Kopitiams are traditional coffee shops found all through South-East Asia. It’s normally casual, cheap and offer a variety of drinks, simple dishes and snacks.
Killiney is more of a modern style kopitiam, trying to maintain some of the old-world charm. The dining area is brightly lit, with a huge Killiney logo glowing proudly on the back wall. The table’s are of faux-marble, the walls are tiled, reminiscent of the various photos I’ve browsed of traditional kopitiams.
I think I might have a minor addiction to teh tarik, because I’m always tempted to order it when I see it. At Killiney it even comes in a cute little jug (just another excuse to order it).
In Melbourne, I’ve rarely seen teh tarik made with a nice, thick layer of foam, created from pouring “pulling” the drink multiple times. So a big tick on visuals and the creamy foam that coated my lips. Unfortunately the good news ends here. It definitely didn’t taste bad, but it didn’t taste amazing either, just mediocre. The thing I can’t stand is that the drink wasn’t cold. It seems like they just popped a few ice cubes into a warm drink and crossed their fingers, hoping it would get cold by the time it reached the table. Well, when you put a little bit of ice into a warm drink, the best it can get is to room temperature and that’s where it stayed.
I was feeling adventurous that day and wanted to order some thing I’ve never had before. I read a comment on Urbanspoon that the mee rebus was just like the ones in Singapore, so I decided to give that a go.
Mee rebus is basically egg noodles in a spicy, sweet, tangy curry gravy. The flavours were gutsy and bold, with each dimension competing to be the hero. Surprisingly, as strong as the flavours were, I found the gravy to be nicely balanced. I would have liked it even more if it was hot, unfortunately it was only lukewarm. Furthermore, I was also disappointed that the dried tofu pieces were tiny and scarce. Being a little more generous with ingredients certainly won’t hurt. Now, since I’ve never had this dish before, I can’t tell you how authentic it is. Maybe, you can tell me?
My boyfriend can’t stand coconut milk or really any derivatives of coconut. I did warn him, multiple times that Laksa had coconut milk in it as a main ingredient, but having never tried Laksa before he decided to give it a go anyway. Good on him for being brave! Unfortunately, the brave attempt was in vain. The soup was bland and tasteless, this was after he asked the lady at the counter to make it extra spicy. It really just tasted like very watered down curry. The Hainanese chicken also failed to please, having been thoroughly over-cooked.
I really wanted to like Killiney, but there were just too many misses on the day we went. If I happened to be up at that end of Bourke St. I might pop in again for a quick, cheap lunch, but I would not trek up especially just to eat there.