Tonight my passion for Malaysian food took us to Albee’s Kitchen in Campsie, which I’ve been hearing about for a while. It sounded like just my kind of place – simple decor, straightforward service and all the focus on the food.
The walls were covered in signs for specials such as sambal udang with petai, lo bak (crispy pork and prawn meat roll) and deep-fried curry flavoured pork belly, ALL of which I was desperate to try. But I am only one woman!
Firstly we got some hot tea, in a teapot which actually poured without spilling tea everywhere. It was yum.
The anchovies were beautifully crispy! I kept stealing them and dipping them in the anchovy sambal accompaniment. The nasi lemak itself had a real hit of pandan and was perfectly cooked and moist. The rendang was great, tender, rich, and fragrant – but still not comparable to Old Town Koptitiam in Melbourne. The search for Sydney’s best rendang continues! Mr Black also hates chunks of squidgy meat fat (which I love) and he did get a big one at the end, poor thing. If I’d noticed it, I would’ve scoffed it first!
I liked the sound of Malaysian red-cooked chicken, and I wasn’t disappointed. Chicken on the bone, stewed in deliciousness of slighty spicy, piquant, almost sambal-esque type sauce. I also got a hint of something else… kaffir lime? I’ve never had this dish before, or even read a recipe for it, but I’ll be making this myself very soon!
To create a pretense of our meal being vaguely healthy, I ordered a vegetable dish. Amazingly NOT my usual kangkong belachan tonight – I went crazy and decided to try the eggplant belachan instead.
It was a lovely texture, ever so slightly caramelised on the edges, and topped with crispy fried shallots. And of course belachan and chilli are always delicious. However I do have to say, while it was a great eggplant dish, I think the richness was just too much for me with the other dishes and next time I’ll get the kangkong instead. Or the beans belachan. Or the bok choy belachan.
As a very indulgent treat for myself, I also ordered (!) a quarter serve of Hainanese chicken. I love it, so clean and delicate and wholesome. And Albee’s version rocked the plate. The chicken was soft and flavoursome, and the accompanying sauces – especially the chilli – ohhhhh. I’ll come back here just for this!
We had to take more than half the chicken and eggplant home as there was no way we were going to get anywhere near finishing it. The bill came to $44, i.e. $22 each, but if we’d ordered more sensibly we could easily have filled up for less than $15 each.
Mmm, I can still taste that poached chicken and lusciously vinegary chilli sauce…