How far are we willing to go for Char Koay Teow? At least, how far am I willing to go for Char Koay Teow that all but promises to be similar to Penang Char Koay Teow?
I am willing to go very far...40-minute train journey to Syndal + a lot of stumbling around/getting lost/finally getting onto Blackburn Road + RAIN/STRONG WINDS = how "far" I went. To Lim's Nonya Hut, which has been recommended to me many times over for their Malaysian food. So on one RAINY afternoon (of all days to pick), me and San got our greedy butts all the way to Syndal for food. And oh, also to meet San's friend, JW.
Nonya Hut is a simple little restaurant on the corner, nothing fancy on the interior or exterior - similar to many Chinatown restaurants and maybe slightly dodgier (from looks). It is family-owned and family-run (I think), and claims to specialise in Kuih - which is our local Malaysian little 'cakes', per say.
We started off with Kuih Talam ($1.00) which is among my favourite kuih back home (although the price made me keel over and reel over but I digress).
Have to say that it was definitely good although not as authentic as the ones back home. The taste was there - the coconuty-santan layer for the white and the sweet pandan-ish taste for the green. But I find the texture a little lacking - a little too sticky and sticking to the roof of my mouth. Nevertheless, best I've eaten in Melbourne.
No prizes for guessing what I ordered - I'll be damned if I didn't have the Char Koay Teow ($7.80) - WITHOUT the evil that is beansprouts, of course.
San had the same thing but she had the "evil" version.
When it was placed in front of us, it was already a good first impression because it smelt so GOOD and kinda Penang-like. Hahaha. San commented on the "wok hei" - definitely enough of that. On first bite? Mmmmm. Best I've had in Melbourne. By far. It was really really good!! Of course if I want to be picky and bitchy (in which I am), it's still not up to par to the my favourite stall back home (they used spring onion instead of chinese chives) - but omg so good all the same. Truly Malaysian style Char Koay Teow! The koay teow was fried just right and not all clumpy together. Nonya Hut was generous with prawns, we each got three huge prawns that tasted pretty fresh. They also used chunks of fried pig oil (which we didn't eat) which was why it smelt so good and so familiar. There was also generous bits of yummy fried egg and Chinese sausage (lap cheong) so all was very very good and there was a satisfied mouse.
Why does it have to be so #$% far away!? Sigh indeed.
We were also given complimentary Kuih Lapis which was rather good, quite yummy, me thinks.
We also ordered Chendol to finish up.
Hmm, nothing really outstanding for this one. It was good the few gulps but it got a little too sweet towards the end with the gula melaka (we called it "gula Melaka" in Malaysia or palm sugar in English) syrup. Also, I was a little iffy with the texture of the chendol - tasted kind of frozen. San reckoned it'll taste much better if there was more ice in the dessert.
BUT THE CHAR KOAY TEOW.
Seriously, if Nonya Hut is next to my apartment I'll be eating Char Koay Teow until it starts coming out of my ears.
(And no, I don't live near to a Char Koay Teow stall back home or it'll be coming out of my ears)
Nonya Hut is closed on Mondays.
**Just like to mention here that "KUIH" is not really cakes in English. Cakes are cakes, such as cheesecakes or chocolate cakes. Maybe snack is a more appropriate word to use, but I personally feel is still not 100% right. But i guess u get the idea, those delicacies are called "KUIH" in Malaysia. ** San
Lim's Nonya Hut
240 Blackburn Road
Glen Waverley 3150
Phone: (03) 98023763