Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster by Obelix

Secret Kitchen Express is an off shoot of Secret Kitchen, the yum cha place situated on the top floor of the renovated Westfield Doncaster.  It is literally adjacent to the more formal Secret Kitchen.  The yum cha offerings are exactly the same, the only difference being is that no booking is required and the decor is more low key.  This works for people like me who on a whim on a Sunday decide I must have yum cha now!  Usually without a booking, that is near on impossible to execute with the exception of Secret Kitchen Express.

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster, scallop dumplings
Scallop dumplings

The service was rapid.  In fact almost too rapid.  As soon as we were seated, two trolleys laden with dumplings simultaneously arrived at our table and we were struggling to hear the two waiters talk over each other listing their wares.  At the time, I was in my element, ordering up a storm.  Something about yum cha brings out my competitiveness and dare I say animalian instinct to claim all the resources.  It was later when I reflected (feeling bloated and gluttonous) that perhaps a more staggered measured approach would have been better so that I can best monitor my fullness, savour the dumplings and map out what we were ordering rather than have a crazy amount of food arrive all at the same time.

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster
The dumplings themselves were one of the best ones I have in yum cha for a looooong time.  Substantially sized and delicately put together.  Not MSG filled.  Not greasy and full of lard.  Just good quality ingredients.

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster, har gao, siu mai
We ordered the usual suspects of prawn dumplings (har gao); sui mai (pork dumplings).

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster, coriander seafood dumplings
Coriander seafood dumplings

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster, shark fin dumplings, custard buns
Shark fin dumplings and custard buns

I love a good shark fin dumpling and Kiddo wanted to try the coriander spiked seafood dumpling.  The scallop dumplings were delicate little morsels with tiny fish roe on top (see first pic).

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster, taro balls
The taro balls were crispy and light.

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster, prawn rice noodle rolls
The prawn rice noodle rolls were decent too.

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster, vegetarian spring rolls
However, worthy of particular note were the 'spring rolls' and custard buns.  We ordered vegetarian spring rolls for Kiddo and were expecting the usual typical wheat flour wrapped spring rolls.  Instead came these light and crispy beancurd covered rolls filled with mushrooms and bamboo shoots.  They were delightful.

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster, custard buns
The custard buns were awesome to say the least.  If you like the sweet/savoury juxtaposition of salted caramel, you'll love these custard buns.  I think they were made of salted egg.  The colour of the filling were so vividly yellow.

Secret Kitchen Express, Doncaster, deep fried calamari
Last but not least the calamari was an interesting take on the usual chewy yum cha variety.  The coating is slightly reminiscent of the KFC pop corn chicken.  Lovely and crunchy.

As casual Sunday lunches go, Secret Kitchen Express wasn't cheap.  The above totalled $98 but I'll happily pay for good yum cha.

Verdict

We loved it
We loved it.
Cheap eats
Cheap eats.

Overall

Secret Kitchen Express offers good quality yum cha which can be hard to find.  Service is rapid but friendly.

Find it at

Secret Kitchen Express
Shop L2-2003
Westfield Shopping Center
619 Doncaster Road
Doncaster VIC 3108
Phone: (03) 9840 2248

Secret Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're my sibling from another mother! I too fall into the trap of over ordering early on, then suffer table envy when we leave, because I was too full to try later offerings. With kiddo loving the custard buns, might have to take my little miss for a sample (she loooves custard buns).
Nean

EatAndBeMerry ForTomorrowWeDiet said...

Hello Sister From Another Mister! I would like to think our greed would have enabled our survival in prehistoric times :) Your little miss would love their custard buns. The dough is also not bleached white which is a sign that it’s not mass produced. Hope u guys enjoy!

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