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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Kammadhenu, Newtown

Gobi pakoda $7

After a day out traipsing on a Newtown food tour, a late lunch was clearly in order. A trail of cheeky comments on the post pondered why we didn't eat at one of 123,894 Thai restaurants along King Street. But why would you when you can have dosai and deep-fried cauliflower.

There are two outlets of Kammadhenu in Newtown - the King St south branch is closed so we walk up to the one on King St north. The menu is a mix of Malaysian, South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine.

It's a democratic system of ordering items to share, and I put dibs in on the gobi pakoda. If a vegetable was made to be battered and deep-fried, it's cauliflower, the florets coated in a chick pea flour batter aromatic with cumin. It's on the dry side of crunchy which makes it ideal for dipping into the accompanying chilli sauce.

Meat masala dosai $9

Dosai are a South Indian flat rice pancake made with fermented batter. Their impressive size always creates a buzz of excitement when they arrive at the table, and the crispy edges contrast with the pale underside, and the filling within. A trio of sauces in the silver thali offer a myriad of dipping combinations.

Filling inside the meat masala dosai

We share a meat version - chunks of lamb mixed with soft cubes of potatoes - as well as a cheese version.

Cheese masala dosai $10

The cheese masala dosai is a softer crepe filled with spicy potato and lashings of molten cheese.

Filling inside the cheese masala dosai

Green chilli sauce

Goat saag $14.90

Goat saag is fragrant with spices and has a backburn of heat that steadily creeps up on you. The inclusion of spinach helps lighten the dish, and the goat meat is tender and falls off the bone. I hit the jackpot when I find the bone with nooks and crannies of gelatinous tendons.

Eggplant salad $11.90

Our tingling taste buds are offered some relief with the eggplant salad, a mix of fried eggplant, cucumber and tomatoes in a cooling yoghurt and coriander sauce.

Egg hopper $3

We finish with hoppers - the name alone gives an indication of how much fun they are. Hoppers are a lattice-like crepe cooked into a rounded hopper pan so they form a bowl shape. They can be served plain or with milk, but the egg hopper is one of the most popular variations, fried sunny-side up in the middle.

Hoppers are made from coconut milk, rice flour and yeast and are usually eaten for breakfast or dinner by Sri Lankans.

String hopper $6

We finish with string hoppers, a lacy pancake of steamed thin rice noodles that is best torn apart and eaten with fingers. We tear off small pieces and top with a generous scoop of dry Maldive fish, coconut, onion and chilli pol sambol before dipping it into the sothi, a pale yellow sauce of coconut milk flavoured with onion, saffron, garlic and curry leaves.

Kammadhenu on Urbanspoon

171 King Street, Newtown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9550 2611
Opening hours:
Open 7 days 11.30am - 9.30pm

Also open at
Kammadhenu (King Street South)
377 King Street, Newtown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9557 2186
Opening hours:
Open 7 days 12pm-2.30pm and 6pm-9.30pm

Kammadhenu Neutral Bay
12 Waters Road, Neutral Bay, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9953 9999
Opening hours
7 days 11am - 9.30pm

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Kammadhenu, Newtown (Mar11)

Goan - Viva Goa
Indian - Maya Masala
13 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/14/2010 12:17:00 am


  • At 8/14/2010 9:59 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Teehee, I just posted about your gift bag on my blog and mentioned how you gave me dosai mix because I've never tried it... and wapow, dosai on your blog again! Now I'm just a few lazy days away from trying to recreate that cheesy cheesy version... :P

  • At 8/14/2010 4:02 pm, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Mmmm ... Sri Lankan, so much better than the Oz-Thai we have to put up with in Newtown ;)

  • At 8/14/2010 7:08 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    I love dosai and how it's like a crispy version of a crepe. Of course the variations of the spicy fillings aid its popularity with me as well =)

  • At 8/14/2010 7:56 pm, Anonymous Sue said…

    Hoppers are lovely to eat and the process of making it is fun to watch too! In Malaysia, hoppers are eaten with grated coconut and palm sugar ("gula Melaka") :) or even curry.

  • At 8/14/2010 9:07 pm, Anonymous Trissa said…

    Masala dosai is a must have when I go to any indian restaurant - but I've never tried with cheese - sounds like something I could get obsessed with.

  • At 8/15/2010 2:30 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    After spending my honeymoon in Sri Lanka at the start of this year I can say that I absolutley love the food andd think it is very under rated - glad to see you can get some good Sri Lankan cooking in Sydney.

  • At 8/15/2010 2:45 pm, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    Thanks for ordering the crispy deep fried cauliflower, the boy can't stop thinking about them now =D

  • At 8/15/2010 6:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks. I love this place as the dosai are gluten free and so are most of the other dishes. Good for coeliacs!

  • At 8/15/2010 7:01 pm, Anonymous Mark @ Cafe Campana said…

    I have never seen dosai or deep fried cauliflower before. I am sure they taste good. The selection of dips and condiments are mouth watering too.

  • At 8/15/2010 10:08 pm, Anonymous thang @ noodlies said…

    we love string hoppers, usually find it in seven hills, had no idea about kammadhenu, thansk Helen

  • At 8/16/2010 11:02 am, Blogger Anna (Morsels and Musings) said…

    i loved kammadhenu. apart from the fact that none of my friends and i can pronounce the word, we still eat there often.

  • At 8/17/2010 8:43 pm, Blogger Sarah said…

    Yum yum, dosai is my favourite!

    Never had hoppers before though... must remedy that quickly!

    xox Sarah

  • At 8/27/2010 2:15 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Hannah - lol. It's a sign. Hope you have fun with it.

    Hi John - I agree. Wholeheartedly.

    Hi mademoiselle delicieuse - Dosai is great, and the crispy bits are the best part!

    Hi Sue - I've only had the sweet version of hoppers once, but I think I definitely need to try it Malaysian style!

    Hi Trissa - Our eyes all lit up as soon as we saw the word cheese! lol

    Hi Gourmet Chick - Sri Lankan food is fantastic. I can only imagine how wonderful the food was on your honeymoon!

    Hi Angie - lol. They were great weren't they!

    Hi Anon - A good point indeed. Glad it has an even bigger fan base.

    Hi Mark - You must rectify this. Immediately!

    Hi Thang - String hoppers are so much fun. I've yet to eat in Seven Hills, but have heard about the Sri Lankan restaurant there.

    Hi Anna - ha, I'm not quite sure if I'm pronouncing it correctly either :)

    Hi Sarah - You must indeed. Hop to it!


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