[Photographs by David Straight]
Santhiya’s is at the furthest end of Dominion Road. It’s been there for 18 years, serving South Indian and Malaysian dishes. It’s small, humble and unassuming. Not so long ago, we feasted on the specialty, a “dry” boneless goat curry ($16). There are various combinations of goat curry: with bones or without, dry or soupy, but we think this one is the best. Take no heed of the rather pragmatic name: it’s rich and coconutty, the meat gamey and deeply flavoursome. The roti is flakey and sweet, roughly cooked so it’s both butter-laden and crispy.
Coconut rice is topped with a scattering of fresh green coriander. Oily-soft eggplant is chili-spiked and entangled with onion. Idli ($6) is a plateful of soft and doughy dumplings made from lentils and rice, served with delicate coconut chutney and a simple, tomato-flecked dahl for dipping. It’s cheap and good. The radio plays Mariah Carey, the tables are empty but for water glasses with paper napkins inside, and the service is charming. The South Indian menu is interspersed with traditional Malaysian dishes – rice noodles, Gado Gado. We’ll have to go back. We couldn’t get past that goat. NS
HOURS Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-3pm and 5pm-9pm. Closed Monday.
ADDRESS 1270 Dominion Road, Mt Roskill, ph 620-2986
IMPORTANT DETAILS Try the drinks too – the masala tea or fresh lime juice are very good accompaniments to a spicy meal.