Shompen, Carlton, Melbourne

Jamie (@JamieMagikalEatz) was invited to come try out Shompen – a new Indian Fusion restaurant situated in one of the backstreets of the ever popular Carlton and i was of course lucky enough to accompany him.

Walking in i was impressed with the decor and fit out of the restaurant, which from the outside looked a little uninspiring.
Setting my eyes on the menu i was instantly excited. The menu was perfectly sized with a good 6-10 dishes to choose from for both Starters & mains and the best part was i wanted to eat it all. I can sometimes be described as a bit fussy so for me it’s always a treat when i’m excited about pretty much every dish on the menu.
We started with a couple of dishes to share including one of my all time favourites, soft shell crab. The crab was coated in a crunchy coating which did make it a little drier than the more standard tempura however still full of flavour. The dish was beautifully presented with some great accompaniments.

Soft shell crab goodness

We also had a dish called the ‘assembly’ which was a mix of some what i assume are classic Indian starters with a modern twist. To me it was a bit like your classic mixed entree dish with a few separate elements meant to be eaten separately rather than being a single dish.  All the components were good with a big shout out to the southern chili potatoes which whilst they had a bit too much of a kick for me (as i’m a Chili wimp) were delicious, super soft and moreish.

Assembly 2

The Assembly1

Next onto mains we orders the beef short ribs (madras style) and the roast rack of lamb.

Beef Madras Short rib

Both were really good dishes with a good balance of flavours. The meat for both was definitely the focus of the dish with there being minimal accompaniments.  Whilst i really enjoyed the dishes for the prices i do think they would benefit from a few side elements to compliment the main focus of the dish. You could tell that both were made with the best ingredients with a lot of love and attention put into the dishes  there was just something missing to make it a complete dish.

Lamb

Next on we sampled both the deserts on the menu being the Saffron infused yoghurt ice cream and arlette of silk melon.
These were both delicious and one of my highlights of the meal.  The Arlette of silk Melon reminded me of a strudel with the soft warm fruit complimented by the super crispy pastry. The Candied ginger worked really well to give it a touch of heat and enhanced the flavour.

Deserts

The Yoghurt ice cream had a rich flavour complimented by one of my favourite things – Pistachios. The only downside for this desert and which is a personal preference is that i’m not a lover of ardamom, for me it would have been better without.
I really enjoyed my time at Shompen, the staff were all extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the food. We caught up with the Chef after the meal and could really feel his passion for the restaurant and his dream to bring a flair of India to western cooking techniques and ingredients.
I would love come back soon  to celebrate a special occasion.

8/10

Shompen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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