16 Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington. Phone: 9376 2668
In the meantime, it’s been a bunch of fun reading myriad comments about both – comparing them, weighing up the various pluses and minuses, sometimes opining that one is superior to the other and even pondering the politics/relationship between the two.
We care nothing for that last point, and if we rate one above the other – and after today’s lunch, we most certainly do – it seems beyond dispute to us that whatever the rivalry between the Flemington neighbours, it is actually good for the business of both in the long-term.
A feature of the Chef Lagenda menu is the Meal Deal.
For $9.50, they offer a choice of two meats (steamed chicken, roast chicken, BBQ pork, soya duck), noodles or rice (flat rice noodles, hokkien noodles, vermicelli, egg noodles, chicken rice) and soup (clear chicken, laksa, tom yum, soya sauce (dry)).
Bennie goes BBQ pork, roast chicken, hokkien and tom yum and loves it, slurping and sipping with gusto.
As far as I’m aware this his first prolonged exposure to tom yum and it’s mild enough to be no problem, though it seems a little on the sweet side to me and he tires of it before the end.
The meats are in biggish chunks and, oddly, taste more like Western roasts than is usual in Asian eateries, and a little on the dry side, too. No matter – there’s plenty of moisture going on, including the bed of yummy wilted bean sprouts on which the meats reside.
The Meal Deal is a good deal, especially I suspect for kids.
I go for the straight-up bog standard curry laksa ($9.20) – and it’s a beauty.
At first glance, it lacks the devastating and lusty oomph of the laksa swooned over this year at Nasi Lemak House.
But it is of broader and deeper appeal.
Rather than usual couple of prawn tails, this rendition features something like half a dozen fat doozies full of flavour. Exceptional! (I’d already scarfed a couple before I realised this laksa’s prawn count was unusual, so cannot be more precise …)
Likewise, the fish cake is more thickly sliced than is the norm.
There’s ample bits of chicken and chewy juicy tofu, and the soup/gravy is good, though on the mild side.
The crowning glory is the largish slice of eggplant sitting atop the lot – it’s slippery, delicious and Bennie gets none of it. Ha!
We like the quirky crooked-house layout of Chef Lagenda, and the service is just as good as the food.
The Chef Lagenda website is here.