Little Asia, Contemporary Kitchen, 124 Douglas Parade, Williamstown. Phone: 9397 8858
This Douglas Parade address was the site of a long-ago, pre-blog family meal – if memory serves, the place was then inhabited by a wine bar or bistro operation.
For the past month or so it has taken on a whole new Asian hue, with the Point Cook owners attempting to gain a foothold in Williamstown.
It’s a nice, cool space on a hot day, with painted brick walls and a pleasantly swish vibe.
We find the service is fine.
In a typically suburban Asian fashion, the menu seems to deliver promise along with a few warning signs.
There’s laksas and wok-fried noodles along with dishes involving black bean, sweet-and-sour and honey sauces.
But you can also opt for a club sandwich or three others of a less complex nature, and get fries with your sanger if you so choose.
And our interest in trying the roti with curry chicken is dampened upon learning the rotis are not made on the premises.
So we get the curry with rice, instead ($10.80, top photograph) – and that makes dad, at least, very happy.
As expected, the spice levels are very muted.
But our curry comes with aromas that denote a real homecooked dish, with curry leaves submerged in the wonderfully sticky gravy.
The tasty thigh pieces are a nice mixture of chewy and tender.
But it’s the pair of spud chunks that really sing – slow-cooking is obvious from the fact our potato pieces are curry-coloured almost right to their very centres.
Bennie much prefers the “Signature fried egg noodle with shredded chicken, BBQ pork, Chinese sausage and greens” ($12.80).
Once again the seasoning levels are restrained to the point of blandness according to our chilli-hardened taste buds, and the dish is rather oily.
But there’s heaps of the advertised protagonists and Bennie makes quick and appreciative work of his portion.
We’re told the owners are working hard to please the locals, with a letterboxing campaign in the offing and much optimism about their home-delievry service.
A tweak in the direction of a more overtly Asian – and more overtly spicy – approach may eventuate in the new year.
And it turns out the featuring of a club sandwich and its pals, and fries to go with them, is actually more about catering to the tastes and desires of their extended Asian family and friends than it is about second-guessing the likely tastes of the Willy locals!