4 Acland St
St Kilda,VIC 3182
Chinese food doesn’t excite me. In fact it tends to do the exact opposite a lot of the time. But like all things familiar, I find myself inevitably returning to it when I’m feeling down, when my appetite is low, or when I’m simply craving something comforting.
Lau’s Family Kitchen is a small but cosy family-styled Cantonese restaurant tucked away in the unlikely locale of St Kilda. For all its diminutive size, the Lau’s are of ex-Flower-Drum-Fame, and the esteem shows. It may have the bustling energy of a good Chinese restaurant, but the notes of the orient are quiet and classy with no boisterous reds to slam the senses, and the staff are polite and helpful.
Unlike most Asian restaurants, the menu here isn’t overly long or complex. Rather, it serves up a small selection of homely Cantonese classics, such as crispy skin pork, and chilli prawns. There’s also a page of wines at the back of the menu.
|Fresh Squid with Salt and Pepper ($21)|
I’ve always thought the Cantonese could work wonders with a deep fryer, and today, Chris and I tucked into a gorgeous plate of Fresh Squid with Salt and Pepper ($21). The light batter melted in the mouth, and the pieces of squid were the perfect balance between tender and chewy. Subtly flavoured with spices and shallots, it absolutely sings with a squeeze of lemon.
|Sauteed Eye Fillet ($36)|
For mains, we shared a plate of Sautéed Eye Fillet ($36), and a bowl of Rice ($3.5pp) each. The rich, flavoursome pieces of beef had a center that was still pink and juicy, and were dressed simply in flavourful ginger soy, underscored with a hint of the grill. Kudos to a Chinese restaurant that doesn’t overcook their beef!
Our meal was topped off with a complimentary plate of buttery Almond Cookies. I normally feel rather jibbed paying more than $15 per head for Chinese food, because my mum cooks it so well, but not here. I’ll admit the prices are a bit steep for what it is, and I still hold a huge soft spot for Treasure Restaurant, but there really isn’t much not to like about Lau’s Family Kitchen. If you need to impress some picky eaters, you can’t go wrong here.
Rating: 14/20 – family favourite.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.