Teo Degas Saturday, 16 June 2012
Perth Western Australia 6000
(08) 9227 1684
Mon-Fri 11:30 - 14:30
Mon-Fri 16:00 - 19:00
I hadn't been to Govinda's for about three years or so, before the general overhaul of that part of the street and the restaurant moving a few doors down from its primitive location on William. I had very fond memories of Govindas, so I was looking forward to returning to the place, to enjoy their food and hospitality.
The food hasn't changed much, except for the pricing, but it is still very cheap and very tasty. Indian people say it is real Indian, so Amen! It is certainly not refined Indian vegetarian but still very good. You can have an all-you-can-eat buffet for 10 bucks, or 8 if you have any concession card. The menu consists of a dish with rice, a side (curry or bean dish), salad and one piece of pappadam, plus a mini-bowl of dahl (so good!) and a mini-bowl of their famous custard & halva dessert (yummy, but very sweet). They have yummy samosas, pakoras and other Indian dumplings (always my fav) for which you pay an extra, between 3-1$. If you are hungrier, you can bring your plate back for refilling. You can also buy your food out of a meal.
I am a bit disappointed with the refurbishment. The place looks now bigger, cleaner, wider and also as any other average eatery. Something is missing - that indescribable charm that the former place had, part of it because of the cosy layout and angled counter that created a contained space that was much warmer and more welcoming.
The joy of the place has somewhat gone, too, and the service is more matter of fact, go down to business, so to speak, than anything else. There was a joy in the people serving the food at Govindas in the past. They were really welcoming and hospitable, and you felt that they were there more than serving food. I don't know if anybody who has been going there for a few years has the same feeling. I didn't feel the same while eating at Govinda's this time. I felt more like having food at a cheap quiet eatery than anything else, despite Brahmanic texts, Krishna bibliography and other religious things being on display for sale.
Despite everything, Govinda's is still a local institution on William St and in Perth, a quiet place to eat, a place with cheap good vegetarian food that serves a good cause. You will leave happy with you belly full and a smile of satisfaction written all over your face.
Budget take-away from 04:00 to 7:00PM