25 March 2011

Kaki Lima Restaurant: Malaysian, Kensington (13 Mar 2011)

Shop 3, 228-230 Anzac Parade, Kensington NSW 2033
Phone: (02) 9662 6868

Home of the ice mountain

My first introduction to Kaki Lima was at the highly popular Malaysia Kitchen Food Market where I was impressed with their beef rendang. So a visit to the restaurant located on the busy Anzac Parade was in order with the family to sample more of the menu. The Beef Rendang ($15) this time didn’t seem to be as tender as hoped but still had nice flavours. The Ayam Masak Merah ($15) was a dish of fried chicken in tangy red sweet and spicy sauce which was quite tasty. I was impressed with the Chicken satay ($12, 6 pieces) which came with the rarely seen compressed rice which even Mamak don’t provide. The chicken was flavoursome and tender and I preferred it to the smaller ones Mamak serve. The Beef satay ($12, 6 pieces) was also good and nicely tender which was also served with compressed rice and the traditional pieces of cucumber and raw onion.

The Kam Heong Prawn ($19) had a bit of a heat kick provided by the chopped garlic and shallot with curry leaves and chilli used. It was a tasty dish with prawns decently sized but the shells unfortunately were still intact which made it messy to peel and eat. I don’t mind eating the shell when crispy but thought it needed to be fried up more to achieve this option. The deveining of the prawns could have been better as well. A plate of mixed Kangkong, Okra, Long bean Sambal Belacan ($14) was maybe a bit on the oily side but tasted good although giving a Chinese soup spoon to serve it up proved a challenging task. For those into their Malaysian sweets you’ll find a display counter of some of the offerings. The Kuih Lopez ($2) with subtle pandan flavouring provided a nice sugar hit and the equally simple Sago Pudding ($4) was as expected. A reasonably priced Air Batu Campur ($4) was served in a bowl about a third of it’s mountain-size status which made it impossible to mix so we had to ask for a larger bowl to pour it all into. We had to do the same with the Chendol ($4) which I’m used to being served in a glass milkshake tumbler rather than a bowl so it can also be mixed and drunk with a straw.

The service was friendly and the décor simple but the acoustics was very noisy even with just a few people dining. With my obsession with toilets this single unisex one was cleanly kept but unfortunately was located right next to the street entrance and if the door was left open it was the first thing you see as you enter the restaurant — perhaps it needs to be on an automatic spring to close it. There’s probably a few other dishes I’d like to try which might have me returning one day.

PROS: Friendly service, Chicken satay was good and served with compressed rice, Interesting dishes
CONS: Unisex toilet which if left open is visible from the front entrance, Very noisy acoustics, Prawns have shell so messy to eat, Beef rendang could have been more tender
MUST TRY: Chicken satay, Air Batu Campur

Beef Rendang ($15)

Rice ($2 per person)

Ayam Masak Merah: Fried chicken in tangy red sweet and spicy sauce ($15)

Beef satay ($12, 6 pieces)

Chicken satay ($12, 6 pieces)

Kam Heong Prawn-Sauteed dried prawns, chopped garlic and shallot with curry leaves, chilli and seasoning ($19)

Large sized prawns but still retaining the shell so messy to eat if you don't eat the shell and could be deveined better

Kangkong, Okra, Long bean Sambal Belacan ($14) spoon hard to serve with

Kuih Lopez ($2)

Sago Pudding ($4)

Air Batu Campur ABC ($4)

Air Batu Campur ABC ($4) placed in large bowl to mix up

Chendol ($4)

Chendol ($4) placed in larger bowl to mix up

Seating and outlook to Anzac Parade

Bird cage decor for light fittings

Clean and orderly unisex toilet

Sweets display counter


sugarpuffi said...

omg so many dessert! the sago looks really delicious

john@heneedsfood said...

Ooh lontong with satay! Don't see that very often. Yummo!

joey@FoodiePop said...

Hmmm, I don't like poorly deveined prawns, but I still eat them. :-)

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

<3 cendol and that sago pudding... Will have to find this place

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon, Judging from your photo, am I correct in thinking that Kaki Lima has taken over the Abang Sam premises? And I wonder where did the 'Lopez' come from? Looks like onde-onde to me! Gobsmack'd

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi sugarpuffi, sago always seems to not disappoint.

hi john, it's a rare sight indeed.

hi joey, i guess if they have enough sauce you don't worry about it too much.

hi tina, i've had better cendol but it's worth a visit although they need to serve in big bowls to be able to mix properly.

hi gobsmack'd, i believe Abang Sam is still there a few doors down, has a different address. for some reason they called it Lopez in the dessert display but onde-onde does look more correct as you say.

Anonymous said...

Hi 'Anonymous',

Kaki Lima is situated a few shops from where Abang Sam used to be. Abang Sam premise is not empty and there's a sign which says 'Under contract' on the glass wall. Hope it's another good Malaysian restaurant. I am hoping with more competition so close to each others, kaki lima will reduce their price of their over-priced' dishes. I tend to go to their cafe in Kingsford for their yummy rendang (not cheap $9.50!)

Anonymous said...

sorry typo. I meant to type ' Abang Sam' premise is now empty....

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi anonymous, thanks for the update. let's hope a good Malaysian restaurant will come about with cheap prices :-)

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