Indian-inspired resto-bar opens with a Bhang in Brunswick

The flavours of Bhang are lighter and brighter than those found in your standard North Indian takeaway.
The flavours of Bhang are lighter and brighter than those found in your standard North Indian takeaway. Photo: Linsey Rendell

Bhang, if you're unfamiliar with cannabis products, is the traditional Hindu festival food whose main ingredient is decidedly psychotropic. While Victoria's policy position on the use of medical marijuana is evolving, it's not so progressive as to condone cannabis consumption via lassi.

Nevertheless, there's some pretty good gear on the menu at Bhang, a new regional Indian restaurant from the team behind Tom Phat in Brunswick.

In assembling his menu, chef and co-owner Dougal Colam draws from a youth spent eating Britain's National Cuisine (read: Indian), and also his travels through Goa, Kerala and Mangalore with business partner and ex-wife, Sway Quach.

Bhang is as much bar as it is restaurant.
Bhang is as much bar as it is restaurant. Photo: Linsey Rendell

The flavours of Bhang are lighter and brighter than those regularly found in your standard North Indian takeaway.

Eye fillet is marinated in smoky-sweet jaggery sugar, tamarind and black cumin; stuffed eggplant is grilled in a charcoal oven and leans heavily on the coconut.

Trout is also oven-roasted with a dusting of Kashmiri chilli, while the gobhi korma is dressed with yoghurt and honey.

Cocktails at Bhang in Brunswick.
Cocktails at Bhang in Brunswick. Photo: Linsey Rendell

Housed in a warehouse (and former funeral parlour), Bhang is as much bar as it is restaurant.

A selection of rotis (the Indian street taco equivalent) packed with lamb keema or green chutney paneer, play well with a pint of Hawkers IPA.

Wines come mostly from small-scale producers, such as a Pet Nat from Brunswick's own Noisy Ritual or Pennyweight's cultish gamay.

Cocktails are all Indian-inspired, pairing gin with cumin, cinnamon, lemon and chai-spice, or chilli vodka with ginger liqueur and Darjeeling tea for a legal buzz.

Open Tue-Sun 5pm-late.

Shop 1, 2a Mitchell Street, Brunswick, 03 9382 2488, eatdrinkbhang.com