Tuesday, October 14, 2014

68 Degrees, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

I can summarise what attracted me to 68 Degrees in four short words – Soft Shell Crab Laksa!  They would have to be four of the sweetest words in the English language and even if it’s not a traditional ingredient for laksa I just don’t care.  I was literally praying, praying, that it would live up to my hopes and expectations.  In the end I am not sure it did, possibly because I was so excited that God himself (herself?) would have struggled to do so, but still a nice find in a largely neglected part of town.

Anyway, with a modern industrial feel to it 68 Degrees is a good looking cafĂ© even if a bit darker than I’d have preferred. It wasn’t too crowded the day we dined and the staff were friendly, if not the most organised going around.  Prices are reasonable, particularly if you go for the lunchtime special, all in all it’s just a typical nice comfortable on trend place to eat.

Really though, I’d  probably have sat on rusty nails to try the laksa.  A couple of minutes after ordering this large bowl of yellow and red soup containing not one but two good sized crabs was sitting on the table in front of me.  Deep fried wonton wrappers and surprisingly cauliflower and broccoli were included in the curry coconut soup, which had good flavour, but the key element was of course the crab.  These were pretty good, crispy and crunchy, meaty and moist, not as good as a couple of the best places around town but certainly better than most.  One thing about this dish, in a rare event, its generous size meant I was unable to finish.

Snooze went for the Singapore noodles, a dish which as I understand it originated in the US and not Singapore.  Again generous in size, made with a spaghetti like noodle topped with fried shallots and assorted goodies including a few prawns hidden underneath.  I tried the noodles, which were nicely cooked, Snooze was a little ambivalent liking her lunch without being overwhelmed by it.  I think the main issue was the flavours were just a little bland, nice enough for a lunchtime special but nothing to rave about.

Another nice place for a quick and well-priced lunch that doesn’t get a lot of publicity, better than you should expect for the price without setting the world on fire.  The sort of place that price and quality-wise can be your regular go to favourite.

Food – 7.5
Ambience – 7
Service – 6.5
Price - 7

Shop H Healeys Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 0423 550 973

68 Degrees on Urbanspoon

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