Kitchen Inn: Sarawak Food in Melbourne!

As many of you know, I am originally from Kuching, Sarawak in Malaysia. I have lived in Melbourne for almost 7 years and have been a food blogger for 2.5 years. During these many years, I have NEVER had Kolo Mee in Melbourne (unless I can be bothered to cook it at home myself), because as far as I was aware, there was no such thing as Kolo Mee in Melbourne! That is, until today.
Gee news travel fast! Kitchen Inn @ 469 Elizabeth St, Melbourne was just opened last week. Already, news about this new restaurant offering popular Sarawak cuisine e.g. Kolo Mee, Sarawak Laksa and Kampua Mee in Melbourne has spread across the Social Media scene. As soon as I was alerted to “go and do quality control” at Kitchen Inn, I immediately organised to drive up to the city pretty much the next day to try it out! After all, I am a true Sarawakian, born and raised there, and I have had many, many bowls of authentic Kolo Mee to be able to tell everyone else if Kitchen Inn’s version is any good!!

We arrived at Kitchen Inn nice and early, before the lunchtime rush (it does get really busy at lunch time and sometimes people have to queue up and wait a while before getting a table!) but thankfully because we arrived just after 11am we got a table inside immediately.

Kolo Mee
We ordered 4 different dishes to try out, and I can already tell everybody this… don’t bother ordering anything else, just ENJOY THE KOLO MEE because IT IS AWESOME. Don’t bother ordering the “Kolo Mee Special” just order the regular Kolo Mee because you don’t need to pay the extra $2.50 for just 3 extra prawns on top of the noodles. All you need is the BBQ pork and minced meat because that is all it takes to make this Sarawak noodle dish amazing. The noodles are not the exact type of noodles we would get back in Sarawak, they are not thin and curly, but they are good quality handmade noodles that have been tossed really well with the sauces and oils that make it so yummy. It was the perfect amount of “oiliness” not too oily, not too dry, and the right amount of sweet and salty which makes the Kolo Mee so unique. It really did make me forget I was in Melbourne for one split second! I was eating KOLO MEE!! It was so good, I decided to get some takeaway so I can stock them up in my freezer and get my fix later during the week without taking the long trip into the city, hehe.

Sarawak Laksa

We also ordered the Sarawak Laksa. I am not crazy about laksa like most people are, but because my sister was with me we ordered the laksa so she can be the main judge. The flavours were definitely there, and you can definitely taste the authentic Sarawak laksa flavours in this dish, but it just had too much coconut milk which made the soup taste too “milky” and less “punchy”.

Penang Char Kuay Teow

The Char Kuay Teow was really not bad, it had all the right flavours and you can definitely taste the smoky flavours that comes from frying them on a really, really hot wok and there was even a little spicy “kick” to it. I have to admit because the noodles were a bit smaller than usual (I am used to the wider flat rice noodles that still retain a firm-ish texture) these noodles were a bit too soft and lacked the texture that “real” Kuay Teow should have. Oh well, it was still tasty nevertheless!

Bak Kut Teh

Finally, the Bak Kut Teh. It was alright… the meat wasn’t soft enough, it definitely could’ve been boiling for a lot longer to make the meat super soft, melt in your mouth, and fall off the bone. The soup, had all the right flavours but not enough “punch” to it. If I am being honest, I still prefer the Bak Kut Teh from Coconut House just minutes down the road!

Reality is, this is Melbourne. We are not in Malaysia, and therefore we cannot expect 100% authentic Malaysian food. No matter where you go, it can never be exactly the same as it is back home. We use different fresh produce here, different ingredients, and majority of the local cuisines have been tweaked slightly to be able to cater to more Western tastebuds.

To me, this is as good as it gets (so far) if you are craving a Kolo Mee fix. I am definitely coming back for more Kolo Mee. Won’t bother with other dishes next time, just bowls and bowls of Kolo Mee for me and my hubby please 🙂

Kitchen Inn on Urbanspoon

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