Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hot: Chillipadi

Although I live only 10 minutes away from Chillipadi, I have been there only once and have never thought of returning again until Ashley from Food Pampering Yourself invited me for a food tasting opportunity at Chillipadi, Melbourne Central.

My last dining experience at Chillipadi in 2009 wasn't a pleasant one, but I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, and so does Chillipadi. Having said that though, I arrived having no expectations at all and frankly, I was actually rather impressed at how much improvement they've made over the years.  

Milo Dinosaur
We each had a drink while waiting for everyone (or more like the fashionably late Allan teehee) to arrive before we can kick start dinner. I initially wanted to order the Milo Gozilla, but they unfortunately ran out of ice cream. But well yes, the Dinosaur isn't very different. 

Chicken Lobak
We kicked off with a dish that drifted my mind right back home to Malaysia - the chicken lobak. For those of whom are not familiar, lobak simply is meat (usually pork) wrapped in crispy fried beancurd skin.

It was a good start; the chicken was tender, and the fried beancurd skin was crisp. The only downside is that it made me miss home, and my aunt's really good pork lobak.

If you're wondering why they used chicken instead, it's because Chillipadi caters also to Muslim and they are certified as Halal, which means NO PORK, NO PORK! (If you're Malaysian, you'll get the joke!)

Duck Salad
The duck salad is what it is that you see on your screen - fresh green salad, cherry tomato, shredded turnip, walnuts, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and duck of course, tossed in what I believe is mirin dressing.

Their take on the salad with an Asian slant might be pretty simple, but it certainly was light and refreshing.

Penang Char Kuey Teow
There are so many versions of char kuey teow and all of the cooking styles differs in the various states in Malaysia.

Chillipadi takes on the Penang version, and is a tad bit spicy, but what can I say? Nothing better than a nostalgic taste of home. 

Braised Homemade Silky Tofu
I'd offer only two words: smooth and silky - just the way I like my tofu to be. Oh, while I'm at it, may I add another word, wait, make that two: super yummy! ;)

I could do with a whole plate to myself, and gah, looking at the pictures, make me want to run to Chillipadi, like NOW. Easily my favourite dish of the night!

Beef Rendang
Just so you know, I am always labelled as the "failed Malaysian" simply because I cannot take spicy food. But Chillipadi's beef rendang is a tad bit Australian-ised maybe? Well, it wasn't too spicy for me, in fact I think I ate quite a bit of it. But with rice, of course!

Roti Reuben
Named after its creator, Reuben, this crispy roti is wrapped with mince chicken then drizzled with mayo and sweet chilli sauce. The comforting supper food, I'd call it.

Crispy Oats Prawns
This is what we call the 'Nestum Prawns' in Malaysia. The prawns, covered with flaky Nestum oats are fried until it achieves a crispy texture then served with more flakes of crispy oats, which is my favourite bit.

Southern Indian Fish Curry
The mix of spices made this dish so aromatic and tasty, and the fish fillet were beautifully cooked too. What I loved most about this dish is the vegetables that comes with the curry, namely lady finger (aka okra), long beans and brinjal (known better as eggplants here).

Although it does look like it might give me a heart attack with my low tolerance of heat, I actually fared pretty well with this dish, again with the aid of rice. #phailmalaysian

Calamari Salad
As beautiful as it looks, the calamari salad was perhaps the dish that did not stand out most for me, because I have very conveniently forgot how it tasted. All that I could remember was a hint of tangy-ness within - not very helpful, I presume? 

And to think that we were done for the night, Uncle Robert (the owner of Chillipadi) turned up at our table as we digest in the amount of food we very satisfyingly had and introduced us to his "best roti maker".

That was followed by a phrase I don't know to laugh or frown at, "try some of our Chilli India food".

My stomach was already close to bursting, yet when we were served with more food, I very excitedly gobbled them up, expanding my stomach that one inch wider.

This huge rolled-up crepe-lookalike, is known as dosai, which according to Ashley, is made of rice flour and a bit of fermented yeast.

It is light, crispy and breaks easily (resulting in me making a big mess), at our convenience to snap a little, bit by bit and dipped into the three side dippings. 

Tandoori Chicken with Briyani Rice in the background
The tandoori chicken was succulent, juicy, and perfectly cooked. Goes very well with briyani rice, but I had only a couple of mouthfuls and damn, I wished I wasn't so bloated!

Butter Chicken
Although the chicken was very tender and juicy, the sauce was a tad bit too rich and creamy for my liking.

I remember how confused I was because although it looked very much like butter chicken, it did not taste much like it.

Auntie Li did clarify though, that the Southern Indian style could be slightly creamier than what we get from back home. 

Roti Canai
Cooked to a crisp, this flaky roti canai keeps me very well satisfied until I get home to my 80cents mamak roti canai.

I have to say that these are the best roti canai I have ever came across in Melbourne. The fact that I couldn't help but nibble even when I was very close to wanting to unbutton my jeans, explains it all.

Roti Tisu
This is another type of roti, that is very much crispier and serves pretty much like a dessert.

The roti tisu, in the shape of a tower, was drizzled generously with chocolate syrup and condensed milk, then sprinkled over with peanuts.

It was the final dish to arrive, and at this point everyone went, "Whoah, so full!" but it was polished off rather quickly. Like they always say, "There's always space for sweets!" Guilty as charged! :P

Sakura Blossom Green Tea
To finish off this wonderful feast, Auntie Li (owner of Chillipadi) served us with some Sakura Blossom - green tea infused with rosemary.

I loved how aromatic and refreshing the tea was, so I asked Auntie Li where she got 'em from. She very proudly shared that it was from Lucipia located in QV Building - I am so going to get myself some!

All in all, I had a very pleasant experience and I will definitely go back to Chillipadi again. In fact, I think it should be very soon.

But I will take it easy the next time I pop by, because that night when I got home, I did regret eating SO much. Don't want yet another food coma because my waistline simply can't afford to. :P

Chillipadi on Urbanspoon

Thank you Uncle Robert and Auntie Li for hosting this complimentary dinner that you were way too generous with, I think my button was THIS close to popping.

And of course, not forgetting Ashley from FOOD for organising this food trail to Chillipadi - my tummy was belly satisfied! ;)

Disclaimer: My reviews are 101% honest, and purely based on my dining experiences and how I feel about the food at that point of time. It was an absolute delightful feast, and I have to say that the quality has definitely improved since I last dined there in 2009.


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

how come u didnt get invites when fei n i were in melbourne?? haha.

i would pay for a meal like this, cant find anything near in bris!

PFx said...

Is the restaurant very Malaysian or is it just you've ordered?

It's kinda funny how you said, 'failed Malaysian' but still off to 'chillipadi'. Like a lactose intolerant going to... you know.

(Got my reservation for maze in august, thanks;)

msihua said...

Yum! Super regret not coming along now.. hahaha.. only because I know how each of the dishes taste like.. But I'm on a diet! OMG

The Bakeanista said...

Joe: Lol even if i get invites when u all from here also cannot bring you hahaha!

PFx: Hahaha, this is a sponsored post, i didn't order the dishes but they were recommended by the owners. It is very Malaysian, but nope, i didn't get "lactose intolerant". Great that you got reservation! :)

msihua: SO YUMMEH! We all kena food coma man! Aiyo, how can food blogger go on diet? :P

Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)