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Toddy Shop

  • Restaurants
  • Fitzroy
  1. Someone holding a pink, flower-garnished cocktail in front of decorated wall.
    Photograph: Ashley Ludkin
  2. Diner portioning out Toddy Shop's prawn moilee dish with a knife and fork.
    Photograph: Hayden Dibb
  3. Chef Mischa Tropp and Zachary Riggs wearing Toddy Shop T-shirts.
    Photograph: Hayden Dibb
  4. Guests gathered around tables within the warmly lit interior of Toddy Shop.
    Photograph: Ashley Ludkin
  5. Pair of women enjoying cocktails by the Toddy Shop bar.
    Photograph: Ashley Ludkin
  6. Selection of South Indian dishes served on steel plates.
    Photograph: Ashley Ludkin

Time Out says

Pop into Fitzroy's Toddy Shop for authentic South Indian bites from chef Mischa Tropp and refreshing cocktails that transport you to the tropics

From a small hole in the wall on Smith Street, you might pick up on lively Bollywood beats or the inviting scent of spices and curry leaves. Is it some ultra-hip Indian grandmother's kitchen? No, but that's how owner and chef Mischa Tropp wants it to feel when you step inside. 

“I’m hoping the space will be like you’ve walked into an extension of my house; warm and with hospitality," says Tropp. "A selection of vinyl including Indian disco records or the latest Indian electronic acts served with a great selection of booze and the best Indian drinking food you could ask for.”

That's the name of the game at Toddy Shop by Marthanden Hotel, the new kid to Fitzroy's block serving up authentic South Indian and Keralan food and day party vibes. The venue's name is inspired by the traditional toddy shops and coffee bars found all over South India, and it's Tropp's tribute to everything he loves about the region.

"This is a venue to make my community proud, something for people to cross town for because they miss the food of the motherland,” he says.

Venture inside and you'll discover a buzzing 20-seater eatery and bar, complete with tunes on vinyl and a picture of Tropp's grandmother on the wall. The kitchen keeps it authentic, dishing up homestyle eats on steel plates and rotating the menu depending on the chef's whims and what's in season.

Fun, flavourful and easy to share, dishes could include a creamy prawn moilee with coconut and turmeric, peppery fried pork or okra pachadi, an addictive yogurt and spinach dish, served with flaky mountains of parota bread. We reckon the latter is a far superior vehicle for sauce (though you can get proper Keralan red rice here, too). Eating with your hands is encouraged.

On the drinks front – and in line with the diner's namesake – expect toddy-based concoctions (toddy is a vinegary white alcohol, made from the fermented sap of palm trees) and a roll-call of other refreshing cocktails to temper the heat of Keralan cuisine. Try the Mango Marg, a summery mix of tequila, mango, ginger, lemon and lime, or the Kashmiri Apple Smash which makes the most of local apple cider and whiskey. A curated selection of wines, beers and spirits is also available.

Toddy Shop is open for dinner most days of the week with additional opening hours over lunch on weekends, and currently accepts walk-ins only. Follow Toddy Shop's Instagram for the latest updates and events.

Hungry for more? Spice up your life with Melbourne's best Indian restaurants. We've also curated a list of the city's hottest bars right now.

Lauren Dinse
Written by
Lauren Dinse


Rear/191A Smith Street
View Website
Opening hours:
Tue 5-10pm; Wed-Fri 5-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-9pm
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