Kim Sing opened its doors earlier this year under new management after Madam Kwan closed down. Their menu has been tweaked and a number of menu items have been removed from the menu, but Kim Sing still has a mixture of Malaysian/Chinese style dishes on offer and they advertise itself as Kim Sing, Truly Malaysian Delights. So expectations are high with that statement.
More often than not, I always try a new Malaysian restaurant’s Curry Laksa to see if they can trump Laksa King and Chef Lagenda. Kim Sing’s Laksa is a letdown, and substantially poorer quality than its predecessor. It has this watery, curry powder flavoured taste to it. A Curry Laksa it ain’t.
Their Char Kway Teow is served in a bowl, for some odd reason and with Madam Kwan’s logo still placed on all its crockery. It has that ‘wok’ flavour, so thank goodness for that but there are several oddities with this dish. It uses Char Siew (BBQ Pork) as its protein instead of Lap Cheong (Chinese Sausage). The prawns are tiny, and they don’t add in the deep fried Pork Lard but usually I can live without that. We also ordered it spicy, but no heat to it whatsoever. The substitution of Lap Cheong with Char Siew completely changes the taste of the Char Kway Teow. Very strange.
The Salt & Pepper Chicken Ribs with rice was actually quite nice. No chilli, which I think it needs to give it a bit of kick and depth of flavour but the chicken is crispy and still moist but they aren’t very generous with their fried capsicum and onion which I think is needed to give the chicken and rice much needed flavour. Decent but you can probably find better elsewhere in Box Hill.
Kim Sing unfortunately does not live up to its Truly Malaysian Delights statement. It serves quite frankly, mediocre dishes that are so disparate from traditional Malaysian dishes.
Shop 3, 1 Main Street
Box Hill VIC 3128
Madam Kwan’s recently opened its doors in Box Hill, replacing Straits of Malacca which seemed to vanish as soon as it opened. Also, not to be confused by Madam Kwong’s and Kwan’s Dim Sum on Whitehorse Road. It retains the same name as a franchise in Malaysia. Variety-wise, it’s quite similar to PappaRich with a mix of noodle and rice dishes, drinks and desserts (Durian too) although where it falls short is the number of menu options, like Nasi Kandar, Roti Canai but seem to mark its place with a few of their specialties such as Madam Kwan’s Noodle Soup.
Madam Kwan’s Mee Goreng, is probably one of the better ones I’ve tried although it lacks that slight sweet and sourness from the tomato sauce that is frequently used in Mee Goreng. Apart from that, I found it quite filling (portions are generous).
The Chicken Curry Laksa isn’t like what you’d find in Chef Lagenda or Laksa King where it has this rich, creaminess to the Laksa. Instead, it opts for the fragrance of the spices used to add depth to the soup base. Again, it’s a generous offering with both egg and rice vermicelli noodles.
Madam Kwan’s Lobak is one of my favourites I’ve tried in Melbourne and can actually best some of the ones I’ve tried in Malaysia. It has this wonderful balance of pork and the seasoning. Plus, it adds yam/taro that adds texture and fragrance that I didn’t even know I wanted in a Lobak, and yet it works so well together. Yum. Be warned though, their side dishes cost nearly as much as their mains.
I found their Teh Tarik on the other hand to be overly sweet from its excessive use of condensed milk. Tea flavour-wise it’s on the stronger side of things so the balance is a bit off in my books.
While I would say, Madam Kwan’s isn’t my favourite Malaysian eatery in Melbourne, it’s probably one of the tastier choices for Malaysian cuisine in the Box Hill and even Doncaster/Blackburn area.
3/1 Main Street (Box Hill Central)
Box Hill VIC 3128