Monday, October 24, 2011

Chef Lagenda, Flemington by Big Fil

Flemington is a bit spoilt for Malaysian eateries with two of the best known in Melbourne - Laksa King and Chef Lagenda - located side-by-side. It's not really a convenient part of town for me to get to so it's quite a while since I've been out this way, but Ms M had wanted to visit Chef Lagenda for some time now and with Ms C not wanting to travel too far from home it was time for some curry fish head!

First thing which struck me about Chef Lagenda is the fit out, which is in earthier and more understated tones than I'd expected. Some exposed brickwork, wooden tables and metal chairs, in some ways its feels much more like a modern bistro than a moderately priced Asian eatery.

It's a bit of a white person thing, but I must admit to groaning a little when friends order fish head. I mean, I'll eat almost anything except century egg but I always have visions of choking on one of the millions of small bones. Combine that with the deft touch needed to gracefully suck off all then meat and then spit out the's a nightmare I tell you! Well, that's an exaggeration but I do always feel a little anxious about it.

Anyway, my puny fears in no way influenced Ms M as she proceeded to order curry fish head, sambal kang kong and roti for us to share. The fish head came in a large metal serving bowl sitting over a burner to keep it warm. The serving size is huge - it's definitely not a one or two person dish and we were struggling to finish it between the three of us. The curry sauce was thick and creamy but without being 'hot' spicy, the fish heads large enough that the battle for the meat within doesn't feel like a phyric victory. Pronounced as 'quite authentic' by Ms M we were soon using our roti and rice to soak up the remaining sauce.

Roti to share

The curry fish head battle - the losers

To help cut through the richness of the curry sauce Ms M also ordered the sambal kang kong. Kang kong is a vegetable which grows on moist land or water. Sambal is a really typical Malay or Indonesian sauce, chilli based but coming in many varieties with every auntie seeming to have her own recipe. While our preference would have been for belachan kang kong it didn't seem to be on the menu, but the kang kong was still delicious and not too spicy for more delicate palates. The only issue, Ms M indicated that the serve was smaller than when she had been here previously.

Two mains between three is a fairly poor effort for Ms M and myself normally, but we were making sure we maintained room for dessert. The range is fairly limited but we were all keen on trying the Ais Kacang. Views were a little mixed on this - I quite liked it because although it didn't come with the ice cream topping which I prefer, I did like the addition of peanuts and that it wasn't as tooth numbingly sweet as some I have recently tried. Ms M on the other hand was a little disappointed, I think she would have preferred more fruits and jellies on the bottom.

I thought Chef Lagenda was one of the better Malaysian restaurants I have tried in Melbourne. Service was polite and efficient, while not cheap prices were reasonable and attention had obviously been paid to ensure that the restaurant was a nice place to eat. Most importantly, while we hardly delved deeply into the menu what we tried was all good. Recommend that you book though, both it and Laksa King next door are very popular so you probably won't be able to just go to the other if your first choice is full.

Food - 8
Service - 7.5
Ambience - 7.5
Price - 7

16 Pin Oak Crescent
Flemington VIC 3031
Tel: (03) 9376 2668

Chef Lagenda on Urbanspoon


Bureaucrat said...

the trick with eating century year old eggs is to NOT think about how the egg became black.

i've only a vague understanding of how century eggs are made... and all i know, is the less i know, the better.

Anonymous said...

I just don't like the flavour, and always end up feeling a little queesy afterwards.


katy_em said...

wow the fish head looks huge! did you guys manage to finish it.
have you tried Chillipadi Kopitam Mamak?

Anonymous said...

Just. And no, but it is somewhere I want to check out at some stage.


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