The enormous McWhirters Building in Fortitude Valley has been around since 1898 and has housed departments stores, markets, shops and fast food joints that have all come and gone. They chart the rise and fall and rise and fall of the Valley as a shopping destination and the faddish nature of consumers, always looking for the next interesting thing. It’s a tough gig running a shop in McWhirters as there’s very little reason to venture in, with so many places closed. Thankfully, there are some businesses going great guns and one of these is Maha Latchmi Indian Sweets.
To order a Masala Dosa (potato stuffed pancake), simply ask for a dosai or rice pancake at the counter and they will prepare it fresh for you. The wait is only a few minutes and they are unbelievably addictive. To say the serve is enormous is an understatement. The pancake is crisp and crunchy on the outside and slightly spongy on the inside. It has a faintly sour tang to it and you can see the hundreds of small fermentation bubbles that are cooked into the batter. It arrived rolled around a curried potato stuffing, accompanied by a sambhar and an innocent looking but extremely spicy coconut chutney. And how much for this unusual and filling lunch? $7. Can’t complain about that! This is no fuss, no frills eating.
Maha Latchmi is vegetarian. Most dishes are clearly vegetable but their clever use of soy protein, cauliflower and even paneer (Indian cottage cheese) meant that what I thought was a chicken curry turned out to be vegetarian. They have a wide selection of Indian sweets to choose from, if you can possibly fit one in, as well a selling them wholesale. Soothing lassi drinks are also available.
|Indian Sweets – not for the faint hearted|
Nothing more to say than make sure you visit as you won’t be disappointed by this hidden gem.
Level 2 – McWhirters Building
Brunswick St Mall entrance
Fortitude Valley Qld 4006Visited: Friday 5th January 2013 – Lunch Service & several other visits