Sunday, 20 July 2008

Ma Brown Restaurant

Mouse is back on da blog (block)!

Thanks to my MM sister for up-keeping the blog for the past week while I regain my interest and love for blogging all things food! ^^ I certainly hope I am back to stay for a while - have been taking photos of food for the past few days! Hohoho.

Tonight's post features Ma Brown, a Chinese-Malaysian restaurant tucked away at Balwyn. It's a restaurant that you can't get to by public transport - need to drive, and thanks to San, we were all driven there this evening for the FOOD. We do love Ma Brown food, but it's so out of reach, we don't go there often.

Anyway, it's best that you call to reserve a seat AND food if you're planning on dining there, otherwise, it could be like a 2-hour wait. Slight exaggeration, but very slight. :D

Ma Brown's signature dish is...Spicy Quail. This is the dish that most people equate Ma Brown with and it is, to me and to everyone else - A MUST TRY.

YAAAAY QUAIL! (2 pieces = 1 quail)

Drooling yet? :P

The quail is really fantastic. The meat is juicy and tender and the sauce is yummy, spicy and fragrant. A bite of quail meat and the sauce with bits of chili is seriously yummy for the tummy. San thinks the quail is 'finger licking' and MM says it's 'good good' and also, she does not recommend licking your fingers because of germs.

By the way, I should mention that Alf is so in love with the quail that he could probably marry it or something. That's how good it is.

Another of my personal favorite is the Ma Po Tofu - an ordinary sort of dish by Chinese restaurant standards, but I like Ma Brown's variation.

Tofu in a dish

Their sauce is tangy and spicy, mixed with minced meat, mushrooms and mixed vegetables. They used button mushrooms for the dish, so I really like the big-ish bites of mushrooms with the soft tofu. It's really great when it's all hot and piping.

Alf also ordered another of their signatures, Beef Rendang.

Beef Rendang with beef

I really like the beef in the rendang - it's tender and soft and really well-cooked to complement the rendang sauce. I think their rendang is home-made and it's different from any other rendang I've tried before in Melbourne. I do think it could be more...hmmm...maybe a little bit more spicy? It could be more flavourful in my opinion, but I do like it. MM thinks it's ordinary though and San likes it.

For veggies, we had Stirfry Eggplant.

Eggplant: Blurry

Eggplant: Not so blurry closeup

Apologies for the blurry picture, didn't manage to get a good one. As far as eggplant goes, and I am not a big fan, thumbs up from me. Again their sauce is superior than most which makes the dish good. The eggplant is well-cooked in my opinion, and it's neither too mushy or too tough.

We also had Steamed Fish.

Fishy fish fish

Nothing super special about the way the fish is prepared but it is very good and very fresh fish - the fish meat is tender and soft. Yummy! I am a huge fan of steamed fish, though. :P

Overall, a good foodie experience - don't expect top service though. Because they are extremely busy and extremely understaffed, you may need a lot of patience for service. Or you could do what we did and helped ourselves to certain things like cutlery and napkins, or physically take the teapot to the counter for a tea refill. Haha. Make sure you have marginally a lot of time to spare for dinner at Ma Brown - definitely not somewhere for a quick meal.

The whole meal cost us approximately $AUD143.50, for 7 people. :)

But for the quail - it's worth the wait. Really. And remember - call to order how many quails you'll like, beforehand! For the record, the picture above shows 8 quails.

- Mouse (who is backkkk!)

p.s. check out MM sis's best of Hong Kong post below mine!


Ma Brown Restaurant
Shop 6, 188-190 Belmore Road
Balwyn 3103
Phone: (03) 9816 3755


san said...

Totally recommend to ppl who enjoy malaysian chinese's food

tigerfish said...

Spicy quail looks good! I like all of what you order except th eggplant coz I'm just not a fan of eggplant.:p

jean` said...

yeah, the spicy quail rox! even my nephew who doesn't take spicy stuff AT ALL decided that it was too good to miss out on and after 10 minutes of us trying to remove the spicy sauce for him, he pulled up his sleeves and helped himself! - he was 5 at the time.

how are you san!

Ross Hill said...

Hi there,

You might be interested in meeting restauranteur Paul Mathis at The Hive next week - details at

Cheers, Ross

IronEaters said...

hi tigerfish. yea, finger lickingly good!

hi jean!how r u? all is good here =)hope everything is going well over there for u too!