A ‘spiritual’ gastronomic journey back to our home in Malaysia this weekend …
We found Monk & Me through our beloved Greater Melbourne 2011 | 2012 Entertainment™ Book where a 25% discount was offered (off the total bill, up to $30, for dine-in and takeaway). Monk & Me serves Malaysian Cuisine and a detailed menu can be found at their website attached at the end of this post.
If you were following our search for the best Curry Laksa (Laksa King, Chinta Blues, Chef Lagenda (to-be-posted) … ) you should have already guessed by now, the first dish ordered when it involves Malaysian cuisine!
Curry Laksa – fine strands of vermicelli and soft hokkien noodle, fried bean curd puff, fish cake, chicken, bean shoots, string beans, in a piquant spicy coconut curry soup ($14.5), and as usual we requested for flat rice noodle and (for Ms. L.,) no bean shoots.
Monk & Me‘s Curry soup was very tasty, better than Laksa King (and Laksa King, Revisit) and Chinta Blues but we felt that the fillings, i.e. the fish cake and shredded chicken, were far less than what we were used to. I think we were also missing the big piece of eggplant (see Laksa King, Laksa King, Revisit and Chef Lagenda (to-be-posted)) in the middle!
The next dish ordered was Beef Rendang – tender beef cubes in an aromatic curry paste and coconut milk sauce ($22.5). We also ordered a Steamed Rice ($2) to accompany the rendang. The beef was very tender and the rendang gravy tasted very Malaysian!
We were really happy with the amount of gravy served and that lead us to order a side, Roti – Flakey Malay Bread ($3) to finish it up! We requested for a crisper Roti but it wasn’t crispy when it came. However, it was quickly forgotten after the rendang kicked in.
The only dessert that echoed Malaysian to us was the Sago Pudding, served with brown sugar and coconut milk ($7.5). Unfortunately, it was served at room temperature, not warm, as it should be according to our wait staff, and the brown sugar was not that exciting. It would be great if they serve this dessert with the ‘original’ brown sugar – Gula Melaka (or palm sugar). Also, I thought it should be served cold ?
The main dishes we had at Monk & Me were quite authentic if I take out the spice (or hot) level from the equation, but both Ms. L. (low tolerance to chilli) and Lil’ M enjoyed it. As for me, it has become a habit here in Melbourne to request for some sambal (quite good here at Monk & Me) or extra sliced chilli to match the spiciness back in Malaysia. It will be difficult to make a trip back here judging from the distance from home and the availability of numerous restaurants serving Malaysian cuisine here.Monk & Me 9 Evans Place, Hawthorn East, 3123 Victoria, Melbourne. 61-3-9813-3261 www.monkandme.com.au Open Monday to Sunday, 12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to late night