Jessie’s Curry Kitchen


Finally back to the business of eating in Perth. I have long been missing the love of a good honest curry. Since the fateful closing of Suraj last year, there’s been a curry shaped void in my life that no amount of franchised Indian restaurants could fill.

Enter the charming Jessie and her curry kitchen.

Situated in a barely recognisable corner of Inglewood on the Beaufort St strip that holds so much potential for both greatness and disaster for potential dinner goers, you probably wouldn’t know it was there. If you did happen to walk past it, you’d more than likely assume it was just a dull little suburban Indian takeaway store and continue on your way to get a dodgy kebab… but then you’d be wrong.

What Jessie’s Curry Kitchen lacks in style, it makes up for abundantly in substance. Jessie works the kitchen, and her husband Jeya works the floor. Everything is made from scratch in the kitchen and the curries have a special quality to them that can only be construed as “love”.

The menu is a mixture of Indian and Malaysian dishes. There’s dosai, chapati, roti paratha, and selection of basic curries described succinctly as “chicken butter curry”, “chicken curry”, “fish curry”, “lamb curry”. No need for superfluous explanations or derivations as the flavours stand for themselves. The fish curry we had consisted of mackeral and had a texture so meaty I could have sworn it was chicken if I closed my eyes. I’m not sure if that’s a great compliment but for something so unassuming to completely surprise me is a rare and special thing. The lamb curry brims with clove and star anise, but doesn’t attack the senses. In fact all the dishes are quite reserved in the Johnny Cash (Ring of fire) sense.

Being from Sri Lanka originally before moving to Malaysia, there is also the added bonus of String Hoppers served up on weekends. They’re little bundles of rice noodles woven together into flat circles, and make a fantastic way to mop up dahl and curry.

Jessies Curry Kitchen : MenusCharles Melton : Rose of Virginia2007 Chalk Hill BarberaEye level BarberaJessies Curry Kitchen: Fish CurryJessies Curry Kitchen : Lamb CurryJessies Curry Kitchen : Chicken BiryaniJessies Curry Kitchen : Minimal ChicJessie in her kitchenDahlJessies Curry Kitchen : String HoppersJessies Curry Kitchen : ChapatiSatisfactionJessies Curry Kitchen : DoneJessies Curry KitchenJessies Curry Kitchen

On my most recent visit to Jessies with my dining entourage the meal started off with samosas, then moved on to every different type of curry, dahl, chicken biryani, hoppers, and roti. There was 6 of us, and I think the total bill came to around $114. Which was plainly ridiculous given the amount of gorging we’d all just done. Add to the fact that I don’t think Jeya charges anything for corkage, so the 3 or 4 bottles of wine consumed over the course of an hour or two were well and truly worth it. On a side note, I’m still to find a great wine to pair with curry, although a glass of Charles Melton “Rose of Virginia” donated by Mr Wino-sapien & family was perhaps a better choice than my Chalk Hill Barbera, which on it’s own is quite stunning, but with curry just seems to confuse things.

All romanticism aside, the place is small, pokey, hard to find if you aren’t looking, and has about as much atmosphere as a dentists waiting room, but once the food arrives it all just makes sense. Each time I’ve been there I’ve had strange moments where I catch the eyes of other diners and we share a look that somehow indicates we’re in the know. It’s a nod of the head and a sly smile (which could just indicate I’m about to get lucky) that says somehow we’re onto something here that no one else recognises, somehow we’ve come to find something quite special. And I completely agree.

Jessie’s Curry Kitchen & Cafe
869 Beaufort Street

Opening hours:
Wed to Sun: 11:00am to 2:30pm
5:30pm to 8:30pm
Mon: 11am to 2:30pm
Ph: 9271 8528

Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe on Urbanspoon


Masterchef Reactions

Who is this smiley chump anyway ?
Who is this smiley chump anyway ?

Well the first episode has screened, so I thought i’d give a little reactionary post as to my thoughts.

1) It was fairly boring. The characters they chose to focus on were not the ones I found particularly interesting and I didn’t find any of the supposedly heart wrenching stories very heart wrenching. If they were going to go to the effort to generate contrived back stories for people then you’d think they’d at least make them more dramatic.

2) Why did Sydney and Adelaide come first ? Perth was the first city to have auditions, so for some reason I assumed there’d be some kind of chronological order to the finding of the final 50.

3) The judges were neither particularly inflammatory nor endearing, and the “Give us something better” remark from George was clearly staged as you’re pretty much resigned to making whatever you’ve just spent the last hour preparing before you go in to see them. Personally I find Gary particularly unlikeable as a pompous Englishman, I’m waiting for George to make some interesting cooking related comments and not just revert to wog boy stereotypes, and Matt Preston to wear less makeup and lose the cravat.

4) It is nothing like the UK series. This is not exactly a revelation. I knew from day 1 that it wasn’t going to be anything like the UK series, which seems to be able to focus just on the food and not get bogged down in drawing drama from the stone that is the lives of some of the contestants. When you target the lowest common denominator that is the prime time TV viewing market you have to give them the whole package.

For all of that however, I still found it vaguely entertaining, and the chili crab dish that took former pro-golfer Lucas Parsons through (not that he was ever not going to make it), would have most likely beaten my meager efforts. Though I am glad that I didn’t have the judging eyes of the world looking at my dish, because if it went down anything like the sweet chilli pasta guy, I would die a horrible death of shame.

*** Update after seeing episode 2 ****

I think I liked episode 2 much more than the first one, probably because it was talking about contestants from Perth who I got to know a little during my audition. As expected all I saw of myself was a crappy blurry pan of our staged excitement as we stood outside in the heat waiting to get into the goddamn building before the auditions took place, but hey, I guess that’s something.

I did love seeing Trevor do well, The Navy diver… he was in my group of ten and the guy is a truly lovely genuine guy. During the initial heats he cooked a lobster, scallop, and chicken terrine. I had the pleasure of tasting it and it was very tasty. Youngster Robert (who cut his finger) has a great story that will no doubt come out somewhere along the line of him using his first pay cheque to buy truffles. He was a nice kid too and I’m glad he got through to the final 50 at least.

I think I also got a glimpse of Charles who was also in my group of ten who cooked what looked like steamed dumplings, and Pete, an old family friend and one of the first people to ever show me that a bbq could be more than just crappy sausages and overcooked steak smothered in bbq sauce. Pete would serve up crayfish, crab, and prawns with his own home made dipping sauces. It was a scary new world for a kid from the country to encounter, and one that looking back on it, may have indelibly shaped my view of cooking.

Reminiscing aside, the show delivered a little more excitement than the first episode, tho that was probably because of my attachment to the characters. Hopefully the ones that do make it through the finals are able to maintain that attachment.

It is a little disappointing seeing so many people go through to the next stages who were in my group when I felt my dish was quite strong, but I am working on a killer sob story for next year, so don’t you worry.

Anyway… what did you all think ?