Aangan Indian Restaurant

559 Barkly St
West Footscray, VIC 3012
03 9689 4175

I’ve only been food-blogging for less than half a year. It started off quietly, with candid descriptions of my kitchen forays and the places I dined out at. Then things slowly took a life of its own. I got more involved with my pictures, my themes and my stories. More people started reading fatbooo’s journey, they also began to comment on the posts. At first I was like, wow who are these people? But you know what? We’ve now become friends! And I must say, dining out with foodies brings out the best conversation ever because we are all so passionate about food.
How this visit to Aangan came about began from my post about The Roti Man in Middle Park. Talk about widely different suburbs. Both are Indian restaurants. I was writing about how the spice levels have been toned down at The Roti Man and wished I could find somewhere where the curries are actually authentic and hot. Lauren from Footscray Food Blog suggested I check Aangan out. Lauren writes beautifully about places in the West that I’d never even heard of or think of venturing to. I had a nice dinner with her at Coconut House, she’s one of the few people who’d keenly follow the Singapore food segment of fatbooo’s journey.
So this was a small foodie meet-up. Lauren couldn’t come unfortunately, but Billy, Anna and partner did. I brought Jo along too. It’s a new Indian place for all of us. I have never been to this stretch of West Footscray before, I like how you can practically see the city if you look eastwards down Barkly St. Is this area the Barkly Villlage that people have been talking about?
Interior of Aangan. It looks like most of the diners are Indians, that’s a good sign, lol.
But we weren’t seated inside. There’s a beer garden at the back with fake grass, that’s where our reserved table was. Under a tent, with a projector playing Bollywood musicals against the far wall. Some of the projector beamed at where Billy sat, so he had Bollywood stars dancing on his face all night. : )
It was quite a pleasant courtyard. You’d never know it existed. Very nice on non-rainy Summer evenings.
Billy’s Spice Lassi on the left
Jo’s Rose Lassi on the right
Billy’s lassi was salty spicy, with the taste of cumin. Very weird, it could almost be an accompaniment to the curries and rotis, like a raita. Jo quite liked her lassi. I had a sip. Nice flavour, tasted like real rose petals.
Tawa Fish $18.50
Fish fillet tossed with onion capsicum, mushroom & tawa sauce
After a decent wait, tons of dishes started to arrive at once. It was already dusk and the lighting in the courtyard was poor. I hurried to take my pictures so that everyone could start eating quickly. This, I must say, was quite stressful. Dark place with hungry diners and food all coming within 2 minutes.
To be honest, I just ate every dish we ordered here randomly, and with relish. All piled up in different areas on my plate, with a piece of torn roti and a dip of raita. So in terms of me describing the dishes during this dinner, I can only give you a vague idea at best.
Anna really liked this fish dish though. It was on the mild sweetish side. I did not have much of this dish because I really just wanted to dip my rotis into lots and lots of curries and this fish hot plate had a less curry-like sauce. It was more tomatoey.
Garlic Naan $2.50
Naan lavishly flavoured with garlic butter

In the realm of Indian food, I’m starting to think I like eating naans more than parantha. They’re the fluffiest and thus most curry-soakable. The menu had soo many types of naans and paranthas that we just randomly ordered different types and ate. I for one couldn’t recognise which was which.

Methi Goat $17.50
Goat curry flavoured with fenugreek leaves

We had a table conversation about the gamey smell of goat meat and how some of us like the smell of lamb and some of us don’t. Well, when it comes to curries, the spices tend to balance out the gaminess in either meats. This goat dish was very popular with the table. It tasted very nice. Succulent meat in a very unusual and delicious curry. I can’t recognise what fenugreek leaves taste like because I don’t think I’ve tasted them before. But if they made this curry taste so yummy, I’m certainly very happy to try more fenugreek-y dishes in the future.

Roti $2.00
Wholemeal flour bread. Good source of fibre and yummy too
Dal Makhani $14.50
Believe it or not! It takes a good 20 hours to make this delicacy. Try it to believe it.

Anna wanted to order this simply because of its candid description. 20-hour lentils! Actually I quite liked this too, but midway through the meal Anna breezily commented “doesn’t it remind you of lentils in melted butter?”. This made Jo stop eating that dish. Ha ha! I must admit it did taste quite creamy. : )

Aloo Parantha $2.00
Parantha filled with mashed potato and ginger
We ordered 5-6 different breads in total. Some of the more ‘exciting’ ones like aloo parantha feel like dishes on their own right and can sometimes detract from the actual taste of the curries. But still good to order and try.
Laal Ghost Spice Strength (1 to 10) $16.50
Rajasthans favorite and chefs pride only for those with a steel lined stomach. It is easily the hottest dish in this collection.

We really wanted to test out our spice tolerance, and this looked like the one dish that would do exactly that. We asked the waiter what the numbers meant and he told us number 10 would be as hot a dynamite that even Indian customers wouldn’t be able to tolerate and recommended we go for level 6. We went one up from that and got level 7. Good to live on the edge, eh?
It was a good red curry with lamb, not as deeply delicious as the goat curry. However, at level 7, the spiciness was still somewhat mild to me. It does slowly creep up on you but on Spicebooo’s personal scale, it ranked at 4 out of 10. I know an Indian meal has reached adequate spice levels when I start reaching for the bottle of water every few minutes. For this entire meal, I only drank half a glass of water.
When the waiter asked how our meal was going, I quite candidly told him this level 7 ghost spice curry could’ve been stronger in hotness. Billy and Anna quickly told him the curry was alright and shooed him away. Awkward, lol. I guess it sounded like I wanted him to take back the curry to make it spicier. No no no that wasn’t what I intended. What I really wanted to suggest to him was to not tame down the spice levels in future. And the only way is to give the feedback that even a non-Indian table thinks ghost spice level 7 is quite mild.

Clockwise from left: Aloo Parantha, Tawa Fish, Dal Makhani, Methi Goat, Laal Ghost Spice 7, Raita $4 and Tamarind Chutney $1 in the middle
It’s so nice dipping a bit of torn roti with any curry on your plate that you desire. Each mouthful from each torn off piece tastes different. I’m beginning to enjoy eating Indian meals. Especially when the curries don’t taste generic.
Paneer Manchurian $13.50
Batter fried paneer tossed in Manchurian sauce

Of course the entreés had to come last. Ha ha! This was an Indian-Chinese stir-fry that Aangan specialises in making, we wanted to give one a go. Because it looked like chai tow kway (Singapore fried carrot cake), I found it quite odd to eat into. With each bite I took, I was waiting for the rice cake and chye poh flavours to come through and instead got a hit of chewy cheese and sweetish soy sauce.
But objectively speaking, I found this dish’s textures and flavours didn’t sit well with me nor the other dishes. It wouldn’t have made a good, appetising entreé if it arrived first. Interesting to try though!
Overall not a bad Indian meal. And it was doubly fun having the meal with foodies. We spoke about food food food all night long and I had a ball of a time! I thought the flavours were pretty good, but the spice levels were still possibly toned down. It was only slightly spicier than The Roti Man.
So where’s your favourite Indian eating place? Do you like your curries super hot?

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