Lau’s Family Kitchen has been on my radar since we arrived in Melbourne 6 months ago from London. I made the suggestion to each keep a restaurant aside for when we land our dream jobs that we would like to celebrate with a meal. WordMonkey struck first and we dined out at Cutler & Co (must find the photos for a future blog post), and until now all I could do was wander past my choice hoping to be able to enter sometime in the near future. Well yesterday was the day I got an offer and I am over the moon to join the team.
So I sent the email to WordMonkey late yesterday – “Let’s just say I have booked Lau’s for us… dun Dun DUUUUUUUUN….”
Even for a Monday there was 2 seatings and during each the place was packed. Lau’s has a great ambience which makes it a great setting to enjoy a good Chinese meal. I was surprised with the menu offering many of the usual Chinese restaurant staples but as we came to learn, they turn it up a notch and deliver dishes that are unrivaled by the bog-standard dishes places usually serve. Upon ordering, we were informed by our waiter the order that he suggested the dishes arrive. A good touch which didn’t allow the table to become too cluttered. In addition to this, each dish comes with its own accompaniment of either sauce or dipping salt which is cleared away after each course. It just adds to the experience of each individual dish.
A touch of old school Chinese restaurants also comes into play with the waiters serving each dish onto your individual plates. But this did cause havoc for PhotoMonkey as I was not able to get a good shot of each dish on the original plate as once it was placed on the table it was half empty. Not a problem for us – just a different type of photograph.
First off to bat was the Salt and Pepper Squid. In the words of WordMonkey who orders this dish religiously elsewhere – this is the best version of this dish she has ever eaten. Big praise indeed. The dish was accompanied by individual salt and pepper dips and lemon slices. Tender and crispy – just the way it is meant to be.
I was dubious at ordering the Prawn and Scallop Dumpling as the price was quite high for a serve of four. But I am sure glad that I did. Even being massive yum cha freaks, this was the very first time that we were able to actually taste the noodle which enclosed the prawn and scallop filling. A great all round dumpling with a nice addition of finely chopped chives.
Next up was the Daily Special of Crispy Pork Belly. PhotoMonkey has only just joined the land of the living and has succumbed to finally enjoying the food category know as pork. And this was the dish to blow her away. The acompaniment was a smoky barbeque plum sauce which complemented it perfectly. The skin was perfectly crispy and the meat:fat ratio was on the money as too.
Pork, pork, pork, pork.
Sweet and Sour Pork to be exact. Like many Aussies this is the dish that can draw a line in the sand for a restaurant and I get it every chance I can. They made this dish individual by the inclusion of not just having pineapple but also adding lychee to mix. A great addition if you were to ask me. The pork had a nice crispy coating and there was no gristle that you sometimes fins elsewhere. But the one issue we both had was that the dish was a little but too sweet and too sour. But saying that I would definitely order it the next time I went back.
As per usual there this is about the time where we sit back and say that we over-ordered and really did not need the last dish. But being just comfortably full we soldiered on with Singapore Noodles with Pork and Prawn.
It was so good we finished it easily.
The Singapore noodles that I would usually order comes with an oily texture and a extra kick of MSG to boot. This had none of that – just an exquisite simple dish with fine ingredients. Well done.
Lau’s Family Kitchen
4 Acland St
St Kilda, 3182
Ph. (03) 8598 9880