Neighbour’s Restaurant

Neighbour’s Restaurant is not affiliated to the Australian drama – but it’s quite a nice place to go to . I found this restaurant next to Pho Vietnamese Restaurant on Lorne St. They are located “underground” but have a menu just before you go in. The menu with pricing helps differentiate if it’s cheap or expensive compared to places nearby *ahem*. I have to say, it’s kinda cheap, $10 or less unlike some places. =)

A couple of dishes were sampled on a cold winter night:

Neighbour's Restaurant - Pork Chop on Rice

Pork Chop on Rice.

Neighbour's Restaurant - Sesame Oil Chicken Noodle Soup

Sesame Oil Chicken Noodle Soup.

The place serves Taiwanese cuisine and first impression, I like it. In terms of pricing, it’s cheap and flavour-wise, it’s on-par with another one of my favourites, T-Mark. The place is also clean and green (I mean literally).

My rating is a biased 9/10.

Deli & Noodle Bar @ Sky City Casino

The Deli and Noodle Bar at the Sky City Casino is always an all-time favourite for me. It opens late, and there’s plenty of pokies and slot machines to keep you entertained for the whole night – that is if you’re a gambler. 🙂

On a late winter night, I was trying to figure out where to go for dinner and decided upon the casino as I haven’t been there for ages. The Deli and Noodle Bar isn’t exactly a quiet place to eat and lighting isn’t that great. Also, your meals don’t get served to you. I decided to try the Noodle Bar since I had fond memories of the beef brisket. Samples below:

Sky City Deli & Noodle Bar - Beef Brisket on Hor Fun

Beef Brisket Hor Fun.

Sky City Deli & Noodle Bar - Soya Chicken on Rice

Soya Chicken on Rice.

For most of the meals, you have a choices of either rice, rice noodles, egg noodles etc. The soya chicken cost $10.50, while the beef brisket cost $8.50. So, price-wise, it’s standard. Flavour-wise, the soya chicken is tasty, while the beef brisket needed extra flavours from the chilli. Overall, it was quite a good meal for the time frame as well as flavour. My rating is 7/10.

The other thing you could always try is the Deli which has various Western options. But the best way to utilise the Deli is to register for the Action Card (which is free I think). That way you can get discounts on meals.

Saigonz


Finally, another decent Vietnamese restaurant in town. Saigonz is apparently a new Vietnamese restaurant on Beach Road. It’s quite near Foodtown, but parking is difficult to find like any place in the city. I think the place caters for the nearby businesses and residents. Just by initially looking at the place, which is small with only a few tables and with their dishes served in plastic bowls. Their menu is small, which makes decision making somewhat easier. They have a website, and  even an 0800 number (0800 SAIGONZ).

Anyway, the dishes sampled are shown below:

Saigonz - Beef Pho 

Beef Pho.

Saigonz - Lemon Grass Chicken Rice 

Lemon Grass Chicken on Rice.

Saigonz - Lemon Grass Chicken Curry 

Lemon Grass Chicken Curry.

Saigonz - Pork & Prawn Summer Rolls 

Pork and Prawn Summer Rolls.

 All of the above dishes cost $9.50, except the rolls, which cost $7.00.  I have to admit, all the dishes tasted great! The only niggle is the plastic dishes they were served in. A bit too takeaway-ish for me, but I guess that’s what the business is catered/designed for. I was hoping the rolls would be cheaper, perhaps like $4 or $5. Perhaps we need more Vietnamese immigrants like Melbourne. =)

My rating is a very favourable 9/10. It’s something new, the flavours and pricing do not disappoint. The rolls could be cheaper but I guess they’re one of two Vietnamese restaurants in town.

ATT Cafe

In between two highly-rated places (Mentatz and Pho Vietnamese) on Lorne Street is the ATT Cafe.  A quick glance at this cafe, it looks more like a canteen. I thought I’d give this place a try, no harm when you’re hungry and sick of going to the same old place. A couple of dishes were sampled as shown below:

att-cafe-deep-fried-chicken-drumstick-noodle-soup

Deep Fried Chicken Drumstick Noodle Soup.

att-cafe-garlic-gravy-pork-on-rice

Garlic Gravy Pork on Rice.

Both dishes cost $9.50, which is quite cheap. The noodle soup did taste a bit plain, I wish there some kinda sauce that could boost up the flavour. However, the rice wasn’t bad. I can’t really say much, because it was just a meal. Not gourmet or anything at all. Apparently, they do deliveries within the city.

A rating is hard to justify, but it’s average. Not bad but not good, 7/10.

Thai Friends

There is an odd-looking place on Parnell Road called Thai Friends. I say odd because it doesn’t exactly look like a big place at all when you pass by. I always thought it was a bit strange for them to run a business with tables and chairs (about a handful) outside. Little did I know that they had more room/space at the back! But that’s probably reserved for dinner.

I decided to try out this place for lunch after a long day at looking for overpriced property around the area. Also, they’ve got awards and stuff like that. So I wanted to see what the big fuss was about. Initial observation of the menu will definitely give you a heart attack. It’s really odd, of all the Asian cuisine, Thai and Indian are always overly priced comparatively. Why is that?

Anyway, thank goodness they had a “Special Lunch Menu”. Two dishes were sampled as shown below:

thai-friends-thai-hot-green-curry-on-rice

Thai Hot Green Curry Chicken.

thai-friends-thai-seafood-laksa

Thai Style Seafood Laksa.

The chicken green curry is a traditional, all-time favourite and it costs about $13.50. It’s not bad. The Thai style seafood laksa was a unique one. I thought the laksa was very good. The seafood is quite fresh and the flavour of the laksa soup was delicious. For $17.50, I thought it was worth it. Of all the laksas I’ve forced myself to try, this was the best (I’m usually not a big fan of laksa). It’s not full of MSG, and the seafood is real seafood. It’s not frozen seafood like fishballs, fishcakes, surimi, etc.

Based on the two above dish, I thought Thai Friends is worth a try, for lunch that is. I am not sure about dinner. It may be a bit overpriced, especially during this difficult economic time. My rating, 9/10.

Selera

Another Malaysian place. I know. Boring. But why not? =)

I hardly go to Selera, which is situated in Newmarket (also near where I live). I was there about 10 months ago and I got pee-ed of with the “quality” of the food and price. But I’ve heard they’ve changed ownership and/or management. Some things that annoyed me previously was the crappy fatty left-overish char sieu they put on their kon low mee and the very MSG-ed laksa. I had to drink a bucket of water after that. That was before.

So during the weekend, I decided to have a look. Two dishes were sampled:

selera-kon-lo-mee

Kon Lo Mee.

selera-nasi-lemak-with-beef-rendang

Nasi Lemak.

After trying the two above dishes, I was pleasantly surprised. Although the price is still expensive (above $12), they have tried to reduce their price only for lunch during the weekdays ($8.90). The Kon Low Mee, flavoursome although still lacking substantial protein. The Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang was tender and moist. I can’t complain, although price-wise it is high they have specials for the weekday.

My rating is 8.5/10. They do still have some work to do in terms of reducing their price. It’s just $2 more expensive (on average) compared to the nearest Malaysian restaurant (Laksa House at the Newmarket Food Plaza).

Do give Selera a try – only during weekdays for lunch. =)

Kiraku Japanese Restaurant

If you ever wanted a very light meal in town but in a cramp condition – try Kiraku. It’s located on Elliott Street, near the Atrium on Eliott. The selection is pretty good and friendly staff. Some dishes sampled are shown below:

copy-of-kiraku-teriyaki-chicken-ramen  

Teriyaki Chicken Ramen.

  copy-of-kiraku-pork-gyoza

Pork Gyoza.

copy-of-kiraku-jap-curry-on-rice

Japanese Curry Chicken on Rice.

The first two dishes came as a combo for $14.50. The curry chicken rice is $10. I quite like it even though there isn’t much “material” i.e. light. As for taste, it’s good. My rating is 8/10.

A good place for a quick and light meal.