Lazat 2, 328 Keilor Road, Niddrie. Phone: 9379 8878
Consider The Sauce tried – with satisfaction – and wrote about Malaysian restaurant Lazat soon after it opened in Sunshine in 2012.
But it has never become a regular stop for us, though I know it is a much-loved favourite of some readers.
The reason, I reckon, for our lack of regular visits comes down to it being located just off Ballarat Road in an area of service industries, with the neverending traffic whizzing by.
When we think of Sunshine, we automatically think of the other end of Hampshire Road and of parking and having a good walk around before deciding what to eat.
Today, though, I’m a long way from Sunshine.
I’m on Keilor Road in Niddrie.
It’s an old-school shopping strip with a wide mix of shops and eateries, one that always looks like it should offer much in the way of food finds.
But every time I’m hereabouts and have a closer look, very little jumps out at me and says: “Drop everything – eat here, right now!”
Though there is a very good-looking Turkish place I’ve been trying for which I’ve been wanting to muster up for some time … it’ll get done some time.
Today I’m here for the opening of Lazat 2.
The new Lazat sibling is located on an intensely foodish strip and and sandwiched between Italian and Japanese joints on one side and a Greek and a Nando’s on the other.
The restaurant is modestly proportioned but is nevertheless a longish and coolly welcoming space.
It may be opening day but I’m far from alone, with a number of locals already seated when I enter, eager to try out this new arrival.
I take a seat one of two long wooden tables and ponder lunch.
For a first-up look at a new Malaysian place, my normal routine – for sure – would be to try the non-seafood laksa.
But today I do not feel like such a weighty lunch.
So I opt, instead, for the Hainanese chicken rice – another pretty handy Malaysian ready-reckoner!
The Lazat 2 menu covers all the bases you’d expect.
Lobak sells for $6.80 and curry puffs for $6.
Full serves of beef rendang or chicken curry clock in at $18.80.
Noodles such as mee goreng fetch $13.80.
My chicken rice is a flat-out doozy – one of the best versions I’ve had for several years.
Step 1 – try the soup: Nice and hot, not too salty, flavour good.
Step 2 – try the rice, unadorned with condiments: Very good with a hint of ginger.
Step 3 – try the chook: Oh boy!
This chicken – and there’s plenty of it – is fabulous.
It’s at room temperature; actually, it’s cold.
But I mind not, thinking of it as a kind of salad.
It’s tender and very flavoursome.
Best of all, it has been impeccably, expertly boned – not a shingle shard or killer fragment of bone passes my lips.
Step 4 – do the mix-up: Blend chilli and soy sauces, and soup, with rice; eat with chicken and coriander.
Step 5 – sigh with happiness.
Considering the quality of my meal and the asking price for noodle dishes, I consider the $11.80 I have paid a most excellent bargain.
(This story has been sponsored by Moonee Valley City Council. But in all other regards it is a regular Consider The Sauce post – we chose the restaurant and when to eat there; we ordered what we wanted and paid for it ourselves; and neither oversight nor an editorial role were sought by the council.)