Located in Bayswater, Junior Tan Hawker Kitchen adds to your list of Malaysian restaurants to choose from in Victoria. The decor inside Junior Tan has this colourful 1920’s Chinese era imagery on the walls that I haven’t see done before. On their menu, some of the items have a slight twist to it like Eggplant chips, Balachan chic-a-wings or even a ‘Malaysian’ burger. However, they do also offer the more traditional dishes such as Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Char Kway Teow and Nasi Goreng.
Junior Tan’s Nasi Lemak looked quite appealing, it had all the essential parts to a good Nasi Lemak. However, I found the beef in the curry to be very tough, presumably not cooked long enough. The sambal was also a bit average, it doesn’t quite have that punch of flavour and spice.
The Char Kway Teow had a lovely wok flavour, and spiciness! Although, it was overly oily and wet as a result and the choice of the thin noodles I felt was a bit of an odd choice but overall I was quite happy with it.
Junior Tan’s Murtabak had this nice crispy exterior and flavourful filling. The curry sauce had just enough creaminess and spice to it, and goes well with the murtabak. My only con with it, is that is looks very barebones (styling is leaves a lot to be desired).
Still on my mission to try all the Teh Tarik’s around Melbourne, so how does Junior Tan’s drink stack up? Well, it has that lovely foamy top that is very essential to a good Teh Tarik. A tad too sweet for my liking but tea flavour is just strong enough with the condensed milk.
If I were around these parts of town, Junior Tan would probably be high on my list of places to dine at. However, is it worth the extra effort? Not particularly for me, when there are plentiful of choices around me and in the CBD but as I usually say it’s worth a try.
Shop 25, 7 High St
Bayswater VIC 3153
Sometimes Melbourne surprises you with its restaurants, and you can find real gems in many places around town. Som Tam is a Thai restaurant located in Thornbury, and is one of the latest Thai restaurants to hit Melbourne. Having opened earlier this year, Som Tam serves authentic Thai cuisine and what’s appealing about Som Tam is that the dishes on the menu are meant for sharing and in many ways this is a great thing, especially so as you can taste a wider range of dishes on offer. You can check out their menu here.
What I liked about Som Tam, is that it isn’t afraid to serve something different. The Thai restaurants I’ve frequented tend to serve the more commonly known dishes to Melburnians, but here it not only serves these but adds something a bit different to make it their own.
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We dined here on a Saturday evening, and every diner receives a complimentary Thai salad. The salad is refreshing and light, with the slight sourness of the dressing and the crunchiness of the julienne vegetables. It’s quite a nice way to start your evenings meal.
Satays are such a joyous thing to have as a starter. The Moo Satay here uses marinated collar pork so there is a bit of a bite to it, and served with a generous amount of their Thai peanut sauce. There is a richness to the sauce which probably comes from the use of coconut cream, and the subtlety of the turmeric and lemongrass just gives it a well rounded flavour. The nuttiness of the sauce isn’t too overpowering but it definitely goes well with the tender pork.
The Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup here is in contrast to what you may typically find in other restaurants. The broth is clear isn’t your typical Tom Yum, with its clear broth but what it does retain is its spiciness. There’s also something with the combination of ingredients that I couldn’t quite work out why its different in taste but there is a slight tartness instead of the usual sweet, sour and spicy which we placed it down on the more generous use of fish sauce but I’m not certain. It may be a surprise for some, especially on taste but there is a particular cleansing nature to the soup that some may like.
Som Tam’s Jasberry Rice is what I liken to a combination of Jasmine rice with the Black Sticky rice, which reveals itself in this purplish hue. It’s an interesting type of rice and the slight bite of some of the rice grains makes it interesting, maybe similar to having Jasmine rice with brown rice actually.
The Red Curry Roast Duck was probably my favourite dish of the night. According to the menu, they use an in-house five spice mix for the duck and it’s served in a red curry with longan and fresh berries. There is indeed a certain sweetness to the curry, but the combination of the spiciness and creaminess of the curry along with the spices used makes for an amazing curry. The tender duck really just adds to the depth of flavour and I could really have that red curry all to myself.
The Pad Ke Mao here is another winner, what makes this fantastic is how we call it the “wok flavour” where its this high flame from the stove that somehow creates this amazing flavour that you can’t get in your standard stove at home. For those that haven’t come across this dish before, it’s a flat rice noodles with basil and chilli and the essential Thai ingredients that brings it all together. It isn’t too spicy though if you’re asking, but just enough as a little kicker.
Roti’s are the crepes of South East Asia, you can have it savoury with a simple curry or add only with butter or Kaya (coconut spread) even. If you wanted it as a dessert, ice cream and fruits are commonly used. Som Tam’s Roti adds bananas with a Palm sugar syrup and whipped cream inside the roti. The roti is soft inside yet crispy and it goes exceptionally well with the bananas and syrup. You can also request to add a scoop of ice cream which I feel would be perfect together.
Their Black Sticky Rice with Coconut ice cream is another delicious dessert on their menu. The Black sticky rice here is different to the one served above, as they tend to add coconut milk (or cream) and sugar to make this dessert and a variation of this is also found in Malaysian cuisine. It’s served warm and as the black sticky rice retains some of its harder shell, it gives it a nice bite. Having this with a ice cream is definitely the way to go. The ice cream here isn’t as smooth or creamy as I would have liked but the coconut flavour is pleasant and it doesn’t taste artificial which is always a good thing.
Som Tam really makes a name for itself here with its aromatic, and tasty Thai dishes. I had a hard time even choosing what to order because there were dishes that looked interesting such as their Green Curry Fried Rice or the Son In Law starter. The appeal of it all here is that the food is still authentically Thai and yet something distinctively modern and fresh about it.
I’d also like to add the service here was fantastic, they were attentive and friendly and made you feel at ease. So overall, it was a wonderful night out, great good with great people to enjoy it with.
750 High Street
Thornbury VIC 3071
T: 03 9480 5276
Tuesday – Friday: 11:30am till 3:00pm/5:30pm till 10:00pm
Saturday: 5:30pm till 10:00pm
Sunday: 5:30pm till 10:00pm
Picture above taken by avlxyz
We came across this Indian/Malaysian store whilst trying to find something decent to eat in Chadstone Shopping Centre. I believe it has recently opened, and when I mean recently I mean the last time I shopped at Chadstone which was a couple months back (We went there in November I think) So anything Malaysian, I just have to try it out.
It looked pretty good for a food court eatery, having a wide selection of savoury and sweet Roti dishes but also various noodle dishes like Mee Goreng and Fish Head Curry. Plus the commonly served, Char Keow Teow. First time around we had the Curry + Rice dish, with those curries served at front and not cooked to order. It was pretty good for a food court meal and not very expensive either, surprisingly. This time around we ordered the Mee Goreng and Char Keow Teow.
Both were on the slightly small side for their price, well compared to what I’m used to but it was by no means over priced.
Served on a nice banana leaf, the Mee Goreng was tasty and didn’t have a strong sweet and tomato taste like some other’s I’ve eaten but my mother’s home cooked Mee Goreng with added chilli probably tops it, just because it’s spicy.
The Char Keow Teow was decent too, not too oily but might just be a tad over oiled and had all the ingredients to make it tasty. Just that I like it spicy, and we ordered it spicy, but it wasn’t at all. Probably they forgot, as a couple of their curries were slightly spicy.
Anyway as mentioned multiple times, it’s very surprising to come across a really decent food court meal for a reasonable price, and a Malaysian/Indian one at that. So we probably would eat there every time we go to Chaddy but probably won’t go out of our way to get there.
A: Shop Lower Level
P: (03) 9568 2263
Mon – Wed 9am – 5.30pm
Thur – Fri 9am – 9pm
Sat 9am – 5pm
Sun 10am – 5pm
Public Holidays 10am – 5pm