Friday, 23 February 2007
Beyond the Food Court
I confess to liking the changes made in recent years to Melbourne Central. I'm quite aware I should perhaps feel ashamed but in these changes I of course include the new dining spots such as tonight's destination; Chilli Padi (Menzies Alley, next to Max Brenner).
On my initial visit soon after their opening I was showered with attention. Tonight it couldn’t have been more different. I know they're busy on a Friday but there seemed to be some timing issues. The waitress kept coming to the table at 1 minute intervals to get our mains order yet happily left our dirty dishes on the table for 10 minutes. I don't expect much from a spot that charges $10 for mains but it would be nice to be asked if I wanted another drink. Luckily my dining partner shares my service expectations.
I would suggest skipping the starters if you’re looking for good value. The satay skewers ($6 for 3) couldn't have been smaller if they tried and I wasn't quite sure how to respond when the waitress asked "isn't the dipping sauce great?". I personally found it more oily than flavourful. At least drinks were a bargain at $4.50 due to happy hour. What more could a girl want on a Friday night?
The chicken laksa ($10) was a great balance of flavours by my tastes and I couldn't slurp up enough of those noodles. The only downfall was... well the chicken. Perhaps the duck or seafood options would have been better. The beef penang with roti chani or rice ($10) was smaller but equally flavour packed. The green tea dessert ($6.50) we finished with was surprisingly delightful for something that had been sitting in the cake display. Next time I'd love to sample the black sesame ice cream.
The menu is dominated by Malaysian food with a few South Indian options. If you're looking for something a little different from McD's or the standard food court kebab this is your place.