Metro magazine’s Cheap Eats special judging is well and truly underway and I was thrilled to be assigned a couple of places out West as we always feel a bit hard done by out here.
KL Cafe is part of a block of shops on Great North Road in Kelston. It’s not flash but it’s clean and the food is good. We bundled in from the cold on a Friday night and ordered our two favourite dishes: Nasi Lemak with Chicken Curry on the side ($12.50) and Char Kuey Teow ($10.50). As a nod to good health we ordered some Chinese vegetables in Oyster sauce (there is a Chinese menu too) and we got Dumplings ( $10 for 15) and Roti Canai ($2.50) for our sproglets.
It was all excellent. The coconut rice in the Nasi Lemak was light and fluffy, the chicken curry on the side tender and beautifully flavoured. My only complaint is I would have liked a few more ikan bilis (fried small salty fish) and some sambal. This would have been really noticeable if it had been served without the chicken curry as on the roadside in Malaysia but the chicken provided the spice requirement. All the other elements were there – half a hard boiled egg, peanuts and a couple of slices of cucumber.
The Char Kuey Teow was a generous portion and a great example of this thick rice noodle dish loaded with chicken, prawns, bean sprouts, chives and that distinct mildly spicy sauce. If I was being really fussy I would say it could have been a tad smokier but it didn’t stop us from demolishing it. It was perfect winter comfort food. The greens were beautiful, bright gai lan perfectly seasoned with oyster sauce. The roti was sublime, soft and fluffy; the kids were in raptures.
The dumplings were the only menu item we tried that were a bit average. I’m all for greens in dumplings – cabbage, chives, whatever you fancy. But there was a lot of green, and they really tasted green. Not a huge hit with us or the kids. The weird thing was the serving came as a mix of three types so you didn’t know what you were eating till you’d bitten into it.
All up we are so excited to not have to cross town for one of our favourite cuisines now. We’ll definitely be back and you other Westies should too!