Lau’s Family Kitchen

Lau’s Family Kitchen
4 Acland Street, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia
(03) 8598 9880
As P Diddy was visiting we needed to take him somewhere Asian to get his dose of Asian meal.  My previously blogged Nobu was a failure so I had to step up my game and bring him to somewhere nice, and hopefully, more traditional.  I was thinking of Cantonese this time and the first thought came to mind was, of course, Flowerdrum.  But I know P. Diddy will frown at the price tag and grumble till there’s no tomorrow, so I thought, okay, how about Lau’s Family Kitchen?  With Flower Drum’s ex-chef on the helm, surely the food will be good without the huge price tag?

Upon asking a few tweeps, eMeow and Thechommery confirmed that Lau’s should be good, so we made a booking and off to St Kilda we go.  P Diddy frown when he saw the decor- he thought it was doesn’t look very “Chinese”, but the very very Chinese waiter soon made him smiling and chatty.  What I love about here is that they don’t just hire some 16 yr old amateurs to serve you, they seemed to have waiters of varying ages and though their service is not slick, it suits the family-style they are going for and seemed genuinely attentive and friendly.

Perusing the short menu it still looked a bit suited to the Western palette.  I have never had lamb spring rolls in HK before and having yum cha items as entree for dinner is a bit strange.   We decided the safest bet is to ask the waiter to recommend a few dishes for us.

First came crab and sweet corn soup which Hubby insisted on ordering (with copious amount of eye roll from me as Hubby love his sweet corn soups and he is becoming a  connoisseur on it). He said that it was very very good.

Our waiter recommended the steamed barramundi $35 which is extremely fresh, steamed to perfection and drizzled with just the right amount of soy sauce.  We were a little disappointed we didn’t get the whole fish, but I suppose with a clientele of 80% westerners the kitchen might be catering for that.

The Deep fried chicken, I mean, poussin $25.  Lau’s kitchen used poussin in the attempt of making this dish less tough.  I had the pleasure of eating the Chinese style deep fried chicken in HK, and the skin should be crispy, the chicken meat tender with a bit of a bite to it and of course the chicken fat that’s just enough to seal in the flavours and keep it moist.  Unfortunately this dish has none of those qualities.  It was dry and tough and the skin was not crisp enough.  We did provide feedback to the kitchen and they said that the chicken in Australia is quite different from HK (fair enough) and the kitchen was very busy so it wasn’t up to scratch (well, glad that you admit it but  perhaps some complimentary fruit plate would be great).

The beef was next.  Export quality Rib eye with capsicum and pepper sauce had me wanting more.  It shows that it doesn’t have to be wagyu (*ahem* Nobu *ahem*) for the meat to be succulent and tender.  The sauce had me eyeing on P Diddy’s rice so I could have more.

Stir fry veggies with garlic was mother great dish $13, the veggies are crispy and fresh, with a light garlic sauce which is not salty and drowning in MSG like most of their Asian counterparts.  Fantastic dish.  I would even just go back to have this veggies with rice!

Dessert time! But the desserts are a bit lame here: fruit salad, deep fried banana fritters and something like deep fried icecream…. Once again, more to the western palette.  We decided to skip dessert and went to Dessert Story instead (which, on the next blog you will see it’s probably a wrong choice but anywaz)

Overall, Lau’s Family Kitchen main courses captures the essence of Chinese home  cooking, remained true to its flavours, but caters for the western preferences. I guess it’s kinda like the best of both worlds, and though I don’t normally go out for Chinese food, I would definitely say this is somewhere I would take my Asian family for dinner when they visit. 8/10

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