Tonka

After months and months of rescheduling, I finally booked in Tonka with CB. Located in a laneway (typical Melbourne fashion), it is not a place you would just 'walk past'. Tonka is slightly different to all the other modern fusion in Melbourne (generally Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese fusion); it offer's fine dining Indian fusion food (it also takes bookings which is not the norm these days!!).  From the moment you walk through the door, that fine dining atmosphere is apparent with a long bar, dim lighting and a sleek interior.

To start with, we got a soft shell crab deep fried with a side of cucumber and chilli, lemon, mint sauce. I found the chickpea batter on this to be quite interesting, as it is done to mimic normal batter and you won't know it's chickpea unless someone told you.


The scallops with peppers and spiced cauliflower puree was our next starter. I can't find much to fault with this dish, but also there is nothing special about it either. The spiced cauliflower puree was a nice compliment to the scallop, but at $7.80 a scallop I was really looking for a 'wow' factor.


Our last started was the spanner crab salad with puffed rice, green papaya, chilli and peanuts. I found this to be the most interesting starter. The puffed rice gave it a nice crunchy texture to balance the soft crab meat. The mild spiciness also worked very well with the flavours.



For mains we got the duck which was served with cucumber, mint and goat curd. This was not very spicy which was good, since the redness scared me off when it first came out. The meat was soft and falling off the bone but still had some texture to it. A good dish overall.

The Goan fish was soft and succulent, the spice was just right, it managed to maintain the fish flavours without the spices overpowering the dish. The salad is a great compliment - this dish is a real winner.


We also got adventurous and tried one of the daily specials. Initially we were unsure but it turned out to be the lamb ribs and it was an excellent choice. The aromas infused into the meat was just beautiful, and the meat just fell off the bone. Yummmmmmm


On the side was the fried cauliflower with a yoghurt dressing. This was well seasoned and worked well with the spice in the rest of the meal. The creaminess just cut through the spice and balanced the whole meal.




For dessert I decided on the banana parfait with a chocolate mousse and coconut sorbet. There was also a bit of sherbet to tie the whole thing together. It sounds like a mess when I re-read my own description, but when I ate it, everything just fell into place and tasted great. The mousse had a velvet texture, the coconut sorbet was light and refreshing. Just the perfect way to end the meal - just try it when you are there and you will see for yourself.

Overall 16/20 Besides the creativity in the menu, they had outstanding and attentive service. The staff had great knowledge on the menu and the sommelier was helpful with the wine list. Personally I am not a big fan of Indian, but Tonka made me want to try more.






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