Elchi is a classy diner offering a seasonal menu of Indian dishes from Kerala in the south right up to Punjab in the north-west. It’s run by Manpreet Sekhon, who is also behind Fitzroy’s Masti and Geelong’s Eastern Spice.
Expect plenty of flavours from Punjab, where Sekhon was born, with a touch of contemporary flair. One of her personal favourites is the crisp whole Amritsari fish, a whopping 2.5-kilo snapper made for sharing. Other menu classics include Masti’s charcoaled butter chicken (which, in line with Punjabi style, isn't sweet – an important detail for Sekhon) and a fish curry originating from Kovalam, a small coastal town in India’s south. Traditional desserts are also on offer. You might try the mitha paan – betel leaves stuffed with a rose petal jam spread.
On the drinks front, the cocktail named for the restaurant is made with ruby port, Dark Matter rum, grapefruit and cardamom bitters, while the Pink City is a flowery mix of gin, hibiscus, pomegranate and lemon.
The intimate, 60-seat space retains most of the fixtures from the preceding Press Club, including the curved leather booths and dramatic gold ceiling lights.
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