Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eat. @ Laksa King

6-12 Pin Oak  Crescent, Flemington ph : (03) 9372 6383

We had dinner at Laksa King on the way home from our day at the Show.  We were quite excited as it was a last minute decision, and when you have kids, I have to try and plan everything ahead of time to ensure things go as smoothly as it can!  It looked very kid friendly, with open dining spaces, highchairs, change tables and of course, noodles!  But unfortunately the service was a definite let down and it did not turn out as pleasant as I had hoped.

Firstly we ordered a trio of drinks - ice lemon tea ($3.80), ice red bean drink ($4.50) and an OJ ($5.50) - as we were parched. 

We shared a Chargrilled Chicken Satay ($7.80) for an entree.  The sauce was lovely, nutty and sweet and went well with the chicken skewers, which were tasty and moist, as opposed to many other chicken skewers we've had before which end up way too dry.

The Combination Curry Laksa was very reasonably priced at $9.20.  Pleasant and fairly standard, but not a standout amongst the many excellent laksas in Melbourne.

The Ipoh Fried Noodles was easy to eat dish for kids, and a good-sized serve at $10.20.  It had a decent amount of seafood, and again the dish was pleasant without being a must-try.

I'm a fan of Hainanese Chicken Rice ($9.20), and this one distinguished itself by having a drier serve of rice, which is a nice change from some of the soggy, gluggy "balls" of rice I've had at other places.  The only let down was that it was a little uneven, and some of the rice seemed almost too crunchy, or undercooked. (I know, I'm hard to please!)  The boneless chicken wass easy for the kids to manage.

We arrived just before 6pm on a Monday night, and initially the service was great.  The staff went out of their way to accommodate the pram and was generally helpful.  I kid you not, but within 15 minutes of our arrival, the restaurant was packed wall to wall with diners, with about 20 people waiting for seats and take-aways in the little entrance area.  Our subsequent order for an extra drink and request for extra bowls were met with smileless stares which we could only interpret as annoyance.  Hubby fed Bubs while I ate and tended to the older two.  The moment I finished my meal and took over with Bubs so Hubby could eat, the waiter cleared the dishes, asked if we were going to order desserts (no), and gave us the bill and take-away boxes.  Hubby and the other 2 kids were still eating but it was clear we were being hurried to clear our spot.  The hovering waiter too eager to clean made me quite nervous.  I understand they are under pressure with all the waiting patrons (and no doubt more turnover means more money), but we are also paying customers who are still eating!   All up we were in and out of the place in little over 30 minutes.  I appreciate efficiency when eating out but this was a little over the top for me.

Eat.Play.Shop. says - A decent local spot for some hawker style food, but the service means I wouldn't cross town to have this again, especially when there are many other good quality restaurants serving similar foods right across Melbourne.  This place is very popular though, so I'm sure they won't miss our patronage.

Laksa King on Urbanspoon

Toilets - Yes, with change table in the disabled toilets.  (Mind the 5 brooms hanging on the inside of the door though)
Highchairs - Yes, Ikea type


  1. Ooh I like that the chicken rice is boneless. Great for the kids but even better for me ;) lol

  2. Such a shame that you had poor service here! My partner and I ate here the following day and the service was really good, and the restaurant was absolutely full - no seats left! It's sad when they cannot be consistant with service. I agree about the food though, it's pretty damn good, but there are other places where you can get the same standard of food (and better service in your case). Try Chef Lagenda next time? :)

  3. Hi EatPlayShopMelbourne,

    I'm going to leave Melbourne soon, but despite the many restos I've been to and haven't blogged about, haven't been able to find a very good laksa (except Omah's Nyonya version which is excellent, even my old favourite Rasa Malaysa did me a dud one the last 2 times!).

    Was thinking of coming to Laksa King, but do u have any other suggestions? I don't mind which style of Laksa, although I do prefer that they give out Laksa Leaves - much like Pho should come with Culantro and not a single shop in Melb does it!

    I guess I could bring my own leaves though as I found them in the same Vietnamese grocery stores I bought my Culantro from!

    HK Epicurus

  4. Hi K@Epicurus,

    Thanks for your comment, you sound much more of an expert in laksa's than we are! Our favourite laksas would be from Rasa Malaya (as you mentioned) and also Straits Cafe in Doncaster. The laksa at Laksa King was quite nice, just not one that I'd travel far on purpose to have, especially as we live to the East of Melbourne.

    What do you think of the standard of laksa's in Hong Kong? As with most Asian foods I'm sure there's a much greater variety and much better standard than in Melbourne?


  5. @ Nic : I've enjoyed the boneless chicken version of Hainanese Chicken Rice at a few different places now, and almost feel annoyed when I have to have it with bones!!!

    @Bianca : So glad you got better service than us! Unfortunately it's not the first time we've had less than ideal service when dining out with the whole gang - dining with kids can be trickier for parents and restaurants alike, but as you can see from my blog it ain't stopping me from eating out, and I will sing high praises to the places we visit with good food, great service and are tolerant of the little ones!

  6. That's not cool! I've always heard mixed reviews about the service at Laksa King, and to be honest I think we may have just been lucky in terms of the good service we received that day. I don't think we'll be going back any time soon anyway simply because of the chance of poor service, and the fact that there are so many other places that are just as good, if not better anyway! I can imagine it would be hard with kids, and some restaurants probably aren't overly tolerant, but good on you for not letting it deter you :) Your kids will have the fondest memories of eating out, I know I have those memories of my childhood, and they are some of my favourites!

  7. Yeah they do hurry you out the door don't they!!!!
    I used to be a Laksa King lover.
    Then one day I went to get my fix at 3:20pm and they were closed.... so I went down a couple of doors to Chef Lagenda.

    Have not been back to LK since!!!