Makan at Alice, Thornleigh
I can’t believe it has taken me this long to go to Makan at Alice. It was Father’s day and I was trying to decide where to go for lunch and I remembered a couple of weeks ago that Makan at Alice won ‘Best Bang For A Buck’ in Sydney’s Time out Food Awards 2011.
As expected, the place was packed for Father’s day lunch. If you didn’t make a reservation, I doubt you would have gotten a table until very very late in the afternoon. I love the kue at the front of the counter, unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of it as I thought I would do it after lunch and they were ALL GONE!!!!! I didn’t get to buy any kue which was a shame but definitely an reason to come back!
They left all the ordering to me, which was a tad dangerous! Started with the roti canai with chicken curry. I love roti canai – the roti was deliciously flaky, smooth and crispy. The chicken curry was thick, creamy with a hint of spice was absolutely delicious! We couldn’t help but also get an extra serving of roti, they were just too good to past!
I thought the serving for Hainanese chicken rice could be larger. Not even half a chicken, a quarter of a chicken but admittedly it was deliciously tender and soft. The chicken rice was also nice, but I think for me, Shiok!* still has the best Hainanese chicken rice. I did like how it came with two sauces – a sweet soy-based sauce and a chili sauce – YUM!
The nasi goreng cooked with sweet kecap manis (thickened soy sauce) and a mix of prawns, chicken, peas, shallots and corn was tasty, I could smell the wok aroma but a little too salty for my liking.
Next came the wat tan hor – grilled rice noodle topped with thick egg gravy with seafood, pork and vegetables was a favourite amongst the diners. The rice noodles were cooked to perfection and egg gravy, thick and wonderful complement. Definitely one of my favourites!
The curry puffs – beef curry and potato in homemade pastry (4 per serve) was hands down the best curry puffs I have had in a long time! Crispy, flaky pastry, and generous servings of beef curry and potatoes – it was definitely hard to stop at one and no guessing who ate the extra one!
I love char kway teow (CKT), rice noodles in thick soy sauce with chinese sausage, seafood, chives and sprouts! I have to say, this was one of the nicest CKT I have had. The noodles cooked to perfection, and served with chinese sausage and seafood was wonderful. My only gripe would be there weren’t enough rice noodles to go around!
Malaysian desserts is quite similar to that of Indonesian dessert. It certainly has been a while since I had ice kacang – shaved ice with grass jelly, creamed corn, red beans in gula melaka and milk. I love the colourful ice, it would be perfect for a hot summery day! There weren’t a lot of ‘stuff’ in it though – not like in Indonesia! Regardless, it was still quite tasty.
Cendol, homemade pandan strands, red bean jelly in coconut milk and gula melaka was incredibly sweet, so sweet that if you had the ice kacang afterwards it would not be sweet at all! Usually served in a glass, this was also refreshing but sickly sweet!
‘The Mother’ couldn’t help but order a glass of the teh tarik, pulled Malaysian milk tea, can be served either hot or cold, he opt for hot. I prefer the teh tarik here at Makan at Alice than in Mamak – as it has a more distinct tea taste than the extra condensed sweet taste.
Overall, thought the dishes were quite tasty and flavoursome. My favourites were definitely the curry puffs, roti canai and the CKT! I enjoyed it more than I had anticipated, a different option as we always go to Istana!
To my wonderful Dad, my Father-in-law and all the Fathers out there, hope you all had a fantastic day with family!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
Makan at Alice
264 Pennant Hills Road
Ph: +61 2 9484 8288