Tag Archives: malaysian

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne)

The Mt Alexander Rd in Moonee Ponds is a food lover’s paradise; the range and quality of restaurants is really good and one of my favourite places to dine in a Melbourne suburb. While I can’t call myself an expert in the area, I have dined at quite a few places there and never been disappointed.

So when Australian Good Food Guide (AGFG) and Jack’s Satay Bar invited me for a dinner, I was more than happy to accept it.

Jack’s Satay Bar has been around for about 20 years. Initially starting out as a wine bar, it was soon upgraded to a fully fledged restaurant especially being situated in a very promising location. The food is distinctly Malaysian with influences of Chinese, Indian and Malay styles. Inspite of starting out as a wine bar, the current drinks menu is simple and small but there is a strong presence of boutique wines (local and international) and also some good cocktails on the list. Do ask for suggestions….

There’s not much of an ambience to write about; the space is of course warm and comfortable but there’s no distinct style or uniqueness about it. But what’s interesting is the many photographs near the counter from racing events including a jersey from a past winning jockey. With Flemington and Moonee Ponds racecourses nearby, Jack’s Satay Bar is a hot favourite during the spring racing season, often packed with jockeys, trainers and other officials dropping in after the event.

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

John Ho, the owner of Jack’s Satay Bar loves a good conversation so if you are interested in knowing more about the photographs, history and anecdotes, he is the man to talk to….

For drinks, we started with cocktails – Burnt Orange Bourbon Sour (special of the week) and a French Gimlet. The cocktails were brilliant and perfectly balanced. Do check out the special board; plenty of interesting options not on the regular menu. And while we were waiting for the drinks, we had a nibbles plate with sambal, fresh cucumber, fried anchovies and peanuts. Absolutely brilliant with the drinks too.

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Burnt Orange Bourbon Sour

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

From the entrée list, we tried out three different dishes;

Given the name of the restaurant, we had to definitely try out the Satay so we went with the Prawn Satay. The peanut sauce was one of the most delicious I have had to date….it was perfectly balanced, spicy, sweet with that distinct peanut flavour yet not too overpowering. The prawns were perfectly cooked but I would have preferred it to be grilled with a bit of that smoky char that would have paired even better with the satay sauce.

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Since the Roti rolls were highly recommended, we decided to try it as our next dish. Roti rolls are very famous in Malaysia and most restaurants, both traditional and modern ones here have it on the menu. While the basic concept of the dish remains the same, I have noticed that the taste does differ between restaurants as chefs try to put their own spin on it with regard to fillings, flavours etc… The one we tried here had marinated chicken pieces with fresh cucumber and tomatoes wrapped inside the roti served with a spicy peanut sauce. Again an enjoyable dish, I really liked the flavour of the marinated chicken; a great street style dish.

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Roti rolls

The third entrée we tried was another traditional dish called Lohkaing. It’s essentially minced prawn and pork wrapped in a crispy beancurd skin that’s served with a tangy sauce. The unique texture of the crispy beancurd skin combined with the soft delicious prawn pork mince was simply divine. One of my favourite dishes from the day and one I highly recommend.

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Lohkaing

As I mentioned earlier, the wine list might be small at Jack’s but there are a few surprising boutique wines available. For my 2nd drink, I had placed an order but the Manager came over and suggested me to try a glass of Salatin Pinot Grigio. And I am happy I went with the suggestion as it was a really refreshing, well balanced, medium dry Pinot with citrusy undertones; paired well with the next round of dishes too.

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Salatin Pinot Grigio

For mains, we started with a plate of Char Keow Teow – fried flat rice noodles with fresh shrimps, eggs, bean shoots, Chinese sausage and spices. It was rich with a good balance of spices and really delicious. The flavours were distinctly Malaysian and the small bits of pork belly through the noodles made it taste even better.

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Char Keow Teow

Usually in a Malaysian restaurant, we invariably end up ordering a curry but this time, we decided to skip that and instead got Ikan Kerisi, steamed rice and Sambal Spinach.

Ikan Kerisi is basically fillets of sea perch steamed in a flavourful broth of ginger, shallots, coriander and light soy sauce. Sea perch is not usually a fish I get to eat at many restaurants but it’s a perfect one for a dish like this. A very light and flavourful dish, the fillets were beautifully cooked, subtle but with loads of flavour from the aromatics. Paired with the sambal spinach, a must try if you love spinach and steamed rice, this was a great mains option.

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Jack’s Satay Bar (Moonee Ponds, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Sambal Spinach

Skipped dessert as we do often, especially after we have eaten too much.

To summarize, Jack’s Satay Bar is a great neighbourhood restaurant for those living in Moonee Ponds and nearby suburbs. And if you are a racing fan, it’s definitely a place to stop by after the races for drinks and snacks. Don’t forget to check out the racing trivia up on the walls too.

Jack’s Satay Bar

571-573
Mt Alexander Rd
Moonee Ponds, Victoria
Australia, 3039

Ph:   03 9375 3778 & 03 9375 3577

http://www.jacksatay.com.au/

Timings:

Lunch: Tue-Fri
Dinner: Tue-Sun

Closed Monday

Jack's Satay Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – I dined as a guest of AGFG and Jack’s Satay Bar. All the opinions are purely personal. 

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Blue Chillies (Fitzroy, Melbourne) – a Review

A modern Malaysian restaurant located on the bustling Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, Blue Chillies has been on my agenda for a really long time.

The term ‘modern Malaysian’ did make me a little skeptical initially, the only reason being very few restaurants can deliver a modern take on a classic cuisine successfully. But after reading a couple of my blogger friends’ reviews of the place, I was ready to put it to the test.

Blue Chillies has been around for 16 years now. It is a small restaurant nestled comfortably amongst the vibrant food scene of Fitzroy. It is best to reserve ahead of time as it is a small space with diners many.

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We had made a reservation for an early dinner last weekend. Walking in, you do notice that the space is cramped but you also do notice the warm, inviting ambience. We were warmly greeted at the door and seated immediately.

There was a distinct Oriental feel to the restaurant but with modern touches. Traditional bamboo and ceramic pots and pans sat alongside modern bottles of wines capturing the real essence of the place.

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For drinks, we got lemon, lime bitters for the children and non-drinkers while the rest of us went for a bottle of 2009 The Individual Selection Bicheno Chardonnay (Tasmania), as suggested by the staff. A really refined, high quality Chardonnay which paired beautifully with the Asian flavours. Do not hesitate to ask for matching wines or suggestions; the staff are quite knowledgeable on the wine front.

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2009 The Individual Selection Bicheno Chardonnay (Tasmania)

We started the meal with a Blue Chillies classic; Black pepper soft shell crab with ground peppercorn sauce and aromatic curry leaves. Utterly delicious especially if you like the texture of soft shell crabs. Crispy on the outside and sweet succulent crab meat inside with a sweet and spicy peppercorn sauce. A tad bit pricey dish as each serve is just one crab cut into half. So if there are many people at the table, you might need to order accordingly.

(Kindly excuse the bad quality pics; the food was way more interesting than taking the perfect shot!)

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Black pepper soft shell crab with ground peppercorn sauce and aromatic curry leaves

The second starter we ordered was Ikan Bilis or crispy fried whitebait tossed in a spicy sambal of onions, garlic and chillies. A dish that strongly reminded me of this traditional Kerala dry shrimp preparation. It was totally delicious and a winner with all of us. Spicy, tangy, sour, sweet…all Asian flavours intermingled on a plate. We loved it so much that we ordered a second plate of this one. Totally recommended for the fish and sambal lovers.

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Ikan Bilis or crispy fried whitebait tossed in a spicy sambal of onions, garlic and chillies

The third starter was from the daily specials menu – fried chicken wings flavoured with pandan leaves. Crispy, crunchy chicken wings with that aromatic pandan flavour, again a winner. Do check out the daily specials board or make sure to ask the staff.

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Fried chicken wings flavoured with pandan leaves

For mains, we began with Crispy chicken with star anise, Sichuan peppers and cinnamon drizzled with a homemade plum sauce. I was a bit skeptical about the flavours but the crispy, mildly spiced chicken worked so beautifully with the intense and highly flavourful plum sauce. Not so sweet but rich and sticky coating the chicken pieces so lovingly. Awesome dish….

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Crispy chicken with star anise, Sichuan peppers and cinnamon drizzled with a homemade plum sauce

Next dish was another Blue Chillies classic – Thrice cooked duck served with a wild ginger flower, lemongrass, chilli and lime juice sauce. Absolutely divine! The duck was cooked to perfection, melt in your mouth and deliciously accompanied with the aromatic and flavourful sauce. Again totally recommended!

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Thrice cooked duck served with a wild ginger flower, lemongrass, chilli and lime juice sauce

We also got curry lamb, a traditional Malaysian curry which delivers exactly how it is meant to be. Succulent meat in a spicy, delicious curry paired with steamed rice. This one is a must try for the curry lovers and those who are looking for a true taste of Malaysia.

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Curry Lamb

And of course we need a side of veggies which was taken care of with this delightfully crunchy assorted vegetables stir fried with garlic. A vibrant selection of veggies, stir fried with garlic; crispy and delicious.

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Assorted vegetables stir fried with garlic

As always, left with no space to try out dessert and we promised the staff that we will be back to try out the desserts too which I have heard are real good.

Overall, a real treat for those who are looking for delicious Malaysian food with a modern touch. There was nothing much to fault with any of the dishes that we had. As mentioned, a tad bit pricey but situated in Fitzroy and serving high quality food, you can’t expect cheaper prices. And Blue Chillies is definitely not your neighbourhood Asian takeaway.

My rating – 8.5/10

Blue Chillies

182 Brunswick Street

Melbourne, Victoria

Phone no: 03 9417 0071

Website: http://bluechillies.com.au/

 

Blue Chillies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

Disclaimer – Not a sponsored post; all the food and drinks were paid for by me.

 

Pappa Rich (Malaysian), Chadstone – a Review

Chadstone shopping centre happens to be my family’s favourite shopping spot. Easily accessible for us especially while taking the public transport and also a huge choice of brands and labels all under one roof. And this also means that I get to try out the various cafes, restaurants, eateries that are peppered along the length and breadth of the mall.

Compulsive shoppers like me need to eat and one such visit to Chadstone landed me in Pappa Rich, which largely serves Malaysian cuisine amongst a few general Asian dishes.

Located inside a shopping centre and especially a busy one like Chadstone, the ambience is always a rushed, hurried atmosphere with shoppers wanting to rest their feet for a while yet have a quick lunch before more shopping. The décor is rich, dark wood with comfortable seating arrangements. Though a bustling atmosphere, I liked the ambience as it still managed to retain a restaurant setting than a food court setting. There is also a small al fresco space outside but finding an empty spot here can be a tad bit difficult.

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During the peak hours, there could be a bit of waiting time. We were lucky to find a spot within a few minutes of walking in and were directed to a good spot by the waitress. Being first-timers, we were quite baffled with the ordering system but luckily, we had a friend along who had been here before. If you are visiting the first time, make sure you ask the waitress as it is different from your regular ordering system. There will be a small note pad on the table with a pencil, where you are supposed to write down your order and then hand it over to the waitress to avoid confusions. Every dish on the menu card is marked with a unique number which is what you need to write down on the note. An efficient system; guess it works with a busy, bustling environment and language issues as many dishes are named using traditional Malaysian terms.

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The first thing we needed were drinks and Pappa Rich has a good selection of drinks; very refreshing combinations too. We ordered the fresh lemon honey, ice blended Bandung (rose syrup with soy milk), lychee soda and ribena melon. Loved the lychee soda and ribena melon.

Fresh lemon honey; $3.90

Fresh lemon honey; $3.90

Ice blended Bandung; $4.50

Ice blended Bandung; $4.50

Lychee soda $4.90

Lychee soda $4.90

Ribena Melon; $6.90

Ribena Melon; $6.90

There isn’t much choice in terms of starters but I still decided to try out the vegetarian shui kau (dumplings). It was a bad idea; no real flavour and a waste of money.

Vegetarian shui kau (dumpling) $4.90

Vegetarian shui kau (dumpling) $4.90

One of the main reasons for trying out Pappa Rich was because we had heard a lot about the roti canai here. There are plenty of combo offers which are easy on the pocket too. So we ordered a roti canai with tandoori chicken combo, roti telur bawang (with eggs and onion) with curry chicken combo, a single roti canai and roti telur bawang for the children.

Roti canai $4.50

Roti canai $4.50

Roti canai with tandoori chicken $13.90

Roti canai with tandoori chicken $13.90

The roti canai was really delicious and did not disappoint. Loved the hot, piping flaky rotis that are a delight to eat any day. The tandoori chicken was average and so was the curry chicken but the rotis more than made up for the taste of the accompaniments.

Roti telur bawang (eggs and onion) $7.50

Roti telur bawang (eggs and onion) $7.50

Roti telur bawang with curry chicken $11.90

Roti telur bawang with curry chicken $11.90

We also ordered the Pappa fried mee (what a name!) which is basically wok fried noodles with prawns, potatoes, tomatoes and egg. The flavours were good, my only complaint being in such a large dish, I could only find a single prawn!

Pappa fried mee (wok fried noodles with prawns, potatoes,tomatoes, egg, bean sprouts) $11.90

Pappa fried mee (wok fried noodles with prawns, potatoes,tomatoes, egg, bean sprouts) $11.90

There are many rice combos too which looked rather interesting, so we ordered a biryani with beef rendang and sambal prawns combo and a biryani with red chicken and sambal prawns. The rice combos are filling and a great value for money. If you are fond of Indian style biryanis, then remember that this is a Malaysian style biryani which is slightly different from the Indian versions. The rice was aromatic and flavourful and the sambal prawns were good too. Not a big fan of the rendang though the beef was succulent. The red chicken was tangy and sweet which is exactly how it should be though there was a bit of food colour in it which was not to my liking.

Biryani with beef rendang and sambal prawns $14.50

Biryani with beef rendang and sambal prawns $14.50

Biryani with red chicken and sambal prawns $12.90

Biryani with red chicken and sambal prawns $12.90

And since we were all stuffed, there was no room for desserts.

Overall, a nice experience. The food is above average and I would go back again for the roti canai. Loved the beverages too. As far as combos go, I loved the rice combos more but my husband preferred the roti combos; it’s just a matter of personal choice.

If you are a vegetarian, be prepared for very less options.

Rating – 7/10

Pappa Rich
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Shop F029 1341 Princes Hwy Oakleigh East, VIC 3166
TELEPHONE (03) 9568 3323

Timings:

Monday – 10.30am – 8.30pm
Tuesday – 10.30am – 9.00pm
Wednesday – 10.30am – 9.00pm
Thursday – 10.30am – 10.00pm
Friday – 10.30am – 10.00pm
Saturday – 10.30am – 10.00pm
Sunday – 10.30am – 8.30pm

Website – http://www.papparich.net.au/

Locations in Victoria – http://www.papparich.net.au/australia/

PappaRich Chadstone on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored review; all the food and beverages were paid for by me and my friends.

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