When people talk about Ma Brown in Balwyn, you mostly hear about the delicious quail. It’s a very popular choice, but also one that they advise to order at least a day in advance of your booking. Ma Brown serve Chinese, Malaysian cuisine and even on a busy night, service isn’t actually too shabby.
You can order the quail either Spicy or just with Salt & Pepper, however, they do advise the spicy one is the more popular selection. The quail here is fantastic, it has that nice crispy exterior but tender and lovely sweet and spiciness from the marinate. I could probably just order this alone, if I was feeling a bit devious, it’s that good.
That’s not to say Ma Brown’s other dishes aren’t good. Surprisingly, the Sweet & Sour Prawns was also a winner. Lovely subtle tomato flavour with chilli and the prawns were nicely cooked as well.
The Tofu & Mix Vegetable Claypot is more of your standard affair, yet still makes for a nice cleanser against the quail and prawns.
The Sambal Beans was probably my least liked dish, the sambal was quite overpowering and overly sweet and definitely cooked with too much oil.
You may come here for the quail at Ma Brown, but you’ll leave satisfied with many of their other dishes. Not the best ambiance but it’s the food that counts here and won’t make a huge whole in your wallet.
190 Belmore Road
Balwyn VIC 3103
Having been up and down Whitehorse Road nearly everyday for a few years now, I’m still finding new places to try. Scarvelli Cafe is one of the many cafes on this long stretch of road but is located further down from the main hub in Balwyn. Scarvelli prides itself on the Paddock to Plate philosophy, sourcing fresh, seasonal produce from the owner’s farm on the Bellarine Peninsula at Swan Bay for their dishes. This exciting concept, combined with Industry Beans coffee makes for a very appealing visit to Scarvelli.
Dined courtesy of Scarvelli Cafe
Their Tassie Salmon with cous cous, tomatoes and grapefruit makes for a very tasty meal. The salmon is cooked well, and the acidity from the grapefruit adds this beautiful freshness to the entire dish. The crispy salmon skin is also a winner.
Probably the highlight for me was Scarvelli’s Braised Swan Bay Beef. The slow braised beef cheek has this amazing, bold beef flavour to it. The mushrooms, again, fragrant and complements the beef with the creamy parsnip puree.
The Chilli Eggs and Ham is an interesting breakfast dish with a crumbed potato, sauerkraut and ham croquette and smashed peas. The chilli dressing reminds me of a chilli jam with some sweetness to it. The peas lacked a bit of flavour too. I do applaud them for keeping their menu varied though.
The braised beef dish along with their strong, Tanzanian coffee makes for a very delicious trip down to Balwyn. It’s also quite a popular breakfast, brunch spot so please do keep that in mind if wanting to make a visit there. I will definitely make plans to try their other dishes and of course, order another coffee to go with it.
143 Whitehorse Road
Balwyn VIC 3103