I got off the plane, collected my luggage and my mother, and the first thing we did after leaving Perth Domestic Airport was head in to Northbridge and be Very Chinese.
We went to visit the aunties* at the Chinese grocers along William Street, where I had to say hello and 你好吗** and yes Melbourne is good and 四日***. I eyed off the Mister Potato Crisps and the mooncakes, but decided I could wait until I got back to Melbourne. I also wandered up and down the aisles whilst my mother did some shopping, lamenting the loss (to me) of my favourite Chinese-Malaysian grocer. As I have well documented, I have yet to find every Malaysian thing that I require from Melbourne.
We then moved on to be more Chinese-Malaysian, with lunch at Lotus.
Oh Lotus. I have loved you frequently and loved you long, as the only provider of vegan Nyonya noms in Perth (aside from my mum). I remain so sad that there is no equivalent to you in Melbourne. I used to visit you several times a month, to eat the comfort food I love; your 'beef' rendang and your laksa and your kapitan and your char kuay teow and your deliciousness. Oh yeah.
Danni's mum joined us, and we had a bit of a noodle extravaganza.
My mother went for the Penang Laksa (please forgive the overexposed shot).
This was very rich, as always, and filled with lots of beans, tofu, and mock char siu, and my mum had it with beehoon (rice) noodles. It was good, but not super spicy, and she didn't finish it all.
Danni's mum went for the Hokkien Mee. Hokkien mee is one of my favourite things to cook, it is quick and easy and delicious, and so must this one have been because she ate it all up (and did a stellar job with her chopsticks). This was filled with lots of vegies, which is just the way it is best.
What is with all this single dishes? perhaps you are asking. Well, it is my fault, because I knew exactly what I wanted, and what I wanted was the wonton mee. Whilst I had a perfectly reasonable wonton noodles at Tinh Tam Chay in St Albans, it was not perfect, and what I really wanted, above all else, was the wonton mee soup at Lotus. It's not on the menu, but you can ask for it and oh yeah. Oh yeah.
LOOK AT THAT OIL. I drank that all up. Delicious. I picked this over all my other favourite dishes at Lotus, and it was totally worth it.
Finally, we ordered a kapitan + three roti to share.
The kapitan ('chicken' curry) was super spicy. My nose started running and my tongue was burning, but OH WOW. DELCIOUSNESS. Totally perfect, oh how I have missed it.
Oh Lotus. If only you were open on Mondays, I would have had lunch at you again yesterday. And I would have eaten the satay. And the fried wontons. And the Assam fish. And the char kuay teow. And and and.
Lotus Sri Melaka Vegetarian Restaurant
Unit 1, 220 James St
not open Mondays
GF dubiously available (need advance notice and have to order off menu)
*'auntie' here means, 'older Chinese lady who scolds but is not related to me.'
*** 4 days