Foochow delicacies @ Kitchen Inn, Thornlie

Guess what?!

kampua 1

Kampua mee is now available in Perth!!

When Wendy told me that she had discovered a newly opened Sibu cafe, Kitchen Inn, and sent me pictures of kampua mee and sarawak laksa, I knew we were going to Kitchen Inn very very soon. I just didn’t realise it was that very night haha.

Obviously word has gotten out about Kitchen Inn, even though we were there by 6.30pm, the little cafe was already packed and we only managed to grab the last table. Surrounded by fellow Malaysians and possibly many being Kuchingnites/Sibunians, it was very familiar surroundings.

teh c special

We started off with teh c specials, Kitchen Inn serves all the regular Kuching drinks including teh c peng and teh c special ($3.50). They also had teh tarik, but honestly we couldn’t tell the difference and I don’t think the waitress could too. The teh c special was average but still, I love all iced milk teas 🙂
We ordered a large Sarawak laksa ($8.90 regular, $9.90 large) to share. When it came out, it didn’t look very much like Sarawak laksa, maybe it was the big piece of fried tofu and pork pieces (or something that didn’t resemble chicken), it was quite disappointing. Having sold Sarawak laksa ourselves, I guess we have pretty high standards for laksa, the taste just wasn’t quite right and wasn’t much like Sarawak laksa at all. Us Kuchingnites at the table all agreed that it wasn’t authentic.

For pictures of the real kampua and Sarawak laksa, click here.
zhao cai

We also ordered the Fish Head Rice Vermicelli which is actually the famous Foochow Zhao Chai Hun Ngan, a huge favourite of my grandparents. Zhao Chai is a kind of preserved foochow vegetable, Hun Ngan means thick vermicelli. The original Zhao Chai Hun Ngan is sourish, salty and refreshingly appetising. Kitchen Inn’s version had good similarities, however, it was lacking in flavour and depth, especially the tartness of zhao chai. See Kuching’s Zhao Chai Hun Ngan here.


Finally the long awaited Kampua mee ($6.90) and the real reason why I wanted to go to Kitchen Inn. To be honest, the Kampua resembled Kolo mee more in looks. The first taste, kolo mee flavours, the saltiness, oiliness, garlicky flavours, which is fantastic. My foochow foodies and kampua mee lovers declared that it was quite similar to kampua mee at first bite, but as they continued eating, the noodles weren’t oily enough and all stuck together, thus causing some stodginess. While the noodles weren’t the original kampua noodles, I thought it was a pretty valiant effort at creating the real thing so kudos to Kitchen Inn for that. If only they had chilli sauce to mix in the noodles, it would have been much better.

Would I return to Kitchen Inn? Yes, because I want to try other items on their menu (we also tried their Char Chu Mee, which was 80% similar) including Bak Kut Teh (hello, calling Jaso). I think Kitchen Inn is gutsy for trying to create some of these famous hawker delicacies, it’s true that they’re not quite  there yet (especially their Laksa which I wouldn’t order again) but it’s nice that someone, somewhere in Perth is trying to introduce lovely Sarawak food to Australia.

Someday,I’ll be doing that too (* v *)Y

Kitchen Inn
Shop 32 Thornlie Square Shopping Centre

19 Responses to “Foochow delicacies @ Kitchen Inn, Thornlie”

  1. 1 sakuratrees November 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I was quite disappointed with the food loh….kampua mee is supposed to come with burnt garlic and not spring onions and it is served in a plate!

    You can definitely cook better!

    • 2 daitaoha November 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      I guess the fact that we haven’t talked about going back since goes to show that the food isn’t really great hor.

    • 3 Joker January 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      burnt garlic? hahaha.. which part of town do u come from? no offence.. but with 3 generations hailing from sibu, i recalled having spring onion on my kampua mee every single time..

  2. 5 Cheng-er November 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    It certainly looks yummy. You are still lucky to have something close to Sarawak food in Perth.

  3. 7 slappedbygunk November 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I thought it was kolok mee leh when I saw the pic! At least it looks quite like something from Kuch, I wish we had something like this here, even if it’s only 50% like the real thing. Beggars can’t be choosers lah hehe.

  4. 10 Wendy November 3, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Let’s go…

  5. 12 Wasn't impressed November 12, 2011 at 9:07 am

    As a “Sibu nurn” who can eat 3 bowls of Kampua in one sitting back home, I wasn’t impressed. In Sibu, you get a bowl of soup with the Kampua and serving is larger. The Chicken rice was also missing the soup and chicken was half bones.

    The menu price was also wrong too for chicken rice. They should either change the price on the old menu or inform the customer at time of ordering cause consumer law could have a field day for misleading customers. Same goes for soft drink. Need to show or inform customers different price for different sizes before they order it.

    • 13 daitaoha November 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      I agree that they shouldn’t have wrong prices on the menu, I would be fedup if that happened to me.
      Was the chicken rice any good though?

      • 14 Wasn't Impressed November 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

        Ten Ten kitchen is better and for only 10 cents or so more you get so much more.

        The Char Siew was not fresh as in it didn’t look like the pic at the top.

  6. 15 Not good November 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I went to Kitchen Inn once a few weeks ago and have not been back since. What I can say is, the laksa is really wrong. I can cook better sarawak laksa myself.
    The Sibu dishes, like kampua, zao cai vermicilli (not sure why fish head) are overly diluted and tasteless. Very disappointing. but if you havent tried the real things before, you might find it ok, still edible…
    It seems like they dont like to cook bak kut teh. I have never heard anyone comment on their bak kut teh yet, cos it was always sold out, even though I went at 6pm? I dont quite understand…
    I think they tried to make it a very high class restaurant, cos the waitresses were wearing high heels and doing cat walk. I went to Jackson in Mt Lawley, but the waitresses there did not wear high heels.
    I wish them good luck.

  7. 18 daitaoha November 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    And I thought I was a tough critic!

  8. 19 No No February 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Yes, agree with joker, the laksa is disgusting! It completely destroyed my crave towards Sarawak laksa.
    Cheng-er, yes, it only looks good…emm, not actually, it is just the nicely taken pictures. If the rude waitress throw a bowl of noodle in front of you, the food is not going to look good.
    In fact, if there is a second Malaysian foochow restaurant in Perth, kitchen inn will close down real soon.
    As we are all home sick, we have no choice but eat those rubbish.
    I still won’t go back, too disappointed.

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