Address: 221 Mcwhirters Mall, Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Dining out in Brisbane can be very much a hit or miss affair. In the past week, I must have reached a trough as my miss greatly outweighed the hits. As a result, I was delighted to have come across Oldtown Kitchen in the Valley to at least start the weekend on a good note.
I could sit here and write half a page about the restaurant's location (extremely easy to find) and its decor and ambiance (very traditional, but why waste my breath on all those frivolous things when the stand out of the restaurant is the food?
Being Asian myself, I believe that one of the most basic and the difficult thing for little eateries like this to get it right is the rice. The rice must be a good support and balance for the dishes whilst providing some characteristics of its own. I know enough eateries who either do rice so heavy that it overpowers the dish or provide rice that chews like plastic.
Oldtown Kitchen has definitely got the rice done perfectly. It is moist and chewy without being soggy and each grain is separate. I have a feeling that the rice was steamed with shallots and ginger to give that distinct Singaporean/Malaysian flavor.
I ordered the salty fish and chicken with vegetable and tofu hotpot with rice. The dish came quick and the moment the hotpot lid was lifted, fragrance of the dish filled my nose and made me salivate. Indeed, even the girls at the table next to mine commented that the smell made them hungry.
The proportion of the dish was decent and the balance between meat, vegetable and rice was simply perfect. This is the first time in a very long time that I have finished the dish with all of the accompanied rice (I normally barely touch the rice).
Given that the whole thing costed just a little over $10, I have to say, it is definitely worth every penny!
Oldtown Kitchen, I am definitely coming back very soon to fix my Asian food cravings.
Recommended: Anything rice or noodle based. I heard good things about their laksas too. Will be returning to try.
Directions:Out Fortitude Valley Station, go through the mall and exit at the 7-11 exit (that'd Brunswick St?). Turn left. Go straight, cross Wickham St and the restaurant is close to Ann Street.