Monday, 26 January 2015


320 St Georges Rd 
Fitzroy North, VIC 

Hainanese Chicken Rice ($11.9)

Fried Kueh Teow ($11.9)

Ice Kacang ($6.5)

Malaymas on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Oppa Kitchen

271 Swanston St 
Melbourne, VIC 

About an hour after I got home from dinner at Oppa Kitchen, mum casually mentioned that I have a dentist appointment tomorrow to get my wisdom teeth out. Um, what? There goes the blogging for a week or so.

In any case, I’m glad I managed to fit in a visit to the newest, shiniest addition to Swanston Street (and brunch with the girls) before my procedure (I’m going the route of local anaesthetic – eek!). As Swanston Street is so populous, it was impossible to miss the opening of Oppa Kitchen, which turned out to be a modern Korean restaurant with a scaled back menu, specialising in fried chicken, grilled meats, and bibimbap. The atmosphere is a fun one, and the warehouse-style outfitting, plus the neon lights reminded me a lot of Chin Chin.

Original Korean Fried Chicken ($5, small)

It’s hard to say no to Original Korean Fried Chicken ($5, small) when it comes in such a reasonable portion. The serve looks larger than it actually is, on account of the potato wedges bulking it up. The chicken itself was average, on the bland side though not tasteless, and the smaller pieces were a bit dry. I did however like the bonus pickles and cabbage salad on the side, and the crispy rice cakes.

Grilled Bulgogi Beef Steak ($11)

Grilled Bulgogi Beef Steak ($11)

The Grilled Bulgogi Beef Steak ($11) came with an enticing pink centre and a smoky aroma. Though satisfyingly beefy, the bulgogi marinade faded into the background, making for a tasty but unmemorable meal.

Grilled Spicy Pork Spare Ribs ($13)

The Grilled Spicy Pork Spare Ribs ($13) was the winner of the two. Aside from the smokiness, the pork ribs came with a mild spiciness, and just enough fat for flavour. However the meat suffered from inconsistency, with the bonier pieces a bit parched. 

Grilled Spicy Pork Spare Ribs ($13)

The salad in the meal buckets was a good one. The leaves were fresh, and instead of a squeeze of lemon, the orange dressing was a pleasant surprise.

When we went for dinner, Oppa was practically full, so it was lucky that there’s a slightly quieter upstairs section. I doubt most people come here because the food is fabulous – the dishes don’t even come with banchan! With that said however, the food is sufficient, the location is convenient, and it’s just cheap and easy all round.

Rating: 12/20 – oppa kitchen style (im so sorry)
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. 

Oppa Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Monday, 19 January 2015

Peko Peko

199 Smith St 
Collingwood, VIC

I went to Peko Peko for dinner the other day. No, not this Peko Peko, this Peko Peko. If you ask someone from Japan, ‘peko peko’ is the sound your stomach makes if you’re hungry. Given that, it’s no surprise that both restaurants have a Japanese influence to some degree, despite being completely unrelated.

But whereas Peko Peko in South Melbourne is mostly Taiwanese with a bit of Japan thrown in for fun, this Peko Peko in Collingwood is full-blown Japanese. The interior was endearingly oriental, including the unique little upstairs section that opens out to the main restaurant, but it just can’t shake the hint of grunge so characteristic of the Melbourne inner-north. It was a good bit of fun, watching the Japanese chefs rub shoulders with backpacking waitresses. 

Hiyayakko ($6)

Heaps of people I know complain about tofu because it’s bland without any seasoning, which I think is entirely unfair. I mean really, you can say that same about rice or pasta – it’s MEANT to be had with seasoning. Anyway, aside from being a fan of tofu with century egg, Hiyayakko ($6) is another favourite way of mine to have tofu. The flavour palette of this cold dish was spot on, the soy sauce and bonito flakes a lovely combination of umami, whilst the surprise addition of grated pickled ginger added a zesty heat. Unfortunately it was let down by the tofu, which instead of being fresh and silky, has started down the road to being clumpy and spongy. 

Makizushi ($10, 8pcs)

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Makizushi ($10, 8pcs) was a generous serve of salmon and tuna hand rolls. Though nothing special, it was nice to be given a chance to down a large serve of sushi, with plenty of pickled ginger between bites to clear the palette. 

Currydon ($16)

The Currydon ($16) was listed under the ‘big food’ section, but I wasn’t prepared for just how substantial a bowl filled to the brim with curry and rice was. 

Currydon ($16)

When mixed through, the rice and sauce was rich and sticky, and the large pieces of chicken extremely tender. There was the addition of several unorthodox, but welcome vegetables such as capsicum and spinach. What I discovered very soon however, was that this was an extremely oily curry – within minutes, a small pool of oil had collected in the spoon that I had left in the rice. That certainly explained why this was even more filling than a standard curry.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but Peko Peko felt different to all of the other Japanese restaurants I’ve been too. Either way, regardless of what that difference might be, a good solid meal can be found here; it may be a little more expensive than what you’re used to, but the portions are certainly generous, and the flavours are pretty close to the real thing. 

Oh, and look at this awesome piece of graffiti art I found down the road!

Rating: 13/20 – grumble grumble.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.

Peko Peko on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Golistan Take Away

768 Station St 
Box Hill North, VIC 

Manto ($12, 7pcs)

Manto ($12, 7pcs)

The Manto ($12, 7pcs) definitely sits closer to being Indian. The soft, silky parcels were filled with a mixture of spiced lamb and onion, before being steamed and doused in a mixture of spicy tomato sauce and yoghurt. It is bold and full-flavoured, and the sauce perfect for mopping up with bread, or dipping meat into. 

Mixed Tikka ($15)

And of course, a plate of Mixed Tikka ($15), grilled to order over a charcoal fire. The meat was cooked absolutely perfectly, sizzling and spitting over the flames. I couldn’t decide which I liked more – the smoky pieces of marinated chicken, or the tender, juicy chunks of lamb. Or maybe the piece of bread laid out underneath the skewers to catch the delicious delicious meat juices. 

And the bread. Oh goodness the bread. It was soft and crisp and chewy all at the same time, its just-baked aroma absolutely irresistible. Even though we couldn’t even finish the serve we were given with the tikka, I still got an extra one to take home – a whole metre of bread (basically what’s in the picture here) for a mere two dollars!

Well I guess I’m never moving out.

Rating: 14/20 – go to bread.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. 

Golistan Take Away on Urbanspoon