5 August 2009

Kuali, Lane Cove

If any of you have seen the above Youtube video, then the words "I want Shark's Fin soup!" will be very familiar to you. Unfortunately the video is in Cantonese and has no subtitles, but it involves a woman throwing a full-blown tantrum and shouting "I want Shark's Fin soup! Why do you not have any Shark's Fin soup?!" repeatedly, when she is told that the restaurant has run out. A much more subdued version of this from Scrambled Eggs (replacing Shark's Fin soup with Hainan chicken rice) led us to dine at Kuali, a Malaysian restaurant that does serve Hainan chicken rice.

Kuali is located upstairs in the Lane Cove arcade, and although it has received good reviews in the Sydney Morning Herald, we came with some apprehension as reviews on eatability had not been promising, mostly regarding the service. We were however pleasantly surprised as the waitstaff were friendly and accomodating, and not pushy at all.

Kajang Satay: Original Kajang recipe skewer of chicken or beef with delicious peanut sauce and condiments (5 per serve) - $11.00

We started off with the Kajang Satay, which were 5 tender skewers of chicken with a tasty peanut sauce and a dollop of sambal.

Beef Rendang: Spicy beef stewed in aromatic spices - $18.00

We ordered a few main dishes including the Beef Rendang. The meat was fall-apart tender and the sauce was delicious. My only complaint would be that it probably needed a bit more of a chilli kick. I have had a gigantic roti craving since Mamak closed for renovations and since it has reopened I haven't had a chance to pay it a visit! In order to quench my roti craving, I ordered some roti to go with the beef rendang and although it was good, it doesn't quite compare to Mamak's ;)

Roti Chanai - $3.50

Next up was the Sambal Fish. My understanding of what sambal is supposed to taste like is that it is quite hot, but the sambal sauce was quite mild on this. The salmon fillet was moist and flaky with a nice crispy skin. This was my favourite dish.

Sambal Fish: Pan-fried salmon fish fillet with Sambal sauce - $23.00

Of course, we ordered Hainanese Chicken with 2 serves of chicken rice. I'm sure Scrambled Eggs was mighty pleased but to be honest I have had better Hainan chicken elsewhere for a cheaper price. The chicken wasn't as slippery and soft as I would've liked, and needed quite a lot of condiments to counter its blandness. The chicken rice had a distinct chicken flavour but compared to others I've had this was also quite bland.

Hainanese Chicken: Steamed or roast chicken served with chef's special sauce and condiments - $17.00

Chicken rice - $3.50 per serve

Last was our order of Penang Char Kuey Teow. It was quite unfortunate that this was the last dish we ate because it paled in comparison to the other dishes we had already eaten. The noodles were flavoursome but were overcooked and too soft.

Penang Char Kuey Teow: Stir fried rice noodles with prawns, chicken, fishcake, bean sprouts and egg - $15.00

I'm far from an expert on Malaysian cuisine, but I felt that in general the food was overpriced since you can probably get something of similar or perhaps better authenticity for less elsewhere. However, if you're in the area and feeling like Malaysian, then this is the place for you. If you don't mind spending a bit.

1st Floor (Lane Cove Arcade)
115 Longueville Road
Lane Cove, NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 94186878
Open for dinner Tuesday - Sunday, 6pm-10pm

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Kuali on Urbanspoon


  1. That first video reminds me of that woman who had the tantrum at the airport! Oh dear, is it a habit for grown women to have tantrums? :P

  2. Hi Lorraine - Haha yes I saw that airport video as well! Hopefully tantrum-throwing women don't become too commonplace...