Aunty Franklee (Hawthorn)

We recently dined at Aunty Franklee in Hawthorn, a place we’ve had on our list for some time given we’ve heard great things about it. And boy did they not disappoint! Specialising in Malaysian cuisine, the first thing I noticed when I entered the restaurant was how lovely the decor was. Bright lighting, white polished floors with outdoor furniture and a colourful corner for kids to hang out and play made it feel like you were dining at a cute outdoorsy place even though it was indoors. Loved it!

As usual, we ordered with our eyes and not with our stomachs! Everything on the menu sounded amazing. We finally settled with sharing the chicken skewers, grilled “bakars” short beef ribs, char kuey teow, and the old fashioned bak kut teh (soup). We could not fault any of the dishes!

The short beef ribs were braised in lovely herbs and spices, and finished on the chargrill. They were so juicy and tender, falling apart when you touched it. The dish was served with this delicious pickled purple cabbage and peanut sauce, and was not short on flavour at all.

The char kuey teow dish was what surprised me. We’ve had plenty of char kuey teow in the past but this was probably the best I’ve had in awhile. For those that may not know, char kuey teow is a popular stir fried Malaysian noodle dish. This one wowed us with its wok fried silky flat rice noodles with prawns, fish cake, chinese sausage, egg, chives and bean sprouts. It had lovely smoky flavours and was one of those dishes where we just gobbled up very quickly because it was so good!

Now the old fashioned bak kut teh (soup) was on another level of its own. It was SO delicious! It was a pork bone broth with 23 different herbs braised for 6 hours, and was full of flavours which included cloves, cinnamon, liquorice, pepper, garlic, and other chinese herbs. It was a lovely rich tasting broth which had dried squid, pork, tofu and mushrooms. As soon as I took the first sip of the soup, I felt like I was transported to someone’s house, eating their family’s homemade soup in which the recipe may have been passed down from generation to generation. I was no longer in a restaurant. You know the soup is amazing when it makes you feel this way.

To finish we had their papaya ice cream which was homemade with papaya, coconut and condensed milk. We’ve never had papaya ice cream before but it was really nice! The tropical flavours of the papaya made it really refreshing!

The service was also excellent. The staff were really friendly, and the food came out super quick for us. Adding to the fact that every single dish that came out was delicious, this is a place we will certainly think of when we’re in the mood for some great Malaysian cuisine.

Aunty Franklee (Hawthorn)
Approx $30 AUD per person
Address: 64 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Phone: +61 3 9818 6719

Aunty Franklee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

PappaRich (Chadstone)

PappaRich is a place we think of when we feel like a quick Malaysian meal. There are a number of franchises scattered around Melbourne but the closest one for us these days is the one located just on the outside of Chadstone Shopping Centre.

It’s a casual and spacious setting with plenty of tables and chairs however be warned, you may have to queue up for a table during peak times. The line does go fairly quickly though!

Some of the regular dishes we generally order include the roti canai with curry chicken or tandoori chicken, pappa chicken rice with steamed chicken, dry curry egg noodles with steamed chicken, and the pappa fried mee noodles. The food always comes out fairly quickly and is never short on flavours. The chicken is generally always soft and tender and the portions quite generous.

For drinks we like the Kopi iced coffee, Pappa white iced coffee and the ribena melon. Their drinks are pretty refreshing and never too sweet.

Overall, it’s a decent place to go to when you’re in the mood. I wouldn’t say it’s the best Malaysian food out there however it’ll definitely satisfy that craving!

PappaRich (Chadstone)
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: F029/Chadstone Shopping Centre F029/1341 Dandenong Rd, Malvern East VIC 3145
Phone: +61 3 9568 3323

PappaRich Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Laksa King Kitchen

Lately on Zomato, we’ve been having a little chatter about Laksa King based on someone’s review. I mentioned that I liked Laksa King Flemington better than their Glen Waverley branch. This got me thinking… how’s Laksa King Kitchen in Southland? I’ve always been a bit skeptical with this one in Southland because of the demographics. It’s located inside the cinema area, and seems to be trying to attract pre and post movie goers. Well look who the cat dragged in on this occasion?! ME!

Southland has a movie and meal deal promotion running till the 29th of April. A free glass of wine with any laksa purchase from Sunday to Thursday. A pretty good deal if I must say so myself, the wine on offer was the Lumiere Pinot Noir. I was curious to know whether I could have got the Penfolds Bin 28 for another $2 (the difference in price), but was too scared to push the friendship! After watching ‘Ready Player One’ (great movie by the way, you guys really need to check it out), I used my movie ticket to claim this deal.

The menu on offer is very tame compared to the other Laksa King franchises. I can see where they’re coming from though, as I don’t think a fish head curry laksa would be too popular here! The range was a lot smaller here and I finally settled on a seafood laksa. The soup base of the laksa was really intense in flavour. I was taken back, as I thought they would have toned it down a bit. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all because I’m happy they stuck to their guns. It was probably a bit too intense for me to sip the soup as it is, but it went really well with the noodles though. All the seafood in the laksa was fresh, especially the rockling fish. The only exception would be the Chinese takeaway style prawns, I’m not a fan of these prawns as they have close to zero prawn flavour. The size of the bowl which holds the laksa can be intimidating, but rest assured that the actual serving was a regular sized portion.

I also snuck in a serve of steamed prawn dumplings. The sauce for this dish was delicious! Perfect combination of salty, sour and spicy. Very appetising and doesn’t overpower the prawn dumplings. The dumplings themselves had good texture, but the winner is the sauce. I washed down this very respectable meal with the Lumiere Pinot Noir, not a bad night at all.

I have to admit that Laksa King at Southland was better than what I’d thought it would be. My preference would always be their Flemington restaurant, but Flemington is much further away for me. I had a nice meal here and would definitely return to eat again.

P.S. Helen was with me, as usual. She decided to go and take up another movie and meal deal at another eatery. She was watching me eat like a little creeper until she could get her own meal… =O

Laksa King Kitchen
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: Westfield Southland, R205/1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham VIC 3192
Phone: +61 3 9584 8858

Laksa King Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato