Food and Drink


Kitchen Inn

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Kitchen Inn is Melbourne’s first Sarawakian (West Malaysian) eatery and has received mixed reviews since it first opened in November.

My experience of the place, however, has led me to believe that all you have to do is make-believe you’re actually in Malaysia and you will have fun.

This means no expectation of smiling waiters, and as was the case when I was there, you may be asked to share your table with strangers – just like in Malaysia.

It turned out well, since the couple seated next to me were Malaysian, one of whom was acquainted with Sarawak cuisine. According to them, the house specialties are the traditional Sarawak hand made noodles (Kampua and Kolo Mee), Sarawak Laksa, Foochow Hand Made Noodles and Bak Kut Teh, a spicy herbal soup made with pork bones.

As Kolo Mee is one of my favourite things, I decided to try the Sarawak derivative, Kampua, with Special Soup ($13). My dining partners ordered the Foochow fried handmade noodles ($8.90) and the Sarawak Laksa ($10.90).

What came out five minutes later was a generous portion of springy hand made noodles, topped with BBQ roast pork, spring onion and fried shallots. My Special Soup had liver and assorted innards in it, but didn’t taste particularly “innardy”.

I initially thought the noodles were a little dry, with not enough sauce added, but was gently corrected by my new friends, who told me that the consistency was perfect – the trick is to add a few spoonfuls of soup.

The Sarawak Laksa was another interesting revelation, as it wasn’t really laksa at all. I was told the soup broth is comprised of sambal belacan, tamarind, galangal and lemongrass, topped with just a little bit of coconut milk, making it spicy but not hot. If you want something with plenty of flavour, I suggest giving this a go.

The Foochow Fried Handmade Noodles was cooked by the book, with generous amounts of fish cake and lots of dark soy giving the dish its signature dark colour.

Service may be brusque, but as the first Sarawakian restaurant in Melbourne serving hand made noodles, Kitchen Inn is worth a pop in.

469 Elizabeth St, Melbourne
9328 2562
Mon-Sun 11.00am – 10.30pm

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