Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

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Melbourne Food Review: Laksa King, Flemington at Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

We landed, pause for a gasping effect please, on the other side of town in the suburb of Flemington on public transport through a drizzling of Melbourne’s first day of Spring. That, my friend, was a rare occurrence indeed. I can’t believe I have never been to Melbourne’s North or West on PT before. Stranger things do happen.

We met up with Celeste and a couple of her friends for some good old Malaysian food at Laksa King. She had attempted to make a booking for the five of us but it turned out that we could only get reservations for either 5.30pm or 7.30pm. Seriously? So we just rocked up at about 6.00pm and scored ourselves seats without too much hassle although they were pretty much the last of the seats even though the newly renovated dining room was set out communal style (to cram as many people in as possible). Wow they were popular.

(Char Koey Teow – $10.20)

We decided to order a few popular non-sharing dishes to share. It worked out quite well. I had ordered a char koey teow (stir-fried rice noodles with prawns, fish cakes, beansprouts in soy and chilli sauce) because it was one of the dishes that Celeste had recommended. It was one of the better char kuey teow I have had in Melbourne but I have had better in Penang. But bear in mind I spent 5 years in Penang and I am uber fussy about my char kuey teow.

(Har Mee – prawn noodles – $10.20)

Celest had decided on a har mee (noodles in prawn broth). This was a dish, having spent my Malaysian years in Penang that I knew as Hokkien mee. The broth was lovely and prawny with a really gigantic prawn (I should have a proper picture of it!), topped with boiled eggs, pieces of pork (I was used to pork spareribs but here it wasn’t meant to be). It also included yellow Hokkien noodles but not a mixture of rice vermicelli and Hokkien noodles as I expected. I enjoyed it quite a lot nonetheless.

(Homemade tofu – $16.80)

We ordered a tofu dish to share. It had soft silken tofu that has been slightly deep fried with different types of fresh mushrooms (button, orinji, shitake, oyster) and snow peas. The sauce was slightly too thick (someone overdid starch) and salty (although it would have been right served with plain rice) but the tofu was just so so lovely with great soft texture of the tofu, chewy of the mushrooms and crunchy of the snow peas. This dish sold me. Loved it.

(Beef and Vegetables with Black Bean Sauce on Crispy Noodles – $10.20)

Kevin had ordered the beef and black bean sauce noodles. They were good as far as beef and black bean sauce went actually. But you know, it was beef and black bean sauce.

(Nasi Lemak Special with Beef Rendang $9.90)

Josh ordered the nasi lemak special. He had a choice between beef rendang and chicken curry and he settled for beef. It was very average. The rice was a bit soggy (nasi lemak should never be soggy or made with jasmine rice for that matter) and the sambal ikan billis (the chilli sauce with dried anchovies bit in the corner) was average. The achar (pickles) was average. The meat was tender but it was still average. Did I mention the dish was average?

(Sago pudding – Gula Melaka – $5.50)

I think it was Celeste that ordered this. WHY THE HELL WAS IT GREEN? Seriously, Malaysian restaurants in Melbourne, WHY DO YOU BUY GREEN SAGO TO MAKE YOUR GULA MELAKA? And slightly less importantly, why was there shaved ice on it? I didn’t have any so I can’t comment on what it tasted like. BUT WHY THE HELL WAS IT GREEN?

Overall, some of the dishes were quite well made and better than your usual Malaysian restaurant standard and I would go back for those dishes. Except it’s on the wrong side of town and too much hassle for an Easterner like me. So I won’t.

Laksa King
Address: 320 Racecourse Rd., Flemington VIC 3031
Phone: (03) 9372 6383

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