Old Town Kopitiam
195 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC
(03) 9639 6098
Price: Entrees $4-$10, Noodles and rice $9-$11, Mains $17-$19
Parking: Street parking on surrounding streets, car park (for a fee) a few doors down
Visited: April 2009
It was Sunday lunch time in the CBD and hubby had a craving for yum cha. Ignorantly, we thought we would be able to get a table for 2 during the busiest time of the week without a booking! Of course we were proven wrong and it took a visit to 4 different places before we gave up (hubby’s craving was quite strong!).
We walked past Old Town Kopitiam on Little Bourke Street and looked inside. It was relatively busy so we decided to try it out. I wonder how many people tried to get in to Westlake for yum cha like we did?!
The menu has a wide selection of dishes, all the Malaysian favourites. I would say there are almost too many items because I had a hard time choosing – I wanted to try everything! I ended up being different and going with one of the specials on the board, fried har mee.
Har mee (prawn noodles) is traditionally a soup based noodle dish. It is actually not something I would normally order because most times I find the soup too overpoweringly prawny. Fried har mee though, sounded interesting and I have never seen it anywhere else before.
The noodles were the thick egg hokkien type and it was drenched in a thick, dark gravy. Scattered through the noodles were chinese vegetables, calamari, fish cake and one or two prawns, served with half a hardboiled egg and a dollop of chilli sauce.
The gravy really surprised me – it was so sweet and flavoursome, like a reduction of the traditional har mee soup but without the overpowering prawn flavour. The chilli sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the noodles and I couldn’t get enough! It had a sweet, prawn taste without being too spicy. I had to cover my plate to stop hubby stealing it all!
Hubby also ordered from the specials board and got the Ipoh hor fun (rice noodles). Traditional Ipoh hor fun is a soup based noodle, but I think a lot of food court type places have westernised it and made it into a fried rice noodle dish with the egg gravy. At Old Town Kopitiam though, it was the traditional one.
The rice noodles come in a separate bowl with a clear chicken stock soup and it is served with the same kind of chicken used for Hainanese chicken rice. Hubby thought the dish was just okay, nothing special. I found the soup had a bit too much white pepper, but it will still tasty.
As it is located in the city, I don’t think we would come back here any time soon. Parking and traffic is a pain in the city so we don’t go often. If this was located out in the suburbs, I would go back again for the fried har mee and to try some different dishes.
Over & Out, Rilsta xx