I used to spend a fair bit of time a few years back when I did my postgrad and subsequently worked at Monash University. And Gedera used to be one of our favourite lunch spots.
I suddenly had a desperate craving for egg hopper one day and since Josh had never been to Gedera, we would drive to Caulfield for this little treat.
(egg hopper, and plain hoppers to the left)
The cafe was minimally decorated but the warm greetings from our hosts who were more than happy to help us out with the menu. Although I was a regular, the cafe had changed hands and I was relieved to hear that you can now get hoppers everyday rather than just on Wednesdays. Hoppers, as you may be aware, are a type of popular Sri Lankan pancakes made rice flour and coconut milk. I promptly order the egg hopper pack ($9.oo), which consisted of one egg hopper, two plain hoppers and a dish of Sri Lankan-style chicken curry, dal and coconut sambol. The hoppers were perfectly crunchy and coconuty – just as a good hopper should be. The chicken curry was spicy and the dal and sambol complimentary.
(masala dosa pack served with sambar and coconut chutney – $9.50)
Josh, being a newbie to the world of Sri Lankan cuisine, took ten minutes to decide on a dish and settled for the dosai, which was a type of South Indian savoury pancake (also popular and made also native in Sri Lanka). Trust him to go and pick a non-Sri Lankan dish.
(the spicy potato stuffing)
He had settled for masala dosa (or dosai, or thosa, or thosai) which was the dosa stuffed with spicy potatoes. It did not disappoint. The dosai was fresh and the potatoes well flavoured. He enjoyed it greatly and preferred it to my hoppers. How can anything beat hoppers I would never understand…
(pistachio kulfi – $4.00)
Because the dessert seemed to interesting to pass up, we both decided to order desserts. Josh had settled for the pistachio kulfi, which was an Indian ice cream – made from condensed milk and spices. It was lovely and creamy with just the right hint of cardamon and pistachio. In fact, it was as good as the kulfi from Bombay By Night (who the Age famously advised to not leave without trying the dessert) at half the price.
(wattalappam – $4.00)
My choice was the famous Sri Lankan dessert, wattalappam, which was a set custard made from eggs, coconut milk and the flavoursome strong palm sugar. It was sweet and coconutty. Something uniquely Sri Lankan that I never tried before. I have to say I rather liked it. Josh preferred the kulfi.
What a lovely simple meal. This will now be my place of choice when the hopper hunger (or kulfi, or Sri Lankan rice & curry) strikes.
Gedera, 17 Derby Road Caulfield East VIC 3145 Phone: (03) 9572 5720