In a blink of an eye, it’s been 3 weeks since I returned from Australia. Trying to settle back into a routine was a somewhat slow process for me… especially since I went away on two other short trips immediately afterwards. At least packing for those shorter trips helped kick-start the tedious process of packing away summer clothes and bringing out the warm winter wear.
I may, eventually, write about the food on those two trips as well. For now, I will continue with the trip to Melbourne.
In my last post, I got as far as the food court at the Sydney airport. Our flight to Melbourne was uneventful and by the time we reached our hotel, it was quickly approaching 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Despite the fact that we were getting hungry again, we did take a few minutes to snap a few photos of our hotel room.
What do you think of our room? I found the decor of our room to be warm and inviting. We had a view of the adjoining shopping centre. The washroom was bright and relatively spacious. The only thing that I had difficulty adapting to was the minimalistic-style glass partition for the bathtub / shower. You may note from the mirror that the partition does not extend to the other end of the bathtub. Yup… I wonder if that’s why they have a drain in the middle of the washroom floor. V tells me that every washroom floor in Australia has a drain installed.
After taking many, many photos of the room, our hunger finally got us up and out of our room and out to explore the city. V did a great job of picking the hotel as almost everything was just “a few blocks away.” Our original goal was to head over to Chinatown which was just down a few blocks. As we were walking towards Chinatown, V noticed a restaurant that she didn’t recognize — which means it either opened since her last Melbourne visit or that she had not noticed it before. We also saw a big poster on the window advertising some specials. We decided to give it a try.
Stepping into the Straits of Malacca restaurant, we were seated at the table closest to the door. The menu offered lots of choices although when we inquired about the specials advertised on the window, we were told that we were either too early or too late for those specials. I can’t remember which… but it doesn’t matter anyways. The bottom line is that we didn’t read the print closely
After spending some time to read through all our options, we placed our order. V and I enjoy some of the same foods. Because this was a food trip, I was determined to try as much as I could without overeating (too much). The best way to achieve my goal was to identify a few items that I could order and then see what V was going to order. Luckily she didn’t mind sharing a bite of her dish with me so I was able to sample more food than if I had just ordered and eaten the one item. Obviously if there was the one item on the menu that jumped out at me and demanded that I order it, I didn’t worry too much about my goal.
Did I ever wish I had just ordered the same item as V? Oh yes, of course! This meal is a good example. V ordered the “Malacca Most Popular Hainanese Chicken Rice” from their menu. I love Hainanese Chicken.. but since V was already ordering it and I was going to try a piece of chicken regardless, I decided to opt for something with noodles. I went for the “Malacca Most Popular Char Kaw Teow” under their Fried Noodles section. Can’t go wrong if it’s supposed to be their “most popular” one, right? Eyeing the snack section we ordered the Malacca Lobak… although we weren’t entirely sure what it would look like. To drink, we ordered nice, cold milk teas.
The hainanese chicken rice was indeed really tasty. I only tried a bite or two but immediately wished that I had ordered that too. The char kaw teow was very flavourful but it was a bit too spicy for my taste. Actually, I was okay for the first little while. It just felt like the noodles had that extra power kick to it. The portion was really big so when I started to get full, that “extra power kick” became a little more challenging to swallow… especially after trying the simple yet pleasing flavour of the hainanese chicken.
I had almost forgotten that we had ordered the extra dish of Malacca Lobak. In fact, we were half-way through our meal when a dish of satay was placed on our table. I took a picture of it but was beginning to wonder if old age really was affecting my memory. Did we order satay? Or did the cook put tofu into a satay-style arrangement? As I was puzzling over this, V (the more alert of the two of us) realized that they may have dropped off the wrong order at our table. We tried to get the attention of the servers but they were busy dealing with a different table… something about that wasn’t what they had ordered. Ahh… so the servers mixed up our satay and lobak. When the Malacca Lobak finally made its way to our table, I was pleased to see that I was still able to recognize tofu in its deep-fried, rectangular form.
It is likely that this meal had an impact on what food I ordered for the rest of the Melbourne trip. Too much deep-fried and too much spicy food in this single lunch. Although I didn’t have a sore-throat, I was starting to get worried that one might develop if every meal was spicy and deep-fried.