Mischa Tropp’s butter chicken finds a new home at Pope Joan

Published on 31 August 2021

Photo: Mischa Tropp is now delivering his butter chicken across Melbourne (photo: Parker Blain)

This butter chicken project was only meant to be a week-long affair, but Melbourne’s appetite for the classic curry has proven insatiable and Mischa Tropp’s home-delivered Indian food is here to stay.

Melbourne has a hot new butter chicken delivery service, Elsie’s Butter Chicken, coming to you from chef Mischa Tropp.

Tropp has made a name for himself serving heartwarming food of his south-Indian roots. In 2019, he held the reins at the Rochester Hotel, reimagining typical pub fare with a Keralan twist in the heart of Fitzroy. He then travelled to India to refocus his cooking and bring lessons about the country’s rich food culture home to Melbourne. The trip served him well and he went on to host pop-ups through Victoria’s extended lockdowns.

Following the success of his sellout Pope-Adom event at Pope Joan last week, Tropp decided he wanted to cook more curry and there were plenty of hungry folks willing to eat it. Within five days, he had arrived at Elsie’s Butter Chicken, which he is cooking from his temporary base of operations at Pope Joan.

“I was like, we're doing this again but bigger and better.”

The project honours the name of his grandmother, who was born in Kerala, and whose strong influence guides him to this day.

The menu is small (for now) but packs a flavoursome punch. Start with a plate of rich butter chicken or vegetarian butter paneer, both served with all the sides you could ever need - dal makhani, naan, saffron rice, pickled onion and raita. Add a vegetable or barramundi malaikari if you’re feeling extra hungry, then bring it home with a pack of beer or a bottle of wine. 

At $30 a person, Elsie’s Butter Chicken is available Thursday through Saturday, for pick up from Pope Joan’s CBD location or delivered within 15 kilometres for $15. There are only 200 meals available every week which will be quick to sell out if Tropp’s recent success is any indication.

“It’s honest, no-bull**** Indian food,” says Tropp. What more could you want?

To place an order, visit elsieswithlove.com, and follow Mischa Tropp’s adventures at @wearekerala.

By Jonathan Sasson

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