Monk and me
9 Evans Pl
03 9813 3261
Recently reading some good reviews (Food Rehab, Iron Chef Shellie) regarding Monk and Me’s Laksa, so I was convinced to try some. Located near Camberwell junction, Monk and Me is tucked away in a small lane and has a rather inconspicuous sign. The décor, however, is full of jazzy colour and ambience. The origin of the name comes from “the theme of a person’s spiritual journey from a caterpillar to a butterfly… Come in to experience your Nirvana. Monk and Me… where legends meet heaven.” (I just thought those words from their website was quite charming)
Seafood Laksa – Fine strands of vermicelli and soft hokkien noodles, fried bean curd puff, fish cake, king prawns, calamari, bean shoots, string beans, all present in a piquant spicy coconut curry soup.
All the ingredients used were fairly characteristic of Malaysian flavours. The overlying fresh string beans were crunchy, bean shoots were soft (I have a slight bias towards them being cooked =P), prawns had a crisp crunch, tofu had that slightly chewy double-fried outer skin with an airy interior that sponges up the wonderful soup and squirts it all into your mouth when you bite into it. Caution: careful of burns! This was served in a tangy and coconut-creamy broth – mmm tasty! It had a surprisingly homely quality and had me reminiscing the laksas I had whilst in Malaysia earlier this year. If not for the fact that I was trying to finish off my friends dish I would’ve slurped down the remainder of the soup. Though I must point out (and will probably continue to do so) that distinct from their suggestion of “pigquant spicy”, it was in fact quite a mild version.
Nasi Goreng – Spicy traditional Malay style fried rice with chicken, egg, sambal, onions, spring onions, bean shoots, diced potatoes, bean curd topped with fresh lettuce and dry shallots.
This was my friend’s dish. She ordered too much and had to force feed everyone – literally filled an empty bowl up and slided it in front of me =). Not that I was unhappy about trying another dish, but was already quite satisfied/full from the laksa. The acidic-spicy components of sambal, onions and dry shallots really gave each mouthful of rice a small kick (was in fact a little spicier than the laksa). Shredded fresh lettuce was a little soft by the time I started eating, and I personally thought the cubes of egg & chicken did not add much complexity to the dish – couldn’t pin-point why: maybe flavouring? maybe cubes too small? P.S. sorry the picture was way way way too blurry to post.
Rating: Yummy for the laksa, but just average for nasi goreng.
Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat; Average: palatable but many shortcomings; Yummy: a pleasant experience; Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain; Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes; Divine: sheer culinary perfection!