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Gopi Curry Leaf, Willetton

In my previous post, I wrote about the manager at Hungry Jack’s telling Jac about an awesome little curry and roti place in Willetton that opened at 7:30am for breakfast on weekends. Jac had come home with very vague instructions (“near the primary school”) and although we did a thorough sweep of the surrounding area, we didn’t find it.

The next time Jac went to Hungry Jack’s, she brought a pen and notebook with her, fully intending to ask the manager to draw her a map if she still couldn’t remember the actual name or address of the curry and roti place. Jac was triumphant when she got home – the manager was able to provide more information the second time around. The curry place was on Rostrata Avenue and its name was Gopti! I googled it and looked it up in the phone directory – nothing! Uh-oh! But on Sunday morning, we decided to drive to Willetton and look for the elusive curry and roti place, apparently called Gopti.

As we approached the little shopping centre at Rostrata Avenue, we laughed when we realised we’d come very close to finding the curry and roti place the first time we went looking for it! It had been there all along, a little Indian restaurant, between Malaysia Garden restaurant and the IGA supermarket! How could we have not noticed it? I think I’d had a vision in my head that it was a Malaysian place rather than an Indian place. And the reason I didn’t find it in Google or the phone directory: it’s called Gopi, not Gopti, full name Gopi Curry Leaf! The restaurant is named after its proprietor, whose first name is Gopi!

Gopi Curry Leaf frontage

It was after 9am and the place was busy, with mostly Asian clientele including a table of half a dozen very happy looking Asian students – a very good sign! It’s a little shop, with the feel of your local takeaway, a fish and chip shop or lunch bar, rather than a restaurant – Gopi would seat around 15 people maximum at a tight squeeze. We ordered quickly and grabbed the single free table in the corner. The menu is scribbled on a whiteboard next to the front counter where you order. The roti specials are available on weekends only. During the week the menu includes meat and vegetarian curry combos and onion bhaji (the curry combos are available on the weekend too). Gopi Curry Leaf does three variations of roti: roti canai (AU$4.20, some of you would call it roti pratha), roti telur ($3.50, filled with egg) and murtabak (AU$5.00, filled with meat, egg and onions).

Gopi Curry Leaf menu

I ordered the nasi lemak (AU$5.25). The rice was served with a fried chicken wing, fried peanuts and anchovies, two slices of fresh cucumber, a piece of fried egg (definitely not a whole egg!) and sambal. It was tasty enough for $5.25 but the rice wasn’t very lemak at all – it just tasted like basmati rice, not really like coconut rice. But it was tasty eaten with all the components.

Nasi lemak

We ordered roti canai to share. It came with chicken curry gravy for dipping. We knew it was chicken curry because there was a piece of chicken sitting in the bowl of gravy.

Roti canai (with curry)

The roti canai was beautifully fresh and crispy on the outside. Tearing into the roti was pure pleasure even though it was finger burningly hot. You could definitely taste that it was fresh and homemade, not the commercially packaged frozen kind.

Roti canai

I had to laugh when I saw the plastic dish the curry gravy was served in. We have a very similar bowl at home which we use as a water bowl for the cats. :) That little piece of chicken was very tender. I will admit that after we finished all the roti, I kept drinking the curry gravy until it was all gone.

Chicken curry (for roti canai)

The meat in the murtabak was very finely minced, but it tasted delicious. Jac said she’d order it again for sure. But I think next time she wants to try roti telur.

Murtabak (beef-stuffed roti)

Gopi sells a range of soft drinks as well as teh (tea), kopi (coffee) and Milo tarik. Jac ordered a teh tarik. The sweet tea was served in the mug-style glass that teh tarik is typically served in. For more info about teh tarik, see my post about Mamak in Sydney or read the Wikipedia entry on teh tarik.

Teh tarik

As we began eating I took a photo and sent it to Juji with the words: “We found the place!” Yes, yes I know – Diet Coke at breakfast isn’t very good! I don’t actually drink soft drinks very often. But I do find the Coke family of drinks is especially good for washing down savoury and greasy breakfasts, especially fried dim sum.

Breakfast at Gopi

As we ate, we watched the man behind the counter making roti. He worked quickly with the smooth, fluent actions of someone who’s done it many times before – he rolled the dough, smacked it down on the bench and placed it on the grill to cook.

Making roti to order

Another of the weekend specials is vadai (AU$1.20 each). See the Wikipedia entry on vadai for more info. They are spicy little snacks usually made from lentils or gram flour with lots of chilli. I remember when I was a child biting into a vadai for the very first time not knowing what it was and not expecting it would be spicy. What a shock that was!

Vadai

Next to the curries was a dish of curry puffs. I was tempted to buy one but was feeling very full and couldn’t bear the thought. Next time, next time!

Curries and curry puffs

And just as we were leaving, this dish of soft green pancakes filled with caramelised coconut (I know these from Malaysia as kuih dadar) was placed at the counter. Jac couldn’t resist and bought one. We shared it when we got home and it was lovely!

Indian sweets

While we were at Gopi we noticed a steady stream of people buying takeaway – some people came in specifically just to grab their curry combo, roti and curry, and nasi lemak takeaways, while others bought takeaway food AFTER dining in. A Chinese couple strolled in and ordered one roti canai and one roti telur. “Roti telur double egg?” asked the roti man. “Ya, double egg!” said they said.

Gopi Curry Leaf is one of my best finds of 2010. The food was simple but delicious – you really can’t go wrong with homemade curry and freshly handmade roti! And what I love most of all it that they open for breakfast at 7:30am on weekends! We need more Asian food places that truly cater to Asians – many of us 1) are early birds 2) are hungry as soon as we wake up 3) prefer a hot savoury breakfast and 4) can’t bear to wait until 9:00 or 10:00am to eat it!

So, have you made any great food finds this year?

Gopi Curry Leaf
Shop 4, Rostrata Shopping Centre, corner of Rostrata and Glenmoy Ave
Willetton WA 6155
Telephone: (08) 9259 4000
Opening hours:
Tuesday to Saturday (closed on Monday)
11:30am – 2:00pm
5:00pm to 8:30pm
Saturday and Sunday
7:30am -2:00pm (breakfast special)
5pm – 8.30pm

Map of Gopi Curry Leaf - click for larger map
Click for larger map

Gopi Curry Leaf on Urbanspoon

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