Friday, 28 October 2011

Blue Chillies

(degusted 24/9/2011)

You know that feeling you get when you find a restaurant that you think that you simply MUST come back to the same place the next day or at the latest next week?.. That excitement and anticipation of thinking about how you’ll try out all the rest of their dishes when you come back, and thinking of all the people you’ll be able to invite to come out to dinner with you to that place… Well, we got that feeling after eating here at Blue Chillies, on the iconic Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. Actually, it was more like that feeling had smacked us over the head, dunked us into the barrel of whisked happiness and rolled us in a crumb of satisfaction… Yeah, that was it, and we loved every minute of it.

In the past, when we’ve felt like Malaysian food, we have oft' popped into one of our favourites in Camberwell – Monk & Me – for a delicious feed, and it has served us remarkably well over the years. Steve says: “I’m a sucker for the simple stuff and tucking into a nice Beef Rending with some Roti is where I find my happy place”. Monk & Me have been the supplier of choice, but now we’ve got another vendor in the picture…

Beef Rendang at Blue Chillies. One of our favourite dishes.

We dropped into Blue Chillies after our chocolate feast at shocolate, so we were not particularly ‘hungry’ per se. The vibe looked good in this Brunskwick St shop (towards the city end), and the menu was tempting…. While we’re not statisticians (true, Steve’s a bit nerdy) we must say that the swag of Age “good food guide” awards for Blue Chillies pointed to a high probability of satisfaction from this place. Or as Steve would put it, Pr(satisf’n)=0.80.
Dining area at Blue Chillies. The compartmented wall of wines
and trinkets gave it a warm and friendly atmosphere.

We were early, so a table was available, and the rest – as they say – is history. To get the ball rolling we kicked off with a plate of super-moreish Ikan Bilis (snap-fried white bait and onions) that are like pringles (once you pop, you can’t stop). The saltiness was a nice snap out of the sugar coma we had both been in. We also plumped for the ginger and tumeric flavoured fried squid – which for fried calamari was good – nice and soft, flavoursome, and enjoyable.
Ikan Bilis - fried shrimp and onions. Once you start, you can't stop..

Fried Calamari with ginger and tumeric.

For mains we tried the Beef Rendang (S can’t resist), with some Roti (naturally). See picture above. In one syllable: WIN. The beef was fall-apart good. The flavours were intense and rich, the roti soft and warm. Rolling up the beef pieces into the roti strips to make “Malaysian style sausage rolls” is our favourite way of eating this dish, and it was so, so good: the likely satisfaction just jumped:  Pr(satisf’n)=0.90.

Ordering from the specials board, we opted for a lighter second dish – steamed fish in a delicate broth. It was a slightly sweet, slightly sour - full of flavour and had a crisp bite in the finish – it was a great balance of flavours, and the fish was cooked well, too. An absolute stand-out and we asked why it was not on the permanent menu. The waiter said that it had been on the specials list for some time, and might become a permanent fixture. We would order it again without hesitation, and would go back specifically to order this again. DELICIOUS. At this point, Pr(satisf’n)=0.95.

Steamed fish in an exquisite, light broth.
Not on the permanent menu (yet)... but this is worth coming back for.

For a brief mention, we also got a plate of stir-fried veggies which were fine, but paled into insignificance next to the other dishes on the table. It’s true – you don’t make friends with salad.

For dessert (yeah, as though we needed it, having just had this an hour earlier) we went for a coconut crème caramel, with ginger ice-cream. The crème caramel was relatively light in coconut flavour, but it was satisfying. The sweetness of the ice-cream with the ginger flavour gave it a well-rounded feel, and, matched with a nice little espresso, was the perfect end to a meal that we thoroughly enjoyed.
Coconut Creme Caramel with ginger ice-cream.

The statistics were right: we were totally satisfied - though there was little doubt with this long-term stayer in the Brunswick St scene. While it’s another place for us to get our Malaysian fix, there are enough reasons for us to come back here specifically (such as for a repeat of the steamed fish dish, and to try out the tempting ‘spicy pork ragout’, the ‘thrice-cooked duck’, or the ‘whole fried snapper’). Bring on our next Malaysian cravings…

Rating:  Nom(x3)
Meh                      It’ll Do                   Nom(x3)                              Must go back!
Done and Degusted @ Blue Chillies

-Ikan bilis (white bait) & onions snap fried in sambal
-Squid crisp fried in ginger & tumeric
-Beef rending
-Steamed fish (special)
-Roti, -Veggies
-Coconut creme caramel with ginger ice cream

Blue Chillies on Urbanspoon

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