V.T. Station - Victoria Terminus
This train station-themed eatery serves up Mumbai-style cuisine and glamorous cocktails.
All aboard the afternoon train departing Victoria Terminus Station, headed for some of Newmarket's most premium Mumbai-style cuisine.
V.T. Station, from the creators of Federal Street's 1947 Eatery, isn't your everyday mild butter chicken. Let's begin with the fit-out. Not a starched white tablecloth or tinny stereo system to be seen. Everything is tastefully themed on the most famous and populous train depot in India, Victoria Terminus. Decked out in marbled floors, racks of old fashioned luggage and 'beware of pickpockets' signs. This restaurant transports you across the globe without being garish, and with thousands less people.
The maître d' come mixologist is charming and knowledgeable. Making cocktails is his passion, and boy does he make a good one. He's eager to crack into one of the hundreds of liquor bottles lining the wall, and whip up a bespoke drop. The little things really make an impression. Within seconds of being seated, a bowl of peanuts in the shell is brought out. It's impossible not to make a mess, with peanut dust spreading far and wide. Anaphylactics beware.
The food is made for sharing, and comes out as it's ready. We opted for the Koliwada prawns ($15), this dish originating from a fishing village of the same name in Bombay. A delicious mix of bright colours on the plate, the spiced prawns have quite the kick but are balanced perfectly with V.T.'s signature green coconut chutney. Next up were the stuffed peppers ($15). From the cooler north, these halved yellow peppers are filled with a kumara and paneer mash.
This Indian restaurant is not like others, V.T. Station's curry menu comprises of only five iconic offerings. But don't fret, you can still get your classic butter chicken ($25), a dish which symbolises Indian food for many. We ordered The Green Platform ($26) a delectable palak paneer in rich spinach gravy, and the chef's special, Sikandari shank ($32). Dating back to 300BC this lamb dish is the crown of all royal buffets. Matched with basmati rice ($5) and a couple of mandatory garlic naan ($3), you have a meal fit for a king.
Cocktails are just one of VT's specialties. Along with all the usual suspects, V.T. offers glamorous and exciting creations, which are sure to get your phone cameras clicking. We tried the pisco cocktail ($21) which is presented in what can only be described as a bong. Lift the cork off the top and the air fills with sweet and spicy aromas of Sichuan smoke. It sounds a bit crazy, but it really does work. It was refreshing and way too easy to drink. Also on the drinks menu is the Beet It… Beet It ($22) — a deadly cocktail with tequila, mescal, beet syrup and bitter flamed cherries — definitely another one for the 'gram.
V.T. Station is your upmarket Indian restaurant. Great for groups, couples or just for after work drinks. We are definitely coming back to test the rest of the cocktail list. No takeaways here, so settle into a carriage and gear yourself up for a contemporary journey through the flavours of India.