Cheap Thrills: Govinda's & Movie Room

Cheap Thrills: Govinda’s & Movie Room

I love going to the movies, but don’t often go because I refuse to pay $20+ for a ticket just because it’s Saturday afternoon. That’s what I love about what they’re doing at Whateley Lane in Newtown, with their $25 main meal and Dendy cinema ticket deal. But on scorching hot days, I just can’t bring myself to get on the train to Newtown, so finding out that there was something similar on my side of town was like a summer blessing.

Govinda’s is just south of the Coke sign in King’s Cross, on Darlinghurst Road, and it offers a movie and vegetarian Indian buffet deal for $29.80. Yeah, you heard that right. Dinner and a movie with change back from $30? I didn’t even know it was possible.

The cinema itself is small and consists of plush red couches, beanbags and endless pillows (see image above) so you can cosy up with someone special, even if that’s just a pal. We saw Pride, which was truly fantastic and heart warming and I just cannot recommend it enough as the perfect Sunday afternoon flick.

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I could sit here and tell you all about it, but this isn’t a movie review, it’s a venue review! So let’s get back to the cinema itself: after we finally dragged our asses off the cosy back row couch, A and I went downstairs to the restaurant for dinner.

The restaurant looks a bit like a wedding reception: black chairs and tables scattered about the room with a neat buffet tucked away in the corner and slightly dimmed mood lighting, which I appreciated after coming out of a dark room.

Dinner is a vegetarian Indian buffet, as I mentioned above, so we made it our priority to taste as many things as possible. This meant skipping lunch earlier that day, as well as ensuring we only tasted small-ish amounts of everything, because seconds was a must.

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Above was my first plate. Let’s start at the green section and go around clockwise: the green was a creamy spinach and summer veg curry, which was mild in chilli but not in flavour. It was surprisingly light, despite being cream-based and the perfect introduction for people who aren’t so keen on sub-continental Asian flavours (although, I just don’t understand those people).

Next was a slightly spicier bean and veg curry which I piled on top of buttery rice. Then there’s a bit of yoghurt poured over a sweet chutney, which I dipped the thickly battered cauliflower pakoras on the bottom right in. These were my favourite: they were lightly spiced with tumeric before being battered and fried and I may have gone back for seconds of these. Lastly, those three dumplings were made of shredded veg and unidentifiable carbohydrates. Poached in a slightly spicy tomato curry sauce, they were the kind of comfort food I wished I could whip up to cure my hangovers.

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As you can see on my second plate, Govinda’s does offer a couple of Western options and of course I tried all of them for you. You can also see two sneaky cauliflower pakoras hiding under a little bit of yoghurt… I’m in love.

In the middle is a creamy tomato pasta bake that I thoroughly enjoyed, although the congealed cheese ontop was a bit much – I think it had been sitting in the bain marie just a bit too long. Above the pasta is two salads: the green one was stock standard leaves and balsamic vinaigrette, the other is quinoa-based and was a refreshing reprieve from the heavy curry and pasta dishes. We also sampled a couple of wedges (bottom middle), which were thickly crisp and salty, just the way I like them. The bread was a soft rye and I used it to mop up the saucy mess left behind.

There’s a small dessert menu, but after consuming two plates in the name of proper blogging, I was totally full and had to be rolled down the hill back to my apartment by A for a nap.

Govinda’s is located at 112 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst and is totally walking distance from the CBD. The dinner and movie deal is $29.80 and bookings are totally recommended to ensure you get a spot, because it can get busy.