If you ever find yourself in the city tight on cash or really hungry (or both), you can do worse than sitting down for a tasty vegetarian curry at Om Vegetarian.
$6.50 doesn’t buy you much these days, especially in the CBD, but for just a pocket full of change you’ll get: two Vegetarian curries, Basmati rice cooked with peas, saffron and cumin, Butter Naan and a serve of pickle. If you manage to finish all of that, there are free refills too! What a great deal.
I stumbled on this little cafe down a dated arcade off Swanson street one evening with Emma. We were on the look out for early dinner but didn’t want anything fancy. The place was packed which is always a good sign so we both shared a thali and it was good.
The curries were simple, a little watery but tasty. They weren’t overly spicy so Emma was quite happy to mix the sauces with her rice. The girl can eat rice till the cows come home!
I’ve been a few times and the menu changes daily but it’s usually a seasonal vegetable curry and one legume based curry like chickpea, lentil or kidney bean. Chickpea is the best with Kidney bean being my least favourite, I just associate it with Mexican food for some reason.
But the highlight for me is the naan bread. Man it’s good! Probably the best I’ve had. It is warm and buttery straight out of the Tandoor, and before you are even finished the friendly staff come around and offer refills. So YUM!
Even when sharing with Emma I’ve never felt the need to refill the curry and rice as the serving size is pretty generous, but bring me some warm naan and I’m a happy girl.
Technically there are no refills if you are sharing a serve, but I think they are pretty relaxed when you are sharing with a child as we’ve always been offered top ups whenever we’ve been. Also the maximum sitting time is 45min which is fair and reasonable.
Just a note: If you don’t like mega spicy/hot food maybe avoid the pickle, it really packs a punch. I love it but sadly no refills on the pickle.
The place is small and packed with a diverse crowd. You’ll be sitting with students, backpackers and office workers. The decor is no frills (except for the frilly welcome sign), but for $6.50 basic is fine.
Don’t expect gourmet cuisine but it’s a healthy and tasty alternative to other fast food offerings in the price range.
Om Vegetarian Veg Cafe
113 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9671 3513
Open daily 11am – 9pm
Om Vegetarian also have venues in Elizabeth st and Collins st Melbourne