Red Bean Kitchen
430 Burwood Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122
03 9815 2488
Jutting out from the pastel-blue walls is a fluoro-red signage, which makes for a typical visually-loud Asian frontage. Given its semi-remoteness (away from the hustle of Glenferrie Rd) I’d say it most definitely needs it for most cars would otherwise zoom straight past it. Though by no means am I suggesting people who dine here come unintentionally… So how did I hear about Red Bean Kitchen you may ask then? Actually I stumbled across it only recently whilst browsing My Food Trail. Singapore chilli MUD CRABS!!! Turns out they didn’t have mud crabs at the time – sad I know.
Beyond those unassuming front doors immediately sits an open kitchen to the left, offering a visual and olfactory display of wok-hei – drools! Given it was our first time here, we ordered predominantly from the favourite items on the chalk board.
Golden Soft shell crab – a humungous plate of soft, mildly gelatinous cuts of soft shell crab. I must emphasise the crab was really soft, a little too soft maybe, but still tasty. It was heavily drowned in golden-deep-fried crumbs, which Mr WF enjoyed thoroughly, shovelling down the remaining crunchy bits on the plate. I am not so much a fan of the salty batter-remains, but I suppose one man’s dislike is another man’s treasure?
oOOoOH a big piece! Lucky me. =)
Hainanese chicken – velvety slices of boneless Hainan chicken on a bed of soy-based sauce.
Japanese tofu – stir fry of Japanese egg-tofu, crunchy florets of broccoli, baby corn and mushrooms. Though not delicately presented – with broken bits of tofu – you can definitely taste the wok-hei.
Asam fish head – for me this brightly-orange pot of asam curry was the star of the night. With heaps of gelatinous-goodness to go around I was happily gnawing away my dose of collagen and chondroitin for the week. The robust sourness of the tamarind and red chilli heat was balanced by the sweet-juicy crunch of pineapple, lady fingers and cubes of cucumber. Bring on the rice!
Satay beef – was passable but personally I thought it was quite a mild-watered down marination, over tenderised with baking powder. Though not an unusual occurence, unfortunately.
Rice – There was a choice of Hainanese (back) and white rice (front).
Rating: Yummy. This place offers decently inexpensive, unpretentious Malaysian / Singaporean hawker style food with a chatty ambience and friendly service.
The lady-boss (presumably) eagerly enquired about how the food was, and whether photos would be posted online – clearly quite accommodating to 3 SLR’s flashing away at our table. I must say though I was saddened not to see any mud crab. Though, naively, I didn’t enquire specifically about mud crabs and when they would be available… SAD! I WANT SINGAPORE CHILLI CRAB!