Gong Xi Fa Cai, Rendang

Dragon dancer

Another year, another chance for lion dancers to molest the unwary.

lion dance

The risk of a lion dancer catching aflame grows each year.

A hanging lettuce

The hanging iceberg lettuce attracts them. Welcome to the Chinese New Year.

I had a vague plan to hit up some dumpling joints but was derailed by a newish Malaysian place: Old Town Kopitiam. It looks much like the gentrified coffee shops in Kuala Lumpur with shiny marble table tops, uncomfortable stools and dark timber aplenty. Maybe they’re not just a clone of the Old Town Coffee but a real franchisee? On the upside, the menu reads like Malaysia’s greatest culinary hits: bah kut teh, , , rendang, cendol. Their char kway teow comes with the option of bonus clams which is always a good sign. And they’re all priced in the pre-millennium sub-$10 a plate range.

Nasi Lemak, Old Town Kopitiam
The nasi lemak ($8!) is a bit short on the coconut but has the crispiest ikan bilis (fried anchovies) possible. The beef rendang was collapsing under its own weight, thick with actual herbs and spices rather than something that had come from a can.

They were fresh out of . All the more reason to go back.

Location: 195 Little Bourke St, ,

5 Comments Gong Xi Fa Cai, Rendang

  1. Anne

    Hey, just wanted to thank you for this post. I read it yesterday morning at my desk, heard the magic word ‘cendol’ and determined to go see if they’d restocked.
    Yes, they had, but more exciting to me was *ice kachang*! They made me a huge serve of very good ice kachang and I went and spent my lunch break sitting under a tree eating ice kachang. How could a 40 degree Melbourne day be better spent?
    My fiance and I have been looking for a place that makes this treat in Melbourne ever since Ong’s Food Court closed down. There’s only one place we’ve known of that’s done it and Wah Kee in Clayton is a long drive from Brunswick for an icy treat.
    I phoned my fiance and he and our friends went to escape the heat in this new find. They had the asam laksa and declared it the best they’ve had in Melbourne. Which is quite something — Dan, my fiance, has eaten most of Melbourne’s laksas :)
    Thanks so much for the find! I’m going back for lunch today!

  2. Phil Lees

    Good to hear that the ice kachang passes muster.

    The closure of Ong’s was a big loss for inner city cheap Asian food. Probably half of my lifetime consumption of laksa came from that basement.

  3. Ting C. H.

    I have the old fashioned wrought iron manual ice kachang shaver for sale at S$250. Call me H/P: 9755 8588 or email me at: tingch070158@gmail for picture.


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