Coconut House

It was a cold Thursday. Stepping out of the post-mortem practical, my friend said he felt sick, then without skipping a beat he suggested we all go get food together! It doesn’t sound that logical to me, but his rationale behind it was that food would keep it all down. Whatever the reason, food is good. Specifically, he wanted bak-kut-teh to keep the chills at bay. I suggested we all go to Coconut House together, not because they had amazing bak-kut-teh just because they had the dish. I guess it was time to find out how good they were. So 6 of us headed off to an early dinner.

When we arrived at Coconut House it was only 4.40, so I was a little unsure about whether they were opened for dinner yet or not, but they let us in anyway.

Coconut house is one of the small restaurants lining Elizabeth Street and the interior is tiny, so we squeezed in a table by the door. Everyone was quite hungry, so without further ado here are the dishes we ordered.

Traditional Bak-kut-teh ($9.80)

Traditional Bak-kut-teh ($9.80)

Since this is what we came for, so of course two people from our group ordered it. I have to say the picture on the menu looked much better than the food that came to the table. I would have loved to see this little claypot filled to the brim, but somehow it looked a little bit empty. I got a very simple phrase from Marceus, “it isn’t the real thing”, apparently it tasted quite far off from the one he had had in Malaysia.

Chicken Curry Laksa ($9.30)

Chicken Curry Laksa ($9.30)

I just love the vibrant colours of this laksa. However, the owner of this dish was too busy wiping sweat off his forehead and downing water to comment much on it, except for the fact that it was “hot”.

Original Combination mee pork chili/original ($7.90)

Original Combination mee pork chili/original ($7.90)

The pork certainly looked glistening and sweet, but I think my friend said that this dish was okay and she wished that she had got what Pierre had ordered below.

Homemade fried chicken chop mee pork (chili) ($8.90)

Homemade fried chicken chop mee pork (chili) ($8.90)

I asked to take a picture of his food and his request was that I could, only if he was in the photo. So a nice smiley, happy food photo was taken. He was very happy with his dish, finishing the noodles before anyone else and I also got the confirmation that “it’s good…”.

Teh Tarik ($2.90)

Teh Tarik ($2.90)

Here is my obligatory mug of teh tarik (hot). I was hoping that it could warm me up, but like a lot of places it is only just lukewarm. I just don’t get why cold teh tarik can’t be cold and hot teh tarik can’t be hot. A little disappointed.

I ordered my food last, because I was busy scribbling down what everyone else had ordered, plus I was being indecisive as always.

Thai Vegetarian Green Curry with Rice ($8.80)

Thai Vegetarian Green Curry with Rice ($8.80)

I’m mostly vegetarian by night. This is just simply because I found that I don’t get the bloated feeling after dinner if I stick to my veggies and I just feel overall more comfortable and balanced. Though I don’t¬†usually¬†stick to this routine when I eat out, but since I already had that meaty duck ragu the night before and I was also going to have dinner outside the day after, so I decided to follow my usual habit and seek out something vegetarian. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this green curry, but it proved itself to be a little extra special. A lot of green curries I’ve had contained too much coconut milk, so much in fact that the coconut milk dominates over the dish. But this was different. It had balance. The chef was braver in his use of spices and the resulting curry was appropriately fragrant and spicy which balanced the creaminess of the coconut milk, instead of letting it steal the show.

Coconut House is just a fast, cheap eatery, good for Uni students on a tight budget. The service here is the usual no fuss, edging on rude, service lady serving your food with a light thud on the table. However, judging by the numerous other cheap, Asian restaurants scattered over the city, Coconut House is on the better side.

If anyone knows any good bak-kut-teh places around Melbourne, please drop me a word. Oh and thank you to my friends who patiently waited for me to take a photo of their food despite being hungry.

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