190 Belmore Rd
Mabrown, a small gem in the ‘burbs’ – Balwyn – that bustles during the week and is virtually impossible to get a table on the weekends. Glancing at the array of dishes on each table only to find a all the tables have one similarity provides strong testament to Mabrown’s signature dish – deep fried crispy quails.
Each plate was piled up high with quail (some higher than others). The skin was golden brown, speckled with capsicum, chilli and onion. The first bite almost burns my lip – – it was THAT hot! The skin was crispy with strong flavours of spice, salt and pepper, and a little sweetness from the capsicum and onion. Underlying this was a juicy meat. Clear winner – – recommended by sheer number of visual anecdotes! P.S. Although my sister complained it was too spicy… she happily continued to eat it haha.
Tom Yum steamed fish – was a nice blend of tomyum sauce and tomatoes with steamed fish. Though it was not spicy, it had a good level of acidity complementing the tomyum. Having the fish split down the middle fanned out on a plate does mean the fish will likely cook evenly, but does in fact break Chinese cooking tradition for steaming fish as a whole.
Jellyfish salad – spicy blend with not a lot of jellyfish (although I must say most places suffer from this problem, except at home!)
Food rating : 13/20
$ pretty cheap
Service : waiters, what waiters? (variable level of service – quite understaffed).
See also : omnomnomnom