Located on one end of the busy main street of Campsie, it is a little hard to find street parking, especially if you visit during dinner time. After a few visits, we realised that the best would be to park off the main road, where there is no time limit.
The restaurant is actually a little hard to find, unless you try to spot their food menu mosaic. The restaurant is not big, with a few narrow rows of tables in the front and a smaller room with more seats at the back separated by the working kitchen in the middle. It sort of reminds me of the straits buildings in Penang and Malacca, long and narrow.
Browsing through the menu and the specials on the walls, we always end up thinking we would like to have one of everything they serve. It gives us a sense of home, dining here, as we are surrounded by other Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians speaking in dialects we are familiar with. Heck, we sometimes even speak to Albee herself in Hokkien.
Now, let me share the different types of food that we have tried during our visits. I am going to start with drinks.
|Ice cendol kacang merah ($4.50)|
I am not sure if they still have this on their menu but they used to have bowls of herbal drinks, which resemble the Malaysian air mata kucing.
I really like the sweetness the red dates gave and the chewy texture of the lychees.
For starters, we had pandan chicken ($14.80). We bite into tender, juicy meat that lies under the crispy skin of the chicken pieces nicely wrapped in pandan leaf. Every bite gave off a whiff of fragrant pandan smell.
The springy lor bak is a deep-fried sausage-like dish made from pork and seafood mince rolled up in soy bean curd sheets (One roll $8.00, two rolls $14.00). Dipping it in the home-made chilli sauce is a must!
Another must-have is their curry puff ($2.50 each but look out for their special pricing on the wall). And when I say it is a must-have, it really is.
Inside the deep-fried pastry shell consists specialised curry chicken with sweet potato, beans and half a half-boiled egg. We never fail to pack more to bring home for supper and the next day's lunch or afternoon tea.
The sambal petai prawn fried rice ($12.00) is fried rice with chilli shrimp paste, egg, prawns and petai beans.
The all-time Malaysian hawker favourite, the char kway teow ($10.50) is a Hokkien and Teochew style fried flat rice noodle. Traditionally fried using pork lard in a big black wok on a charcoal stove, their version also includes shrimp, clam meat, Chinese sausage, eggs, bean sprouts and chives.
Loh mee ($10.50) is a bowl of thick noodles served in a thickened soup made from egg with prawn, pork slices, crispy pork lard and vegetables.
My favourite is the char hor fun ($10.50). I like how the flat rice noodles are first charred in hot wok with soy sauce, as it gives a slight 'burnt' fragrance. The noodles are then covered in a thick gravy made from lightly beaten eggs. The dish also has stir-fried pork, prawn and choy sum.
The claypot rice drop ($11.00) comes boiling hot in a claypot with lots of greens, pork slices and a bright yellow of an egg yolk floating in the middle. Hardly can see any of the rice drops, really.
I think it is quite obvious that this is a bowl of prawn noodles ($11.00). You get to choose your choice of noodles served in soup boiled from prawns (yes, the whole prawn including the shell and head), with hard-boiled egg, kangkong, bean sprouts, pork slices and chilli.
One dish that we felt did not really make the cut was the stuffed tofu soup in hotpot ($15.80, available only Friday to Sunday). Are you able to tell that there are beancurd puffs, bitter gourd, whole chillies and okra stuffed with fish and pork mince?
The bak kut teh [ is a claypot full of pork rib goodness! Traditionally served as breakfast, this dish is a popular Hokkien dish where the pork ribs are simmered in a 'tea' of Chinese medicinal herbs and bulbs of garlic.
Authentic? Yes. Value for money? Yes. Most importantly, satisfying. So agree with what Xin Wen's aunt said.
282 Beamish Street, Campsie, NSW 2194, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9718 8302, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open every day 10:00am to 10:00pm