338 – 342 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Vic 3122
Phone: (03) 9818 7777
A friend of mine told me that Omah’s Malaysian just opened a new branch at Hawthorn! OM is famous for its chilli crabs (mud crabs delivered fresh from Queensland) and many of their authentic Malaysian cuisines. Feeling rather homesick for some good South East Asian food, J and I decided to give it a go.OM Hawthorn is located within 5 to 10 minutes walk from the train station opposite a beautiful Catholic church. It has a very classy and chic layout with a mix of Asian furniture and decor. Kinda reminded me of Din Tai Fung but slightly on a darker tone, maybe coz we were there for dinner? We were greeted by friendly staff upon entering and shown to a corner seat near the bar immediately. OM Hawthorn expanded its bar area to cater to the needs of different diners and minimise their hassle of BYO-ing. Not only that, they have beer on tap too, which is also a new feature according to the staff. There were so many dishes to choose from the extensive menu. We started with drinks, fresh coconut for me and Tohu Sauvignon Blanc for J.
For entree, we ordered the mixed platter where there was an array of some of the chef’s recommended starters, namely: Chicken Satay, Curry Puff, Spring Roll, Loh Bak and Egg Tofu. The curry puff was yum, with the nice crispy crust and flavoursome potatoes filling! Tasted as good as Old Chang Kee’s! 😀 Loh Bak reminded me of Wu Xiang back in Singapore, the fried and crispy exterior and the tender meat inside, dipped with the sweet sauce provided make it a perfect match. Egg tofu was nothing special but personally I do not think that it has anything to do with Malaysian food? The satay was a letdown as it was not the typical charcoal grilled ones that they should be, it was lightly grilled, tasting more like fried which is how most restaurants in Australia make it. @.@
Next, we had the famous chilli crab! It was much bigger than I expected it to be and not as spicy as I thought it would be (I have a very low tolerance for spiciness, mind you!). The crab was meaty and fresh. The sauce tingled my tongue on the very first mouth, but thereafter it tasted more and more salty rather than hot. Hmmm. We also had Roti Bread to go with the sauce! Total fab! On a side note, it is quite rare to find restaurants selling crabs as a whole rather than by per kg. This ‘monster’ cost us just $39.90!
We also ordered Gado-Gado, Malaysian salad of steamed seasonal vegetables, tofu and egg served with peanut sauce. Apparently the peanut sauce is home-made by the head chef, no wonder it tasted so awesome! This dish was just the way I like it, if only the tofu was in bigger pieces!
I wanted to have Ikan Bakar but I was advised that they did not have any Blue Eye fillet for it that day so we had Fish Curry instead. The fish used was stingray! I could still remember the delicious stingray curry that I used to get from the Malay stall at my high school several years ago! How nostalgic! Every mouth, just brought back those fond memories. The curry had a generous serve of mixed vegetables and the spices were not overpowering like those nauseous Thai Curry with ridiculous amount of ‘unhealthy’ coconut milk. Overall, a great seafood dish. If only they had fresh stingray to do the grilled fish dish that I miss so much…. >.<
Finally, it was the time for dessert, oh glorious dessert! J had Iced Kachang. It was a towering bowl of ice with lotsa food colouring and a rather small scoop of vanilla icecream on top (stingy?). The colours were not as vibrant and numerous as I know it (or like the picture linked) and the first bite actually tasted like coffee. I think the palm sugar was burnt in the process or something? Underneath the ice, there was not many variety of jelly or rice flour. Quite a disappointing sweet for the night.
I got myself a tapioca pudding, thinking that it is the same one as the thai ones. But it ended up as a sponge cake looking dessert. It was great with traces of tapioca in the cake, not too sweet, quite a good balance. I will reckon that they should put the syrup at the side and not drizzle it on the cake before serving it to the customers as it caused the cake to become soggy! Presentation wise, ain’t very appealing though. BUT it was a better choice than Iced Kachang I must say.
All in all, I am satisfied with my dining experience at Omah’s! The staff was courteous and welcoming! The large variety of food, even though not as tasty as they were back in Singapore, I think I should acknowledge the effort put in. Moreover, they have to alter the food to a stronger flavour to suit Australians’ taste buds. =x How I wish the food was all a notch or two less salty. I will definitely go back for more crabs regardless of the mess that I have to endure to ‘conquer’ them.