Wandering the streets of Melbourne at 1am is usually a sign of two things: youre drunk, and youre hungry. Like, really hungry.
Sadly, the only culinary options available after midnight involve fatty, greasy food. Well, not anymore.
Desi Dhaba is a rustic highway Indian restaurant, serving incredibly authentic Indian food at prices targeted for Indian truck drivers.
Established in 2008, Desi Dhaba is the brainchild of brothers Amit and Akash Tuteja with a focus on generous quantities, incredible flavours and affordability.
When you are eating on the highways of India, you are eating the local produce which is more prevalent in that particular area, Amit says.
Its not something which has been made under the idea to look beautiful; its made more for the taste and the generous quantity of food.
A serial restaurateur, Desi Dhaba is Amits fourth Indian restaurant in Melbourne, with each venue embracing a unique theme.
Enjoying huge popularity with the late-night revellers, Amit credits their extended trading hours as a significant factor in their success.
This would have to be one of the busiest Indian restaurants in Melbourne.
Gaining nationwide notoriety as serving some of the best butter chicken in the country, Desi Dhaba has one sure-fire signature dish: the Punjabi goat curry.
It has an amazing rustic flavour, and the meat falls off the bone because of the slow-cooking nature, and its a bit more gamey as compared to lamb, says Amit.
Its really unique in flavour.
With authentic Indian food being all about the freshest coriander, ginger and garlic, its not just the authentic curries that has Desi Dhaba enjoying rave reviews.
Its the warmth of our team. You can cook the best food on the planet, but if you dont serve it with love and affection then customers dont want to come back. You have to back up your food with really good service, says Amit.
Establishing his first restaurant venture in 2000 off the back of redundancy, Amit took the plunge of going solo, and now owns four successful Indian restaurants.
My mantra for success has always been to that not just keeping staff happy, but giving them a say in the running of the business, says Amit.
Summoning a spirit of Richard Branson, Amit says If you keep your staff happy, the customers will automatically be happy.
Open until the wee hours of 2am every day, Amit has some grand plans to extend trading hours even further, despite admitting: We dont get much sleep at all!
With plans to stay open 24 hours a day commencing in early spring, Amit and Akash are committed to feeding the population.
Then we will be the first Indian restaurant in Melbourne, or probably even the whole country, to be open 24 hours, says Amit.
By the sounds of it, Amit is about to get a whole lot less sleep come springtime.
If daytime grazing is more your style, Desi Dhaba serve up a mean lunch buffet between 12pm and 2.30pm for a modest $15.90.
134 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000 |(03) 9650 9908
OpenMon Fri 11am2am |Sat 12pm2am |Sun12pm12am