Nutritionist & Life Coach
Meeting all requirements to call myself so (i.e. none)
Published January 3rd 2014
Flemington’s other Malaysian Restaurant
There's been a lot of hype surrounding Fleminton's pack 'em in Malaysian Restaurant Laksa King. Enough hype that hungry punters on a sunny Melbourne Sunday evening will be waiting 30 minutes for a seat. The King's reputation precedes him and many will endure the wait.
The alternative is to walk about four doors down to Flemington's other Malaysian restaurant, Chef Lagenda. Although I have never eaten and Laksa King and thus never been rocked by the 'King' (American Beauty, 1999, scene 51, act 2) I must say it would have to go a long way to top the effort at Chef Lagenda.
The first positive at Chef Lagenda is that the open kitchen ensures that nobody will spit in your food - surely everyone's first priority in an eatery. There is also some entertainment while awaiting your food when you hear the kitchen staff swearing at each other in what I assume is Cantonese.
Tender Beef Rendang
Mind you, you're not waiting very long and what you get is some quality Malay-Chinese cuisine for a very reasonable price. With the speed of service, the volume of custom and the tenderness of the meat, they must be roasting an entire cow, swine and any number of birds around the clock. The beef in the Rendang and the pork belly we ordered were both falling apart as though they'd spent 24 hours in the slow cooker.
A special mention must be made regarding the salt & pepper calamari. What can be a rather ho-hum dish at some restaurants, and simply dressed up frozen calamari rings at others was a perfectly cooked piece of squid.
Along with the quality comes the quantity. The serving sizes meant that - even after four hungry bon vivants had had their fill of four generously proportioned main courses - there was still enough in the doggy bag to cover lunch for the next day.
More duck than the English cricket team
So if you've come to Laksa King only to be informed that there'll be a wait, or even if there isn't a wait, Chef Lagenda is an excellent option just a few paces from Newmarket station.