Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wok Noodle

92 Charles Street
3011 Vic

We had been past Wok Noodle a few time since it opened almost a year ago, but hadn't ventured in, perhaps because it seemed a bit too cafe or takeaway like rather than a place to enjoy your food. Being inspired by 'the street kitchen, hawker food from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia', a casual vibe is about right! On arrival the friendliness of the staff was immediately obvious, and they continued to chat to us throughout the meal in a genuine way. We'd ended up here because a few of the other local dining spots were closed for most of January, but we weren't disappointed to have had to walk just a little bit further from home.

We shared a couple of dishes, the five spice fish with vegetables, featured pan fried battered fish with stir fried cabbage, broccoli and greens in oyster sauce with some garlic flavours in there too. The dish was good and certainly brought some memories back, the sauce did start to feel a little gloopy towards the end.

The Malaya village style sambal fish contained pieces of filleted fish, again lightly battered with egg plants, tomatoes, capsicums and spring onions in a thick dark sauce. This came with a side dish of house made Malaysian sambal sauce/paste topped with sliced raw chillies, the paste is house made from chillies, dried shrimps and lime. The dish again reminded me of eating in South East Asia and the sliced chillies were strong in that lovely buzz inducing way!

We also had rice and some roti which was nice and not quite as buttery as I remember from visits to Malaysia, but felt healthier which is good! The meal came to just over $50 including a beer Chang and a couple of glasses of wine. There are many other items on the menu to try, including Laksa, and stir fried noodles and rice in a few styles! I'm positive we will be back to have a go with a few more!

Update: 5/2/12

We've been back and sat outside on a warm evening and tried a few more dishes, the mee goreng, indonesian style wok fried noodles had the familiar and distinct almost burnt flavour. The tofu, chicken and prawns tucked within noodles were all good.

The eggplant sambal contained huge tender pieces of aubergine coated in the thick sweet and spicy sauce, although it wasn't quite as hot as on the previous visit.

The gado-gado salad had plenty of shredded cabbage with potatoes covered in a peanut sauce not quite as intense as the ones I remember from Bali, but I think I almost preferred this rendition.

Again the service was friendly and except for the waiter on his first day, smooth. We didn't have quite so many chats with the owners, perhaps because we were away from the heart of the action inside, or maybe just because it was busy again...

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