71 Church Street, Richmond
03 9913 8934
- Sri Lankan Breakfast Hopper
- Sri Lankan Chicken Curry
- Medovik (Honey Cake)
The Sri Lankan Breakfast Hopper was an amazing start to the morning. Sitting inside the authentic Sri Lankan crepe, which was crispy on the edges yet managed to be incredibly soft and spongey within, was a perfectly fried, still-running egg. Tearing apart the crepe, we heaped on the tasty sides that were served alongside the hopper. The pumpkin and sweet potato curry was simple yet delectable, very aromatic and the sweetness of the ingredients within permeated through and was well complemented by the fragrant curry. The eggplant chutney was done rather well, with a slightly smokey flavour and good variation in texture, providing a slight chewy feedback. Sitting right in the middle was the chilli paste, which we admittedly heaped on far too generously, as it provided an incredible heat yet exceptionally aromatic.
We also enjoyed the Sri Lankan Chicken Curry. The curry was once again fragrant and bold, without being overly spicy nor oily. Within, the chunks of chicken were fresh and well-marinated, with a pleasant curry flavour permeating throughout. Served with the curry was a generous portion of soft and fluffy biryani rice, as well as a light yet wholesome and well-spiced lentil dahl. Juxtaposing the softer textures were the crunch of the green beans as well as the shredded cabbage and carrot salad, providing a good crispness and creating balance within the bold curry.
We polished off our meal with an amazing slice of Medovik – Honey Cake. Originating from Russia, this simple yet elegant cake was formed by multiple layers and made with rather simple ingredients like honey and creme friasche. The cake was incredibly soft and spongey, providing an amazing variation in textures within each bite as you chew through the slightly coarse and nutty layers which were contrasted by the light yet silky smooth cream. An absolutely delectable dessert, shame I didn’t discover this any sooner!
The Samosas were also enjoyable, though could do with some improvement in terms of the outer crust. We felt that a more buttery, flakier crust would more aptly juxtapose the soft and flavoursome inner curry mixture.
With a rather simple yet incredibly well-executed menu, Chaihana provides Abbotsford with a tasty and affordable Sri Lankan fusion style cafe. Distinctly different from traditional Indian cuisine, the Sri Lankan food here offers bold and complex flavours while remaining incredibly light and healthy. We thoroughly enjoyed the use of various spices within each dish, which made for an exceptionally appetising and satisfying meal, all at a very generous portion and very affordable price.
For those who are more adventurous with their brunch options, this is most definitely worth a visit.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Absolutely. That Russian Honey Cake was to die for, and there’s no doubt we will be back for more!
Penguineats would like to thank owners Sanchoand Altynai for their generous hospitality and for inviting us.