Monday, 19 May 2014

Mr Loys Puff

452 City Rd 
South Melbourne, VIC 

When I travelled to Malaysia and Singapore two summers back, I spent every available moment stuffing my face with the delicacies on offer. Whilst it didn’t take too long for my stomach to rebel against the never-ending litany of food, I had enough time to eat up all of my favourites – Hainanese chicken rice, fried kweh teow, roti soaked in curry sauce, steaming hot bowls of laksa. But what left me with the deepest impression was a heavenly curry puff I had from a street side vender, the flaky pastry stuffed full of spiced lamb chunks and fluffy potato.  I’ve yet to find an equivalent in Melbourne, but Mr Loys Puff seemed as good of a place to start as any. 

Freshly opened in South Melbourne, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant is here to provide a taste of authentic Singapore street food to the homesick and the hungry. The idea here is fast and simple, the menu whittled down to a selection of classics, and two types of curry puffs.

Traditional Curry Puff ($2ea)

Black Pepper Chicken Puff ($2ea)

We started off with one of each type of curry puff – a Traditional Curry Puff ($2ea), and a Black Pepper Chicken Puff ($2ea) – and the nostalgic drink of chyrsanthemum tea in a can.  The pastry was crumbly and buttery, hand-folded around a rich filling of curry chicken, egg, and potato. The black pepper chicken puff had a similarly chunky and satisfying centre, but the spiced curry sauce was swapped for mellow black pepper gravy. 

Nasi Lemak ($8.5)

I’ll be up front and say that I normally don’t like Nasi Lemak ($8.5); I’ve always found the individual elements on the plate to be much too noncohesive, and I end up feeling like I’ve eaten less than the sum of all the parts. So it was with delighted surprise that I found myself greatly enjoying playing mix and match with crackling anchovies, roasted peanuts, and an absurdly crunchy chicken cutlet dipped in scorching sambal. I daresay what held it all together was the sweet fragrance of coconut in the rice, so often disappointingly absent. 

Hainanese Chicken Rice ($7.8, regular)

Hainanese Chicken on Rice ($7.8, regular) on the other hand is a stalwart favourite of mine. The dark mound of rice was flavoured satisfyingly with a gingery chicken stock, served with tender poached chicken and tangy chilli sauce. The chicken soup on the side was lovingly sweetened with scallions and carrots, and I noticed a distinct absence of MSG. The dish could’ve done with a more generous portion of chicken, as what we had was quite skin-heavy, but it was also a fraction of the cost of what you would expect to pay. 

Banana and Chocolate Puff ($2ea)

There’s no dessert on the menu as of yet, but keep your eye out for the Banana and Chocolate Puff ($2ea), a work in progress that we were lucky enough to sample. The buttery pastry and fluffy chunks of banana were already delicious as they were, but the best bit was when we hit upon a pocket of molten chocolate. Chris and I both agreed with our host that, with just a little (or a lot) more chocolate, this would be a devastating dessert.

Mr Loys Puff is unfortunately a bit out of the way for me for a day to day visit, but the food reminded me a lot of what I got to chow down on my holiday. But for those who work and live in the area, Mr Loys Puff is a tasty and reliable option, good for a snack or a meal any time of the day.

Rating: 13/20 – nostalgia puffs.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Mr Loys Puff 

Mr Loys Puff on Urbanspoon

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