There’s never enough chinese restaurants around to suit my liking. Nor enough Malaysian/Singaporean restaurants either. The minute I hear of a new one, off I go – to check it out.
The internet is a powerful thing. Following links upon links, I chanced upon Asian Gourmet Hut in Doncaster. A malaysian restaurant! Accordingly with a good reputation especially for their Ban Mian! The urge for local food (local being Malaysian/Singaporean) is never quelled, in fact it’s probably stronger than ever before, so a cold wintery Melbourne night saw me driving over to Doncaster to check out Asian Gourmet Hut.
Warm chinese tea in thermo flasks are common sight these days and given the temperature, I was glad for it. Warming my fingers around the tiny cup, I glanced through the menu and quickly came to a decision. Looking back, I wonder why I didn’t order the Ban Mian, considering that’s what they seem to have gain a reputation for but who knows how the mind works on an icy cold night?
The food was fast to arrive, and I sipped at the double-boiled soup I had ordered as a starter, appreciative of its warmth. It was Pork Belly with Pickled Vegs and White Pepper soup. To be honest, it didn’t smell appealing, and the soup was way too peppery which ended up overpowering everything else. But I finished it anyways as the warmth from the soup was able to warm me from within. Taste wise, nothing to write home about.
For mains, my housemate got his standard fare: Ma Po Tofu with rice. We cook this a lot at home, but still order it when we go out as we can’t get enough of this dish. Asian Gourmet Hut however does it in a rather interesting fashion – with added black fungus and other ingredients not normally found in a typical Ma Po Tofu dish. Everybody’s allowed to add their own creative flair of course, and it would have been a pleasant dish if not for the fact that the rice was painfully dry.
For myself, I ordered Wan Tan Hor. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t memorable either. I distinctly remember mentioning to my dinner partner that the Wan Tan Hor found at the asian eatery in Chadstone was better than this rendition of it. I asked for chopped green chilli to go with my dish (which is a standard, typically) but was informed that they only had chopped red chilli. Bit disappointing especially since you can easily get green chilli from the asian groceries or markets.
If I were in the area, I’d be happy to go back and try a few more dishes, but seeing as I’m not particularly near, I don’t think I will be making the drive again. It wasn’t a bad meal, but it wasn’t BANG!WOW in-your-face awesome either.
Have you been to Asian Gourmet Hut, and if yes, what did you think of the food?