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.
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).
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).
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!
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.
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.