Last Saturday J and I joined his Mum and Dad for a quick lunch in between errands. We decided to go to Ten Ten Kitchen, to satisfy our collective craving for hawker-style Malaysian. I hadn’t been back to Ten Ten since the dinner we enjoyed with my Aunties S and J.
There’s lots of choices on Ten Ten’s lunch special menu – something for everyone, I’d say – including the favourites of our group, Laksa, Chicken Rice and Char Kway Teow. The specials are reasonably priced at between $8.00 – $14.50.
The restaurant was packed when we arrived, and we were quickly told to find a seat in the back. After making our choices, we flagged down a waiter, who looked incredibly rushed (and harrassed, by the table that ordered before us) but he was quick and efficient.
J and his Dad both chose the Hainanese Chicken Rice – when given the choice of leg or breast, there was no discussion – always leg!
The chicken was nice and tender, served at its usual lukewarm to cold (typical of this dish), with flavoursome rice. In fact, I thought the rice was among the best I’ve tasted since my beloved Ang’s Chicken Rice rice… (Sadly, Ang’s closed last year)
If it’s chili you’re after, then the Laksa at Ten Ten might be a better bet. I was pleased to see it had a speckly top layer of chili oil (always a good sign) and included generous amounts of yee peng (fish cake), prawns, shredded poached chicken, and half a hard boiled egg. The bean sprouts were a little harder to find…but to be honest – not a problem for me, as I wouldn’t call myself a fan!
As usual, I ordered my Laksa ‘mee hoon only’ (rice vermicelli) – when it comes to Laksa, my preference is always rice noodles, not the richer egg noodles.
I thought this Laksa was excellent. Mum and I always lament the balance of Laksa curry bases available around Perth. It’s got to have a chili kick, sure, and you can always count on a rich coconutty broth. But it’s all in the detail – you need a curry that’s light in flavour, with the right notes of lemongrass, galangal, ginger and garlic. It’s not the same as the standard chicken curry, and a Malaysian-style Laksa is definitely not something that’s well replicated by restaurants serving Thai or Vietnamese. Ten Ten Kitchen definitely have the right Laksa base.