Look! Look! Say hello to the crabs, kids!
Master Four is silently petrified, shrinking back into his chair, but Miss Two is instantly alert and more than a little curious. I feel a little cruel about introducing the little 'uns to our soon-to-be-dinner but the waiter is more than obliging, beckoning Miss Two to come a little closer and touch its shell.
"Okay, now say goodbye..." The kids start waving as the colander disappears in the direction of the kitchen.
"They're just going to have a relaxing hot bath," says Veruca Salt, but the kids have already lost interest and are playing drum beats with chopsticks instead.
Hainanese chicken (whole) boneless $35.00
There's a large entourage of us today--twelve in total--here for a Sunday lunch. The restaurant isn't as busy as I'd expect, although we hear that dinners are when Temasek really goes into overdrive.
The Hainanese chicken--always a must--is a little disappointing today. Usually moist and flavoursome, the white poached chicken is somewhat dry in parts, a stituation easily rectified with a generous slathering of the three sauces provided: ginger shallot, chilli sauce and kacap manis. A pot of accompanying chicken rice (steamed rice cooked with chicken stock) is rich and filling.
Fried chicken $17.80
Fried chicken isn't quite what I'd expected. Not only is the chicken skinless, but there's no batter either. Dusted with flour and deep-fried, they're a little dry as well and not terribly crunchy either.
Sambal balacaan kang kong $16.80
Sambal balacaan kang kong puts us back on the flavour express. I recently made a version of this dish at home, and it's true, the pungent smell of fermented shrimp really does linger in your kitchen for several days. It's a dish best eaten out and we relish the contrast of the salty sweet fishiness and the tender water spinach tubes, the spicy heat slowly building on the tongue.
Assam seafood $23.80
The cavernous bowl of assam seafood is filled with chunks of fish, scrolls of calamari, curls of prawns and fat quarters of tomato. It's the soup I like best, a tangy mixture of tamarind, fish paste and sugar that packs some heat.
Satay chicken skewers $15.80 for 6 pieces
The kids are struggling with the chilli factor but they dig into the satay chicken skewers with gusto. The chicken is tender, charred to a satisfactory burnt tan and served with a bowl of very peanutty satay sauce.
Ngoh hiang $18.80
Five spice meat roll
The ngoh hiang tastes better than my first encounter, or perhaps it's because I now know what to expect. The casing of bean curd sheets are thin and extra crispy but I'm still not so keen on the filling which seems to have the texture of gristle.
Singapore chilli crab - market price
Singapore chilli crab is always an impressive dish, a huge platter piled high with crab pieces then doused in a lake of bright orange sauce flecked with egg. The sauce has quite a tomato sauce flavour to it. It's a messy hands-on affair that we attack with gusto. A plate of quartered soft white bread slices is provided for mopping up the sauce.
Almond butter king prawn (with shell) $33.80
My favourite dish of the day is easily the almond butter king prawn. The prawns are so crisp from deep-frying, you can crunch down the entire shell, head and all. But it's the topping that's the highlight: tendrils of feather-light egg yolk, squeezed through a sieve and then deep-fried to create a buttery and rich yellow lace. There's also chilli, sugar, shallots and almonds, a sweet nutty crunch the the kids end up fighting over. The little kids too.
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The Roxy Arcade, 71 George St, Parramatta, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9633 9926
Open Tuesday to Sundays (closed on Mondays and public holidays)
Lunch 11.30am - 2.30pm
Dinner 5.30pm - 10.00pm (last orders 9.30pm)
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Temasek, Parramatta (May08)
Parramatta - Hooters (yes really!)
Malaysian -- Kopitiam, Ultimo (Dec08), (Apr07) and (Apr06)
Malaysian -- Makan at Alice's, Thornleigh (Feb08) and (Jun07)
Malaysian -- Malay Chinese, Sydney (26 Apr 07) and (3 Apr 07)
Malaysian -- Mamak, Haymarket (Nov07) and (Oct07)
Malaysian -- Mc Lucksa, Haymarket
Malaysian -- The Malaya, Sydney
Malaysian -- Tan's Malaysian, Ultimo
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1/13/2009 12:03:00 a.m.