Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kim Sing for a Song

If anyone bragged about a hearty lunch spot where you'd have change from a fiver in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, I'd have called them wishful.

Yet somehow Kim Sing manages to produce exactly that in the form of a tasty, filling, freshly cooked vegetarian fried rice for a grand total of $4.00. Yep, really!

I stumbled upon Kim Sing on a lunchtime ramble yesterday and came back again today. If you're seeking romantic fine-dining with white table cloths and starched waiters you won't find it. But you will find an armada of woks dancing on blue flames, a supersized menu with lifesize pictures of dishes on offer and exceptional value for money.

Kim Sing is tucked in Port Phillip Arcade (which embarrassingly I only discovered yesterday, despite having lived in Melbourne for 30 plus years). The cafe spans both sides of the walkway. There is a small yellow sign to identify the place, but long before you see the sign you'll probably see dozens of tables full of students, backpackers and hungry office workers all munching on delicious looking fare.

Yesterday I had the Stirfried Mixed Vegetables with Tofu and Rice for $6. Presentation might not have been superlative, but it was very tasty and came with a nice sauce. The tofu was good, the vegetables were nicely crispy and the mushrooms were really good.

I didn't notice the Vegetarian Fried Rice on the menu until after I'd eaten yesterday, so I had to come back and try it today just to see if it was possible to make a decent dish for $4. Verdict - yes! It came with carrots, beanshoots, spring onions, cabbage, brocolli and pieces of omelette. The rice was fluffy and light and there was enough on the plate to leave me feeling very satisfied. Was it the best fried rice ever - probably not, but it was infinitely better than the soggy overpriced, tasteless, reheated bain-marie gloop I've suffered through in food courts.
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