Saturday, August 7, 2010

Petaling Street, Hawthorn by Big Fil

The other Petaling Street is the main open air market in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown, full of cheap copies of imported clothing, overpriced eateries (by Malaysian standards) and haggling buyers. This Petaling Street is a surprisingly cheap eatery on Glenferrie Road offering a wide selection of mainly Chinese Malaysian dishes.

The inside is all bright lights and mirrors on the wall, very clean and bright. Nice enough but doesn't quite work for me as it comes across as a little sterile and lacking in atmosphere. This could have been partially due to it being quite early to be eating dinner and so the café was almost empty, but I would have preferred it looking a little more lively and lived in.

Of the dishes tried my favourite was the Hakka style belly pork with dry egg noodle. I hadn't tried this before but the photo on the menu looked delicious. While the actual dish didn't look quite as good as the photo (they rarely do) the pork was rich, sweet, tender and a little fatty, just like good pork belly should be. For 'dry' noodles they were served with a lot of sauce but they went together really well, to the extent that I wanted some bread to soak up the rest of the sauce when the noodles were all gone. Comfort food rather than sophisticated, but something I'd happily order again.

The roti chanai was also good. The roti, which was cut up into strips, was slightly chewy (which is good) and not at all greasy (which is better). The chicken was moist and the sauce slightly spicy and nicely tasty. Again something I'd happily try again.

The other two dishes were a bit of a mixed bag. The Char Kway Teoh was a generously sized serve of noodles and nicely cooked. It also came with cockles which was a nice surprise even if they were a bit chewy. It could however have been a lot more generous with the fish cake and prawns.

I had one major problem with the seafood laksa. This was the most expensive of the dishes ordered and based on the other dishes I was expecting a large serve, with a touch of spice and a modest amount of seafood. What I wasn't expecting for it to include pieces of fish sticks. Not authentic and I would much rather have had a couple of extra prawns, fish cakes or even pieces of tofu. While the laksa still tasted ok, I either wouldn't order it again or would ask that no fish sticks be included. Oh well, the search for a really good Melbourne laksa continues!

Reasonable to good food at very good prices in café setting. The service was fine although I got the impression it could get a bit slow or chaotic if busy. Maybe most impressively the menu offered a very wide selection of Chinese Malaysian dishes, a number of which were new to me and which I will return to try.

Food - 7
Service - 6.5
Ambience - 6.5
Prices - 8

704A Glenferrie Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122
Tel: (03) 9818 0428

Petaling Street on Urbanspoon

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