Sun Mei, 83 Charles St, Seddon. Phone: 9687 0680
Despite our many years in the neighbourhood, Sun Mei has never tempted us.
On the rare occasions we indulge in the Chinese delivered route, we go with a more distant but significantly cheaper outlet.
We keep on motoring to Footscray central or further afield.
Or if we stop in Seddon, there are other more alluring options – especially in more recent times.
But about a year, Sun Mei got a new look, some paint and quite a different vibe, with white-coated cooks energetically presiding over the woks in theatrical style every time we pass by at night-time.
So it is that I finally succumb to curiosity.
And discover, in the process, that Sun Mei remains fundamentally a take-away joint, despite the makeover.
But I agree with Consider The Sauce buddy James’ comment that with a little effort it could be so much more, as the food is “above-average” for its kind.
It’s very busy, even this early in the week. Locals are popping in with regularity, while the in-house delivery drivers comes and goes several times while I am in the house.
Eat-in facilities are minimal – a long wall shelf with stools opposite the wonderfully open kitchen and servery, and a small table in the window, at which I perch.
Two dim sims ($2.80 on the takeaway menu) are rather unglamourosuly served to me in a plastic takeaway container.
They’re mighty – tender, big, juicy, slightly peppery, all-round delicious and hearty on a chilly night.
Forget the legendary and over-rated South Melbourne Market dimmies – these here are the biz!
As could be expected, my kueh teow ($13) is significantly different from what would be served in a Malaysian restaurant.
The rather finely chopped pork and tiny shrimp come almost certainly from the same ingredient containers that are used in producing Sun Mei’s fried rice.
There’s no fish cake, egg, fat prawns, Chinese sausage or fresh chilli, with dried chilli flakes used instead.
But, golly, it’s crackingly good – notably unoily for this dish yet still evincing plenty of “wok hei” flavour.