Monday, October 24, 2011

Madam Kwong's Kitchen, Box Hill by Big Fil

Madam Kwong's is a new Malaysian food store and Café located on Whitehorse Road, just outside the main restaurant drag in Box Hill. It's been run as a website promoting Malaysian recipes for a while, but as far as I am aware the café itself is fairly new.

The newness of it all carries through to the feel of the café after you enter. It's very clean and bright, with a moderate variety of Malaysian foodstuffs for sale, but it doesn't have that broken in feel of a good hawker food outlet yet.

Menu wise the range is still fairly limited, with a few regular dishes available every week topped off by one or two weekly specials. Ms Counting her Calories was very keen to try the weekly Cendol special and with Snooze - who isn't a huge fan of Malaysian food - away for the weekend it was an opportune time to visit. First dish up was that traditional Malaysian favourite - nasi lemak. A boiled egg, a few slices of cucumber, some coconut rice, ikan bilis, sambal and curry chicken, it was a well presented dish although I found the flavours a bit more muted than I would have liked.

The fried radish cake (Chai Tow Kway) looked good behind the counter and so was the second item on the menu. I've had versions of this which were quite spicy and flavoured with dried shrimp or balachan, but this version was quite mild in flavour although still tasty. I am not sure that Ms Counting her Calories or Ms L liked it that much, but that just meant more for me to try.

The other two main style dishes were sampled were the rojak and the popiah. While not my favourite Malaysian dishes they aren't something you see every day. Rojak is type of salad, made of fresh fruits and covered with a dark, sweet, thick sauce. It's also often sprinkled with peanuts or something similar to provide a bit of texture. It's not the type of flavour combinations I'd normally think of in a Western salad and not my favourite dish, but I thought the freshness and crunch of the fruit lifted this a bit above that usually found in Melbourne.

Popiah is something I've only seen once before in Melbourne, at Straits Café (although I am sure other places will have it). I always think of it as like a large Spring Roll, but instead of being crispy fried the outside skin is only lightly cooked. This means that the roll has a freshness to it that most spring rolls don't have and feels and tastes much healthier. Again, not such a hit with my companions but something I did like.

There is a reasonable selection of freshly made kueh available and to top off the meal we were soon tucking into Kueh Kochi as well as Ms Counting her Calories favourite dessert Cendol. We both thought the cendol was a little ordinary, with small pieces of ice rather than our preferred ice shavings, the mixture a little thin and lacking in sweetness even after stirring. What saved the desserts though was the Kueh Kochi. This was one of the few kueh that I hadn't liked before even though it's one of Ms Counting her Calories favourites. This one was good though, really good. Great presentation, really nice texture on the outside coating, sweet peanut filling on the middle. Yum.

I thought the presentation of everything was very good, even though the flavours of a couple of the dishes was a little lacking. As I have said before, I tend to prefer flavours that have a bit of a kick to them, and found the nasi lemak and cendol not as strong as I would have liked. It's certainly worth a visit though, particularly to try more of the kueh (which is also sold in plastic containers for later consumption).

Food - 7
Ambience - 6.5
Service - 7
Price - 7

1025 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
Tel: (03) 9898 8108

Madam Kwong's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Jin S. Kong Daniel n I had char Kwai Teow n it's is not up to expectation. Suez delight is CKT is so much much better. More fragrant. Nasi lemak is bland plus point the beef is tender. Prawn paste Chee cheong fun is nice. I bought kueh talam the white layer taste flat as there is not enough salt n can't taste the coconut milk green layer taste very pandan essence. Ang ko skin is ok but the mung bean paste is not nice. Overall it is not up to my expectation and to the review
32 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

I have been this restaurant for few times, however today I went there again and order a seafood laksa, a casher suggested me sit under the hitter and I felt too hot to me sit there, then I told them I want to sit the table next to the front door, then I sat down they served me a tea, and I wait and wait...probably 20 mins past away, I saw them Were talking laughing there, and some people start to walk out...where is my noodle? I came up and told
them the problem that I was told they could not find where I was, so they just put the noodle Inthe kitchen. I
couldn't believe what I heard, they served me tea before,
and I didn't see any waitress looking for anyone,they just
stay around the kitchen there and ,everything looks good
for them , the restaurant just like

Only have 12 small tables,They couldn't find me!?,or maybe they don't want to. In the end they gave me what I Have order, I look at the food, lost my appetite, I walk straight out and drove to a English brestfast restaurant, order, 2mins , I have my food, and here have plenty of people.
What a family kitchen!?This time will be my last time go there, My recommend are: No1.if you go there have food,they let you sit under the hitter, nomatter how hot the hit, you must sit!!No 2.don't sit "too far away",otherwise they "CAN'T"find you, do you understand!!

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