Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kitchen Inn, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

It was lunch time.  It was hot and I wanted laksa.  The three of us were dithering between going into Kitchen Inn or Coconut House, which are located close to each other on Elizabeth Street (towards the Vic Market).  

Thankfully, for this occasion, we went with Kitchen Inn as it has air con.

KI is a place that Big Fil has been several times before but has never blogged about it (tsk, tsk!).  It's a smallish place but popular with uni students, office workers and families.  It's a little squishy, but the place is neat and smart - from the stone (marble?) topped dining tables, warm red colour scheme and the clean jugs of water and condiments on the tables.  There's also a nice family-run vibe to the place.

For drinks, Snooze went for the hot teh tarik, while Big Fil went with the sour plum drink (I think).

The menu is bigger than I thought it would be.  So much so, that I had difficulty finding the laksa.  There is only one type of laksa here - the Sarawak laksa, which is made up of vermicelli w egg strips, fish cake, chicken breast, prawns and bean spouts ($10.90).  Unlike the typical curry laksa, the Sarawak laksa isn't spicy, nor does it have a glistening reddy-orangey colour.  Instead, it's more brown in colour and...well, I don't know how to convey the flavour.  The soup tastes a little bit like a mild Asian herbal/tonic.  

Deceptively, this is a rather big bowl, as I had set aside a standard rice bowl of noodles for Big Fil to try, and I still struggled to finish this.  Lots and lots of noodles, the bottom of the bowl is has lots of tender, shredded poached chicken.  There was also reasonable amount of fine omelette strips, beanshoots, big tofu puffs, fish cake and about three or four prawns.

Big Fil got one of the specialities - Kampua special, which is handmade noodles served w BBQ pork, roast pork and prawn ($11-$13).  I didn't get to try this dish, but it seemed nice.  As with the laksa, there was lots of noodles, and quite a reasonable amount of the two types of pork.

I think we all agreed that Snooze's salted fish fried rice w prawns and chicken ($9.20) was the best dish.  A big mound of rice which had pretty good wok hei.  We all liked the aromatic eggyness and the nubbly bits of the salted fish.  There was also a few prawns in there.  Simple but tasty.  It was a nice balance of savoury rice and the salty fish.  Great value and I'd like to order this for myself next time.

Food – 7.5
Ambiance – 7
Service – 7
Price – 8

Big serves is key here.  The food isn't fancy but it is quite reasonable and the service is friendly.  KI is a quiet performer.  Give it a try next time you're in the area.

Kitchen Inn
469 Elizabeth St 
Melbourne 3000
Telephone: 9328 2562

Kitchen Inn on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

What did you think of the teh tarik? I think it is one of the better ones in Melbourne. Also next time try the char kway teow. They use a slightly thinner noodle than normal but I think it is also one of the best ckt in Melbourne ?

Bureaucrat said...

I think Snooze liked the Teh Tarik - she finished it :) Thanks for the tip about the CKT. I'll have to go back to try it!

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