Being a Malaysian, I have always been familiar with the Secret Recipe Restaurant Franchise that is incredibly popular in Malaysia. To be perfectly honest, I had NO idea when Secret Recipe showed up in Australia… lol, is anybody able to tell me when this all started? So when I was told by a friend that Secret Recipe has recently opened a franchise in Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, only minutes away from where I live in Berwick, Victoria – I thought YAY a new local restaurant option!
So I went and checked it out a few nights ago with this friend of mine who told me about it. We both sat and had our dinners, and we also walked away with a whole lot of takeaway for our husbands and friends who were out playing indoor soccer and won’t get to have dinner until at least 9pm.
The Secret Recipe menu is fairly diverse in Category, but there’s only a handful of options under each Category. Which is fine by me! Because it seems they have most of the main dishes under each category – Starters, Salads, Soups, Kids Menu, Asian Classics, Chicken, Pasta, Fish, Lamb and Steak, Breakfast Menu and.. a whole lot of CAKES
. I mean, A LOT of cakes. To check out their full menu, visit their website here
For the purpose of the review today, the main question is the day is “How Authentic are the Asian Dishes??” That is all I care about at the moment, as finding authentic Asian food in my suburb area proves to be quite a challenge. It would’ve been a completely different story if I lived in Springvale or Oakleigh or Glen Waverley or Box Hill and other areas with excellent authentic Asian food.
So, for those of you hoping to see pictures of CAKES… sorry, not today. Maybe next time!
My friend (who is also Asian) ordered the Penang Char Kuay Teow and she claims that it is as authentic as it can get in Australia. Hey, that’s not a bad comment lol. In fact, it’s brilliant to have something that looks this good, almost as good as how it should be presented at hawker stalls in Malaysia. Because this wasn’t my dish, I couldn’t comment any further… so hopefully this picture is a good enough indication of how it should taste?
I ordered the “Nasi Lemak”.. GOSSSHHHH it has been so long since I’ve had a good Nasi Lemak. The secret to a Nasi Lemak success is in the Sambal.. and Secret Recipe actually produces some pretty authentic and tasty sambal! I was impressed! The only thing that was maybe lacking a little bit was the rice.. it could’ve been a bit more “coconut-y”. I don’t know, maybe I was too distracted by the sambal to notice the coconut flavors in the rice.
The chicken curry was pretty standard, it’s okay. But again, going back to the sambal.. it was very good, probably a bit mild for me, but I would assume it’s been purposely made a little bit mild to suit most people’s tolerance for hot food.
Secret Recipe Sambal – Winner! (Although Kimba would’ve liked it more if it was hotter)
In terms of service, we arrived fairly early before the dinner rush so it was rather quiet so we didn’t have to fight for the waiter’s attention. Waiter was very kind and helpful and even offered extra sambal to us (probably because we were both Asian, lol). Overall we were quite pleased with the service, food arrived really quick too. And for our takeaway for the boys, we ordered 2 serves of Nasi Goreng served with yummy Satay Chicken, 2 serves of Char Kuay Teow, and 1 pasta dish and they got them all ready for us quickly so that was pretty good.
Oh, and two more words: FREE CHAMPAGNE 🙂
So that’s basically my two cents worth!! I don’t do a lot of restaurant reviews, because I primarily cook… but when I do get to write about restaurants it’s always been good fun! Overall, I would definitely go back to Secret Recipe and try some other dishes and perhaps update this blog entry – so feel free to come back! I will send updates via my Twitter
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P/S: Linking this to my Urbanspoon restaurant reviews, I wish someone would fix the details it’s not Dandenong it’s Fountain Gate! Oh well..