Albee’s Kitchen, Campsie

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Chinese food is nev­er my pick when eat­ing out. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it — and if that were true, I’d be in trouble with the num­ber of times we vis­it a Chinese res­taur­ant for work lunches — but rather that there are so many oth­er cuisines that I prefer over Chinese. So, my first for­ays into Malaysian food was Malaysian Indian.

Albee’s Kitchen in Campsie, how­ever, serves Malaysian Chinese food and is T’s and N’s go-to res­taur­ant. A couple of years ago, they vis­ited mul­tiple times a week for a few weeks straight. Indeed, they go so often that they’re recog­nised by one of the wait­resses who tries to get them to order without a menu.

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People vis­it for the decently priced gen­er­ous por­tions of good food. No one vis­its for the atmo­sphere (it’s loud, not par­tic­u­larly clean, and part of the seat­ing involves walk­ing through the kit­chen — OHS?) or the ser­vice (it’s ter­rible — slow, bor­der­ing on rude and they often get your order wrong).

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For me, it’s the Karipap Chicken Curry Puffs ($2.50/ea) that keep me com­ing back. I love to eat starters as meals, and espe­cially at Albee’s Kitchen where everything comes in huge enough por­tions that I’m fairly cer­tain you’re meant to share (though T and N nev­er do).

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These puffs are abso­lutely deli­cious. They’re about 10cm long and 5cm wide with crispy pastry encas­ing half an egg sit­ting atop a curry chick­en mince mix­ture that has just enough heat. I could just keep eat­ing these!

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D’s go to dish is the Char Ho Fun ($11.50). The menu explains, ‘flat rice noodles are first briefly charred in hot wok with soya sauce and set aside. Pork, prawn and choy sum are stir fired. Broth is added and thickened with corn­starch. A lightly beaten eggs is streaked into the grave and gravy is then poured over the charred noodles or fried flat rice noodles in an egg gravy’. D enjoys the con­trast between the fried noodles and the egg gravy in this impress­ively large dish.

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For drinks, I tend to revis­it the Pineapple & Stuffed Rambutan (left) ($4.00), essen­tially pine­apple chunks stuffed inside a de-seeded ram­butan. Rambutans taste a lot like lychees to me. Much of the drink is shaved ice, which I’d nor­mally con­sider pad­ding for the drink, but here, it reduces of the syr­up to a pleas­ant sweetness.

D on the oth­er hand, likes to get adven­tur­ous with his drinks here. On our last vis­it, he tried the Cendol Kacang Merah with Red Bean (right) ($5.00), a drink with palm sug­ar, coconut milk, cendol, red bean and shaved ice. It’s one of the stranger drinks we’ve tried. D thought it was an OK drink when everything was mixed togeth­er, although he lamen­ted the lack of red bean. For me, though, it was naus­eat­ingly sweet and milky — I think I’ll stick to the more bor­ing options on the drink menu.

So, we vis­it Albee’s Kitchen for the food. It’s tasty with gen­er­ous por­tion sizes and very reas­on­ably priced. Amusingly, that makes it impossible for the aver­age diner to reach their free deliv­ery threshold of $300 (which is prob­ably aimed more towards their cater­ing service).

Albee’s Kitchen is at 282 Beamish St, Campsie NSW 2194.