customary way, but with cayenne chili and coriander, served with sauteed field mushroom and rice-lentil picklets (Tadka Boom! calls it the Badda brekkie). Then there’s the silky and creamy Grandma’s Jau porridge with fine barley seeds roasted almonds, berries and cardamom milk. For lunch there is the Varnasi Veg, a patty made of broccoli and carom seed served with salad, kasundi and date tamarind chutney or the Tik-Tikka Boom!, spiced grilled chicken in yogurt with black chickpea and mint coriander sauce.
This bright, clean Indian street-food-fusion cafe in the heart of the CBD was designed with the help of Rajan’s graduate architect son. The layout features polished concrete floors and overhead LED rings in the shape of dosas and a sandwich bar like any other eatery you’d visit on your lunch break.
“After working years in the corporate world,” says Rajan, “I knew two things; that quick lunch food didn’t have to be boring, and that I had to open a cafe. I’ve now solved both issues, and it feels great.”
550 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Mon to Fri 7.30am–4.30pm