Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ayam Chef

67 Coventry Street
VIC 3006

We were invited to dine at Ayam Chef on Coventry Street Southbank. The restaurant is at the base of a large block not far from St Kilda Road. There were a few tables under bright yellow parasols outside on a warm autumn evening.

Inside the fit out is modern, featuring plenty of wooden along with a few hints of Malaysia.

Early in the evening it was quiet, but it filled up surprisingly rapidly. Along the back wall were reminders of the rainforest and some feature lights. The menu covers a range of dishes, most of which were familiar, with a few new options.

We kicked off sharing a few entrees, including a great chicken San Choy Bao with its minced chicken and spring onion in lettuce topped with an appealing combination of sesame seeds, crispy enoki mushroom and hoisin sauce.

The roti looked quite small but packed many light and flaky layers and the mopped up the slightly sweet peanut sauce well.

We both enjoyed the 'Original Recipe' school prawns with their homemade chilli lime sauce. Crunching through the crisply coated shells dipped in the lightly spiced sauce was really satisfying and moreish.

The mains we also shared included the Sambal Fish, featuring deep fried cod cutlets on a banana leaf in the sambal sauce. It was well worth pulling the fish apart to extract the bones before tucking into the perfectly cooked flesh, beneath the crunchy coating in the chilli based sauce.

Hogan who had got in touch with me had mentioned that the "San Low Fried Bee Hoon" was a new dish which can't be found anywhere else in Melbourne, it seems to be a speciality of Johur Bahru as mentioned in a post by Cavin Teo. The combination fried rice vermicelli, with egg, choy sum, pork slices, prawn and fishcake aren't a visual stunner, but the flavours are great! As Calvin mentions the smokey 'wok hei' flavours leap out, the phrase translates apparently as wok heat or ‘breath of the wok’ and is familiar from wok fried dishes from the region. It is always great to find a new dish to enjoy and this mix of well cooked seafood, meat, veggies, egg and noodles brought that.

We may have been greedy adding garlic spinach to our meal, but it was good to add the greens with their different texture, moisture and vibrant colour!  

We didn't have to pay for our meal and the restaurant hasn't had any influence over this post.

We deffinately enjoyed our meal, and the staff were friendly and helpful all evening. Ayam Chef will certainly be high up on my list next time I'm dining in Southbank!

Ayam Chef on Urbanspoon

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