We booked a table at Lau’s Family Kitchen on a Tuesday night as we were heading out to The Palais to watch the Rockwiz tour show. They have two sittings there for dinner – one at 6pm, and one at 8:30pm, so we opted for the 6pm start.
After battling through horrific Punt Road traffic, we parked at The Prince hotel carpark. Fitzroy street parking is notoriously difficult to get, and the parking limits are retarded for a street that is basically lined with restaurants (1/4P, 1/2P in most parts…). The Prince has about 300 spaces and will cost a maximum $10 for an evening, so it’s a good choice.
Gilbert Lau was the owner of the much lauded Flower Drum in Market Lane, Melbourne. He opened this restaurant shortly after retiring from his post at the Flower Drum, and it’s clear that his philosophy of great food and superior service still stands.
The menu is quite small for a Chinese restaurant – which is not actually a bad thing. I never really understood why diners in Chinese restaurants need to be presented with the choice of 150 odd dishes, so it makes the food selection process nice and easy.
Before we had even taken our coats off, water was being poured at the table, and by the time we sat down we had also received some chilli sauce and our menus.
After ordering an obligatory Tsing Tao ($9), we started our meal with some Lamb spring rolls ($9). The spring roll pastry was nice and flaky, and the minced lamb inside the spring rolls went surprisingly well with the plum sauce that accompanied it.
Next up was a serve of Steamed Sui Mai ($9.60). These were absolutely delicious, and were much better in both texture and flavor than most yum cha places we have eaten at. They successfully distracted Ritsy from staring at the outrageous hair sported by Ron Walker (who is otherwise known as Mr. Grand Prix), who was sitting opposite us.
For mains, we ordered the Chilli Squid ($28) and the Singapore Noodles ($23). Both were very good – meltingly tender calamari with perfectly cooked vegetables kept us coming back for more, and the Singapore Noodles had a delicate hint of curry powder, coupled with super fresh pieces of stir fried prawns and BBQ Pork.
Unfortunately that was all we had time for this time around – all in all, I think it has improved since our last visit – and our last visit was pretty darn good anyway.
We’ll be back, Gilbert and Family. We’ll be back.