Nestled within a shopping area right in Canning Vale (along Warton Road)… this new and humble little shop was introduced by some family friends on Sunday as we exited from the Canning Vale weekend markets (approximately 5-10min drive from the markets).
Being a partial Peranakan myself, I have always taken an interest in the food from Penang (e.g. Assam Laksa, Gado Gado, etc.). There are not very many Penang places around here in Western Australia that I have been to, but that doesn’t mean that any has been reviewed! (check out Penang House, Mandurah)
This place seemed quite new with the restaurant looking really clean when you step in – a rather refreshing feeling to say the least!
Having been very hungry that morning (we went to eat at 11am!), I looked through the menu and started salivating. I saw some lunch specials and they all looked so yummo!
They have various lunch specials, which included a bunch of rice/fried rice combinations (so think sweet and sour fish with rice/fried rice kinda thing)… and some noodle combinations too (think beef brisket with noodles dry/soup).
I was torn. I have not seen Lor Mee for such a long time on a menu, and I was so tempted to give it a try… but on the other hand, the Lemon/Honey chicken with fried rice really caught my eye. So what should I order??
It was a tough decision but it came down to these choices for our table:
Kang-Kung with Cuttlefish (mild/med/hot – seasonal)
This dish is rather typical of a peranakan family. The cuttlefish is quite different to what we’re usually used to as the ‘squid’. But it comes served with nice blanched kang-kung, with some chilli on the side, and topped off with some Hoisin sauce
Tofu Goreng (Fried Tofu with Salad with Peanut Sauce)
Another typical dish. You judge this dish by the quality of the peanut sauce more than anything.
Lor Bak (Fried Pork Rolls) (3 Rolls)
This is the Penang-style spring roll that uses beancurd skin sheets to wrap the meat into a roll (think if the lovely fried spring rolls you have in the chinese restaurants), then deep fried, and served with a sweet chilli sauce.
Honey Chicken with Fried Rice (no guesses who ordered this!)
Roasted Crispy Chicken with Wantan Noodles (dry)
Beef Brisket (House Special!) with Wantan Noodles (soup)
Lor Mee (my ‘godma’ ordered this to ‘spite me’… hee… just kidding)
Like with every other chinese family, we couldn’t do without some good ol’ chinese tea.
The service was a tad slow in my opinion, altho’ the quality of the food did make up for it.
While I’m at it, do keep in mind that this place is actuallyquite small, so if you are intending to come and try this place out, either come really early, or make a reservation so you won’t be too disappointed.
So onwards with business!
I didn’t try the Cuttlefish with KangKung that day due to some ‘health’ issues. I was to stay away from seafood for a while, so from the feedback I got from mom and the rest of the table, this dish was good stuff!! As a matter of fact, this was the first time we’ve seen this dish being served right here in WA! This is one of my mom’s favourite dishes and she was delighted to know that the taste was almost like how she remembered it to be in Singapore. :) Thumbs up!
The Tofu Goreng was a beautiful dish. With the peanut sauce generously topped over the fried tofu and the bed of beansprouts and cucumber shreds, I was pleasantly surprised by how authentic (well, very close) the peanut sauce tasted. Certain ingredients that are used in asian cooking are quite difficult to source for here in Australia, and thus having this dish taste the way it did is definitely commendable! I loved the fact that the tofu was still nice and warm when it was being served.
The Lor Bak was delightful! It was the best Penang-style Lor Bak I have tasted, albeit a little small in its serving. I thought they could have done a bit better for $7, but like I said, the quality does make up for it. The reason why I say Penang-style is because from where my ancestors are from, they have their own style of Lor Bak – prepared a little differently, using ingredients that are a tad different to what they used in this case. Nevertheless, the Lor Bak was tasty and is a definite recommendation for those who love their spring rolls before a meal!
The Roasted Chicken with Wantan Noodles were served with some nice chinese vegetables.
There wasn’t much feedback on how the chicken was (no news is good news?) but what was commended – was the wantan noodles and the consistency of it.
Some people like their noodles a little soggy, and if you are one of them, then it’s more than likely that you will be disappointed. The noodles are prepared al-dante, and leaves the consumer chewing a little whilst enjoying the noodle. That’s the way I like it too.
From what I saw, the chicken actually looked really appetising, and with dad finishing his plate off – I wouldn’t be thinking twice to say that this dish must be pretty damn good!
The Beef Brisket with Wantan Noodles was a soupy dish, and it looked enriched with good flavour!! If only I took a taste. Unfortunately, I didn’t order this, so I didn’t get the chance to try this.
The noodles were of the same ‘texture’ as the dry noodles, but I did hear feedback about the fact that there was quite a generous serving of the beef brisket – hidden right at the bottom of the bowl!
Judging from the thickness of the soup, I think this must have tasted quite good. Then again, I wouldn’t be able to fully put my money on it since I am essentially just ‘eating with my eyes’.
The Assam Laksa came out yellow-ish – something that I didn’t expect. the assam laksa that I am used to has a slightly orange colour to the soup, which this one didn’t have.
It was through the fabulous tastebuds of mom that we realised that it was due to the generous amount of yellow ginger that they’ve used that gave that yellow colour.
Assam Laksa is meant to have a nice tangy flavour, with a slightly spicy taste to tease the palette. With the soup base made of mainly sardines, you will expect a fishy-ness out of the dish as well.
According to mom, the laksa is second to this other small cafe that we usually go to in DogSwamp. BUT!! She gives this her thumbs up nevertheless. I will probably be trying this dish the next time we head there to eat.
The honey chicken with fried rice went really well together, with the saltiness of the fried rice blending with the sweet honey chicken. The batter for the chicken was a tad too thick, masking the real chicken taste. The honey sauce was really nice tho’. I was impressed!! If only the chicken was done a little nicely.
The one good thing about this dish is how the chicken was fried in oil that’s too used up. When it comes to deep frying, it is essential that we don’t use oil over and over again too much because the things that we fry will gradually turn darker and darker. The colour of these chicken pieces were good and they were consistent. :)
the fried rice is something that I need to commend about. The taste was nice and fragrant, and tho’ I am not a lover of peas, I didn’t feel a tinge of ‘digust’ when I ate that dish. In fact the peas actually blended pretty well with the rice, and it left me eating more and more even tho’ I was getting full!
The Lor Mee was served with the bowl filled right to the brim! It sent us all in ‘awe’ of the dish that ‘Godmom’ ordered.
I didn’t get to taste this but it looked sooo good. Then I found out later that they did not have any vinegar included. DANG!
I usually like this dish with the vinegar included because it gives it that extra ‘ooomph’.
By the time ‘Godmom’ got to about 1/4 of the bowl, she was exploding. So… a warning to all who might be ordering this dish – make sure you’re HUNGRY!!! Or, share this dish with someone and order something else to munch on to give yourself that feeling of a full meal in your rumrum tummy!
Overall this place serves good, authentic-enough Peranakan dishes… of a quality enough for me to start reminiscing on the good ol’ days of Peranakan food in Singapore. I will definitely be popping by sometime if I am in that area again. :)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T (a.k.a Miss Egg)
Telephone: (08) 9455 2883
Address: Shop 2/2 Batman Road, Canning Vale, WA 6155 (next to Monkey Bars)