Mukka pronounced as “moo-ka” is a new refreshing addition to Fitzroy on Brunswick St. The Indian restaurant offers a variety of traditional curries, tandoori grills and Indian street food but not as you know it. With a strong emphasis on using fresh ingredients, homemade ground spices and chutneys, Mukka is focused in on creating a new and modern take on what would be considered a traditional Indian dining experience.
What differentiates Mukka from other Indian restaurants is their willingness to research into what the consumer wants. Working directly on the feedback provided from surveys and by their customers, Mukka has created a menu that appeals to the modern diner who is not only conscious of their health, but of the environment and animal ethics.
Although not a vegan restaurant, Mukka is one of the first Indian restaurants to provide customers with Indian street food that is suitable for vegans. From their curries where the paneer can be replaced with tofu, their mostly vegan entrees, vegan lassis and many more options to expect in the future, Mukka has created a new niche for Indian dining for themselves.
Mango cooler (vegan) with coconut rum $11.00
My friend and I started off with a couple of drinks and I was immediately drawn to trying the mango cooler. I have always avoided lassis due to their heaviness but when a alternative version made available using almond milk instead of your traditional yoghurt was spotted on the menu, I knew I had to try. And why not add a bit of coconut rum to give it a little kick as well. The mango cooler was refreshingly light and had a subtle sweetness from the mango. The rum gave it a coconut aftertaste which I loved.
Rose & cinnamon lassi with vodka $10.00
An even more subtle drink in terms of sweetness than the mango cooler, this rose and cinnamon lassi will remind you of a fragrant iced tea turned into an light alcoholic smoothie. I preferred the sweetness from the mango cooler much more, but the fragrance from the rose and cinnamon gave off a lovely sweet scent.
Bhel Puri (vegan) $7.00
This puffed rice salad was a big hit with both my friend and I so much, that when I came back a second time I had to order it again. There’s some crunch from the puffed rice, coolness from the cucumber, warmth from the soft potatoes and some tartness from the pomegranate and tomatoes. The sweet and sour zesty tamarind and lime dressing in the salad really brings everything in together, while the chopped mint gave you a minty fresh after taste. It was lovely and I would come back to order it yet again.
Tibetan momos (vegan) $10.00
Not drawing on strictly Indian food only, Mukka has incorporated some Indo-Chinese dishes such as these Tibetan dumplings. These dumplings have your traditional Asian or Chinese dumpling skin, but are filled with a soft potato and chopped cabbage. Served with a creamy chilli sauce, the mix of flavours combined from different cultures is quite interesting. Don’t get me wrong, they were delicious and quickly devoured even when I ordered them the second time around.
Matar paneer (vegetarian) $14.50
When it comes to Indian food, I always tend to go for the vegetarian curries at restaurants first and this was no exception for Mukka. The creamy tomato based curry in the matar paneer almost resembled the butter chicken curry sauce but much thicker and creamier. Although very generous with the paneer, I am not a huge fan of cheese cubes and would have preferred there to be a little less. If the paneer could be replaced with tofu like the Palak paneer, that would have made the dish perfect.
Palak paneer (paneer replaced with tofu – vegan) $14.50
I must confess that I love my creamy textured curries and palak paneer with tofu was not exception, because everything just melts in your mouth. If anything the consistency is more like a warm spinach and tofu spread with Indian spices. The sweetness from the onions and garlic in this vegan dish will appeal to anyone who loves their sweet curries (including myself).
I had a wonderful time with my friend at Mukka. Not only because they food was light, that it was different or that it left us feeling fully satisfied without that heavy feeling, but because the surround atmosphere and the decorations were also a breath of fresh air. Your eyes will be drawn around the place from the little plant and flower pots scattered around the restaurant, the beautifully stenciled patterns, colourful seats and first and fore mostly the beautiful brick art work as that is impossible to miss as you first step in. It also helps that staff are friendly as well.
I have now been to Mukka twice and I can assure you that there will be definitely a third time.
NB: Wandering Mint dined as a guest but came back a second time because she loved the food at Mukka so much.
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