INDU Melbourne signage. Photo Arianna Leggiero

When it first opened in the Sydney CBD in 2015, INDU immediately changed the landscape of Indian and Sri Lankan food in the city.

The concept, from The Sam Prince Hospitality Group, presents a mix of dishes inspired by Sri Lankan and Southern Indian home cooking — and now Melbourne gets to see what the fuss is about.

Last week, INDU opened its doors in the newly opened Collins Quarter building in Melbourne’s CBD.

Just like the Sydney restaurant, the approach to sensory overload is multi-pronged: an immersive atmosphere relies on dark and ambient interior design, aromatics waft from large terracotta pots filled with dried chillies and spices and the soundtrack channels transcendental rock from the late 1960s and early ’70s.

Smoked Yarra Valley goat’s leg

Those already familiar with INDU will recognise many of the dishes on the menu, which covers a selection of dosas and hoppers, fresh local seafood, curries and grilled meats.

Highlights include the smoked Yarra Valley goat’s leg dosa, egg hopper, Albacore tuna croquette, eggplant moju, Mount Mercer pork belly curry, and the signature ‘great lamb raan’.

There are also a number of dishes directly inspired by recipes from Prince’s mother, such as Amma’s daal and potato curry.

On the drinks side of the equation, gin is the shining star. A variety of gin and tonic combinations have been selected to complement the food, including gin and tonic flights that highlight the tipple of the month.

The small but elegant wine selection leans towards aromatic and textural drops that stand up against the flavours on the menu.

Obviously, the timing of INDU’s Melbourne debut made things difficult: the restaurant opened its doors just before Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a five-day hard lockdown in the city.

However, the INDU team has quickly adapted, creating takeaway packs to tide diners over until they can experience the new location.

Once normal trading resumes, INDU will be open for lunch and dinner from 12pm until late Monday to Friday, and from 5pm until late Saturday.

Image credits: Arianna Leggiero