Restaurant review: Gurney Drive, West Melbourne

Restaurant review: Gurney Drive, West Melbourne

Please be aware that Gurney Drive has been renamed Kari Leaf and may or may not have the same owners. This review does not cover the food from Kari Leaf.

Gurney Drive

(03) 9329 6649
284 Victoria Street
Melbourne, 3000

I have to apologize from the get go. The lighting in Gurney Drive is rather interesting, and because I was more focused on wanting to eat than taking photos, the resulting photos leave much to be desire. I’ve tried fixing them, but they just look odd now. If you close your eyes to a mere slit and squint with your head on an angle, they just might look normal again.

You get the idea.

I don’t remember who told me about Gurney Drive. But when I heard about it, I told K we were going. There was no two ways about it. Malaysian restaurant I haven’t been? Uh huh, hell yeah I’m there!

Gurney Drive is advertised as being a Penang hawker food outlet. The place is done up in the very typical chinese tacky sense. It doesn’t really match up to the hawker food fare they claim to serve, but then I’m no interior designer. K is probably the better person to discuss that.

I’ve heard that the Hainanese Chicken Rice was a winner. And who was I to go against the norm? So we ordered the hainanese chicken rice. And the char kuey teow too. And marvelled at the next table who seemed to be having a ball with a whole plate of fried things. I wonder what they were.

I really did like the chicken rice! The rice, chicken and condiments were all excellent. The soup however, was a let down. It didn’t have the same punch, same soul-releasing goodness as the soups I get back home. Ah well. You can’t have everything. It’s already amazing that the rest of it was good. I’ve had the chicken rice on two occasions now. I think I’d like to have it again. Yum.

On our second visit, we ordered this plate of goopy goodness. It’s Hor Fun, if anybody’s wondering. I do like a good plate of hor fun but I think Straits Cafe does a way better rendition of it. Oh well. Next!

Still on the eternal search for good laksa in Melbourne (no, not laksa king nor chef lagenda hit the mark), we tried the laksa here at Gurney Drive. It missed the mark too. Sigh, come on guys, the ratio of paste to coconut isn’t that hard to get right, no? Apparently it is.

I did like the CKT tho. Lacking somewhat in Wok Hei but still tasty. I’m actually rather keen to head back to Gurney Drive. I think the place has potential and I’ve heard that some of their other dishes are really quite excellent. So I’ll definitely be back. Especially for more of that chicken rice. Mmm.

As for it being Penang hawker fare. I think it’s slightly closer to being Penang inspired than being the actual deal. Sorry, GD!

Gurney Drive on Urbanspoon


  1. I did tell you that CKT was the BOMB!! YUM!
    msihua recently posted..Fan-tea-stic! – Dahon Gourmet Tea Lounge @ South Melbourne, VIC

  2. The noodle dishes look a bit average? Especially the laksa :( that chicken rice looks good, though! I’m yet to have it with all three sauces, every time I order it I only get the chilli sauce, wah!

  3. If you like char kuey teow. Suez delights in clayton does them albeit no hum.

    Thursdays, Fridays only they do CKT. Both Penang and Singapore styles. Power

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