The appreciation of food comes from our innate love for it which is nurtured and honed by the society and culture that we grew up in. Most of Yuye’s friends are Malaysian and I find that every single Malaysian I know are crazy about food. They all somehow fit into the word ‘foodie’ in one way or another and all love taking photos of both food in restaurants and in the home. Chinese people are similar I suppose but definitely not to such an extent. My Malaysian friends will argue with me for hours about how a certain food should taste or be cooked and I find it fun to do so as it gives me a deeper insight into the lovely cuisine.
I’ve had so much Malaysian food in the past few weeks it’s unbelievable. We made har mee (prawn noodle soup) and curry laksa at home and eaten out at Malaysian restaurants for both lunch and dinner 4 times this week. This makes me feel like I’m actually in Malaysia! The reason being I recently came across a little Malaysian restaurant that serves authentic hawker food just 2 blocks away from Yuye’s house called Lim’s Nyonya Hut which featured in The Age Cheap Eats Guide 2011 and for the past many years as well. Why oh why have we not noticed the place earlier, I could have been eating delicious assam laksa at just a stone’s throw away! The 4 outings were also due to another restaurant in Glen Waverley which will feature in a later post.
The first time at Lim’s Nyonya Hut was for lunch last week. Upon entering, I noticed the very minimalist but intriguing decorations. I couldn’t help but strain my eyes to read the writing under those articles on the wall and admiring the framed clothing. I must say it goes well with the purple walls.
They have a fantastic selection of Malaysian desserts as we found out, but it might be helpful to either ask about them or look them up on your phone (that’s what I did) because most are not very self explanatory for non-Malaysians. I love the green ticks for ‘available’ so one would always know which one is in stock and can be ordered.
I ordered a longan drink while Yuye ordered some boring soft drink. I know it’s strange but I like lychee and longan flavoured drinks or desserts, however I don’t actually like eating the fruits. While I ordered this drink, it was more like Yuye’s since he ate all of the longans.
I was instantly in love after my first experience with assam laksa at batasan’s house, cooked by the wonderfully talented home cook bata-mum just last year. The tangy sourness provided by the assam and subtle fishiness from the dried mackerel are beautifully aromatic and oh so yummy. I absolutely adore sour and chilli flavours and assam laksa has now overtaken Thai tom yum on my favourite foods list. I almost jumped out of my seat with joy when I saw that Lim’s had assam laksa on the menu and, you guessed it, I ordered it instantly. Lim’s assam laksa was quite strong in fish flavour as they used a lot of dried fish. I may have liked mine with a little less because it was slightly overpowering, however, it was definitely still delicious. I loved the mint leaves and onion shreds in the soup which added that extra dimension to the dish.
Yuye’s eyes were completely glued to the pandan nasi lemak for $11.80 which is advertised here as ‘first of a kind in Australia’. It was a pandan flavoured coconut rice served with cucumber, ikan bilis (anchovies & peanuts with medium spiced chilli sauce) and assam squid. Yes the rice was green! It was very coconuty and we both loved it. The ikan bilis gave the dish beautiful textures and flavours.
He ordered the dish with beef rendang, a popular dish which originated in Indonesia. A recipe version from one of my favourite bloggers can be found at Not Quite Nigella. Lim’s version was spicy and tasty, better than a lot of beef rendangs I’ve had in the past where the meat was quite dry and flaky.
When we were almost going to order dessert, two little bowls of complimentary desserts were served. What a lovely surprise! Yuye thought they were kaya flavoured coconut dessert but I’m not too sure myself.
We enjoyed our lunch so much that we returned 2 nights later for dinner. The dinner menu is quite different to the lunch menu, although you can still order the lunch dishes at a slightly more expensive price. Instead of ordering mains, we decided to stick to what we know which was from the lunch menu. We did order two entrees to share, one being a tom yum soup. The soup was flavourful and as sour and chilli as I like it, however, seemed a little watery and lacked depth. Not the best tom yum I’ve ever had although it was by no means bad.
We also ordered lobak, a minced pork filling wrapped in crispy tofu skin, served with a sweet chilli and tomatoey sauce. It was simply mouth watering. Five pieces wasn’t enough to satisfy me, maybe I should have gotten this as a main instead of the curry laksa.
The skin was so crispy and the filling was just the right blend of salty and sweet flavours. Yuye didn’t like the sauce much and ate them just like that, but I loved it with the sauce.
As if I haven’t had enough of laksa at home, I ordered the curry laksa again to compare. I loved the fishhead laksa at Laksa King so I always use it to compared my laksas. Lim’s one was delicious although was no where near the level of Laksa King’s. It was a bit too messy in that things were just piled up and the soup looked a bit gluggy, as if we got all the left over bits from the bottom of the soup pot. I can’t really blame them though since we did go as they were closing up the store. Flavours were authentic and flavourful although I probably wouldn’t get this again, there are obviously better dishes to order on that menu!
Yuye ordered char kuey teow, a usual dish of his back in the university days. Lim’s version didn’t include kerang, a type of Malaysian blood cockles, which according to Yuye was in a lot of other char kuey teows he’s had in the past. A shame for him, although he did say the dish tasted quite nice. It wasn’t at all oily which can be the letdown and was quite spicy even though he asked for medium heat. I think we were both over-estimating our chilli taking abilities. Next time I will stick to mild. If you come across crunchy little fried bits in your char kuey teow, just a note that they are probably deep fried pig lard as Yuye found out from our friendly waitress. This dish is not the most suitable for the healthy conscious.
I also ordered an ice cream soda float which was quite an interesting blend. Ice cream soda as you can imagine was in itself quite vanilla and creamy already, can you imagine another scoop of vanilla ice cream on top? It was simply delish! I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get the complimentary desserts at the end though, next time I will visit earlier in the evening.
We had two beautiful meals at Lim’s Nyonya Hut all for good value. Best of all, it was close to home! I would definitely return here probably many times in the future.
Question time: do you love Malaysian food as much as I do? If so, what is your favourite dish?
Lim’s Nyonya Hut
Phone: (03) 9802 3763
240 Blackburn Rd, Glen Waverley 3150