I don’t usually do reviews on my weekday lunches. I tend to save my blog posts for nicer dinners out and my fave dessert recipes. However, I do actually eat out quite a lot during the week while at work, usually due to my lack of organisation to pre-plan my lunches, but also when friends visit me at the office.
Admittedly Epping (where I work) is not exactly a restaurant hub like closer suburbs (Eastwood, for example). It’s certainly got nothing on the wonderful restaurants in the city, but it does have a few worthwhile options that I frequent every now and again!
I thought I’d start out with what is quickly becoming one of my favourites – Hothis Indian Cuisine: conveniently located a few spots down from the famed Beschico. I honestly don’t eat Indian food very often. I find that it is difficult to find a good enough place to visit regularly unless you have a recommendation from a friend. Hothis was recommended to me by an ex-colleague who used to visit there every now and again. I tried it once and was hooked from the get-go! Not only is the food great but it’s also ridiculously cheap, which is a plus factor.
Unfortunately, Hothis has very limited lunch hours and only opens for lunch twice during the week, on Thursdays and Fridays (11.30am-2.00pm), so is more targeted towards the dinner crowds (being open from Monday to Saturday, 4.30-8.30pm). However, since I only visit occasionally, I save my Thursdays for Hothis. Whenever I visit, it tends to be very quiet on the inside but this is not a reflection of how good the food is! Takeaways seem to be more popular than eat-ins and I quite like eating in for a quieter atmosphere.
As a food blogger I must admit my shameful truth – I only ever order the same thing when I visit Hothis. I do personally tend to pick food favourites when revisiting my fave restaurants (whereas I imagine most other food bloggers are far more adventurous and experimental when it comes to choosing different meals when eating out) – but let me just say that, at Hothis, the dishes I pick really are that good. I look over the rest of the available curries whenever I visit and they all look so tempting but I know how good my faves are and, well… I just can’t go past them. Do you, dear readers, do the same? I’d love to know what your fave dishes for eating out are, so I can give them a try too!
Mango Lassi, $2.90 (plain lassis are slightly cheaper at $2.70)
Vegetable samosa (spiced peas and potatoes in pastry, deep fried), served with raita, (a cucumber and yoghurt sauce), $2.00
Garlic naan with rice, Vegetable Korma and Eggplant and Potato Curry (Two curries plus naan and rice for $7.90)
Plain naan with rice, Lamb Rogan Josh (mild) and Mango Chicken (mild) ($7.90)
Dhal, potato and eggplant curry piled lovingly on rice – medium size. $7.70
Here it is – my favourite combination of all time to order at Hothis! The dhal is perfectly spiced and richly flavoured. I often forget how amazing lentils are until I have a big spoonful of this… and then I remember – they can be very, very good.
Out of the two though, I have to say my ultimate favourite is the potato and eggplant curry for sure. I love eggplant so, so much and this does it justice. It is cooked so well that it is tender and silky and pairs well with the soft potatoes that are unbelievably flavoursome. It just melts in your mouth – if curry is even capable of such a thing. I know it looks rather messy and not too pretty – but then, so me of the best foods really are like that, aren’t they?
Hothis is a cheap and cheerful place that is great to visit for a weekday lunch (on Thursdays and Fridays) and, I’m sure, dinner takeaways. I absolutely love the dhal and potato/eggplant curry and also am a sucker for the crispy, flaky samosas with their flavoursome insides which go well with the tart raita sauce to balance the rich flavours of the samosa.
Since their vegetarian food is such high quality, this place is definitely suitable for veggie lovers! Despite my love of their dhal and potato/eggplant curry, I must admit that the lamb rogan josh, mango chicken, butter chicken and chicken tikka all have me very tempted! It is also an incredibly cheap place to eat for lunch – and the prices are still very good for dinner takeaways or eat ins – much cheaper than a lot of other Indian restaurants I have visited.
Those looking for parking, I would advise parking in the Coles Epping carpark which is located on Rawson Street and has free parking for two hours. You can then walk through the arcade that links Rawson Street to Beecroft Road and walk up to Hothis from there. If you’re feeling like something sweet afterwards, then good news! A YogurBerry has very recently opened up just a shop or two next to Hothis for those looking for their next froyo fix! I’m so addicted – I think I need to check into froyo rehab…
Some extra trivia:
Hothis cooks all their dishes in pure polyunsaturated vegetable oil using no animal fats with natural herbs and spices. Their food does not contain any artificial preservatives or MSG.
Another week is gone! Only 3-4 more weeks until Christmas, woohoo!!