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Monday, January 16, 2012

Albee's Kitchen, Campsie

How could you possibly improve on the juicy fattiness of a pork rib? You deep-fry it, of course. We stumble upon these nam yue pork ribs ($14.80) at Albee's Kitchen in Campsie, marinated in red fermented bean curd, then dipped in flour and deep-fried to a golden crunch. There's a sweet saltiness to this dish, underlined by the flavour of fermented tofu - slightly alcoholic and yeasty - but in this dish it's the batter, cloaked around tender pork, that will form your primary focus.

albee's kitchen campsie
Teh tarik $3.80 hot

Albee's Kitchen bustles with activity on the weekend, filled with a constant stream of local families and friends loading up on Malaysian classics. The counter display at the front holds an assortment of homemade kuih like layered coconut jellies and pandan-flavoured sweets all packed to go in takeaway boxes.

The restaurant is bigger than you think as well, with not one, but two dining rooms hidden behind the kitchen. Getting to them involves a hair-raising walk through the middle of the narrow and chaotic kitchen, past the colanders filled with fresh vegetables and the cook tossing a wok filled with char kway teow noodles.

Kangkong sotong (Sarawak style) $13.80

There's a comprehensive range of items available here: a total of 171 dishes and 23 different drinks. The chicken karipap curry puffs ($2.50 each) are a popular choice but we head straight for the kangkong sotong, a Sarawak-style dish of cuttlefish and water spinach drenched in a dark sauce of shrimp paste and chilli.

The cuttlefish has a rubbery texture that may be off-putting to some, but I enjoy the feistiness of this dish, a contrast of textures with chewy cuttlefish, tender water spinach and the crunch of peanuts on top. A good hit of shrimp paste and chilli will command the attention of your tastebuds too.

Foil wrapped chicken in hot plate

Foil wrapped chicken in hot plate $15.80

Foil-wrapped chicken in hot plate is a bit of a house specialty, involving a sense of spectacle as the silver parcel is ceremonially snipped open. Surprisingly it's quite a simple homestyle dish, nobbly chunks of chopped up chicken leg steamed in its own juices with strips of ginger, salted black beans and goji berries.

Hainanese chicken (half) $13.80

Hainanese chicken is soft and moist, but I find the soy dressing a little too sweet and distracting. We eat this on plain rice with dabs of chilli sauce and plenty of shallots sauteed with ginger.

Char kway teow $10

I'd been keen to try the Penang Assam laksa ($11) but we've mistimed our visit, as this dish is only available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We settle with a plate of char kway teow instead, a jumble of flat rice noodles stir-fried with bits of prawn, egg, discs of Chinese sausage, bean sprouts and flat chives at high heat until charred and smoky. There's a caramelisation bordering on bitterness in this dish that I relish.

There's much to explore at this restaurant, and the rotating daily specials means you'll have to visit on at least four different days to try them all. Plan ahead for your visit by checking out the Daily Specials summary below!

Albee's Kitchen Daily Specials
Pan mee handmade noodles in anchovy soup $10

Kolo mee Kuching-style dry noodle with bbq pork $11
Char siu wonton kolo mee KL style $11

Penang assam laksa with mackerel, pineapple and mint $11

Mee rebus noodles Nyonya-style in spicy sweet potato sauce $11

Laksa Kuching Sawarak sour tamarind and coconut milk laksa $11

Penang assam laksa with mackerel, pineapple and mint $11
Laksa Kuching Sawarak sour tamarind and coconut milk laksa $11

Laksa Kuching Sawarak sour tamarind and coconut milk laksa $11

Albee's Kitchen 
282 Beamish Street, Campsie, Sydney

Tel: +61 (02) 9718 8302

Opening hours:

Monday to Sunday 10am-10pm

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Malaysian - Aseana Food Village, Randwick
Malaysian - Kopitiam, Ultimo
Malaysian - Makan at Alice's, Thornleigh
Malaysian - Malay Chinese Takeaway, Sydney
Malaysian - Mamak, Haymarket
Malaysian - Mamak Village, Glebe
Malaysian - Temasek, Parramatta

sydney food bloggers picnic
Food bloggers. We know how to picnic.

And to everyone who came along to the annual Sydney food bloggers' picnic organised by Suze and I, thank you for making it such a fantastic and successful event. We had 70 food bloggers attend, with everyone contributing to a phenomenal spread that could have easily fuelled an army. Or two.

Half the joy of food blogging is not just about the excuse to eat, but meeting so many other like-minded people. It was fantastic to meet so many new faces, and to see how the Sydney food blogging scene has grown, and with such hungry enthusiasm!

If you are an active Sydney food blogger and missed out on an invitation to this event, please add your details to my Sydney food bloggers list and make sure you have a contact email address on your website (otherwise email it to me).

To check out all the blog posts on the food bloggers picnic, head over to Chocolatesuze's summary post.

sydney food bloggers picnic
Sydney Food Bloggers Picnic 2011
Photo credit: Simon from The Heart of Food
27 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/16/2012 01:38:00 am


  • At 1/16/2012 2:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I visited this place last week and the Sarawak laksa was very good.

  • At 1/16/2012 7:24 am, Anonymous Anna @ the shady pine said…

    Hainanese chicken is of my favourite dishes and your photo here has me craving for some!

  • At 1/16/2012 8:39 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    It was nice to meet you in person at the Picnic, thanks again for organising :)

  • At 1/16/2012 8:45 am, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    Fried ribs definitely FTW!

    Thanks Helen & Suze! The picnic was amazing & so were the people!
    The food was amazesome!! I hope someone took home my leftover paella lol.

  • At 1/16/2012 9:12 am, Anonymous Tina @ bitemeshowme said…

    Thank you for co-organising the food bloggers picnic Helen. It was great to meet you in person! :)

  • At 1/16/2012 9:26 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    I've been hearing good things about this place, I will have check it out soon! Looked like you guys had an amazing time at the picnic, promise I will make it to the next one!

  • At 1/16/2012 9:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks again for organising the picnic, Helen! It's getting bigger & better! :)

  • At 1/16/2012 10:12 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    The picnic looks great - will have to research if there is something similar in Melbourne.

  • At 1/16/2012 10:14 am, Anonymous gastronomous anonymous said…

    I have been hearing wonderful things about Albees Kitchen! must visit soon.

    Thanks again for organising the picnic, Helen and Suze!

  • At 1/16/2012 10:37 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    They've had a refit from the looks of the exterior, and maybe to the menu also! Fingers crossed.

  • At 1/16/2012 10:45 am, Anonymous Joseph said…

    Thanks for organising the picnic , was a great day. Really good to meet you and all the other bloggers.

  • At 1/16/2012 11:06 am, Anonymous Emily said…

    Hm... Campsie, after our trip to Korea I'm in search of a good Ginseng Chicken and a place in campsie keeps coming up. Let me know if you ever feel like joining us!

  • At 1/16/2012 11:55 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    glorious fried porky! glorrrrrious!

  • At 1/16/2012 12:17 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    Might have to point my Malaysian friends here to try the assam laksa, methinks.

    And thanks again for organising the picnic!

  • At 1/16/2012 1:23 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    Oh man, I am really craving char kway teow now. And a big thank you for organising another fun picnic! It was a great afternoon.

  • At 1/16/2012 3:56 pm, Anonymous Julie said…

    Helen thanks for organising the picnic. I would of love to attend :(. I am also glad you blogged about Albee's I am so trying the pork ribs next time. =) It is my fav place for Malaysian food in Sydney

  • At 1/16/2012 5:47 pm, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    Thanks for co-organising the picnic with Suze. Much fun and food had, as always :)

    Hainan chicken at Albee's looks pretty good.

  • At 1/16/2012 6:12 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    Shame about missing assam laksa but then it just gives you an excuse to go back again! Thanks for organising the picnic, it was fantastic as usual!

  • At 1/16/2012 7:10 pm, Anonymous Dee @ foodinhand said…

    Thanks for organizing the picnic!

    Was meant to go to Albees last night after visiting a friend at Cantebury hospital but we weren't in the mood for asian. So curious about their fish head curry as well, another time!

  • At 1/16/2012 7:25 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    I spot you not blurred! :P I know my heart is currently leaning towards Melbourne for a move, but I must say this picnic is definitely a point in Sydney's favour. I mean, come on, Reese's cupcakes AND fairy bread?!

    In terms of the rest of your post.... the kangkong sotong sounds fantastic, awesome strong flavours plus vegetables and chewy things!

  • At 1/16/2012 8:07 pm, Anonymous mrs ed said…

    love malaysian food, like my hainan like that with dressing underneath lol

  • At 1/16/2012 8:54 pm, Anonymous Min Ai said…

    Yummo!! I first heard about Albee's when I saw them at the BBQ madness festival in Parramatta! Now after your review, I have to try it. The char kway teow looks so authentic! :)

  • At 1/16/2012 9:09 pm, Blogger Richard Elliot said…

    Thanks for organising the picnic, such a great event!

  • At 1/17/2012 4:56 pm, Anonymous Vivian - vxdollface said…

    Wow my mum would love the food here! She usually makes the chicken with gogi berry dish but I've never seen it made wrapped in foil before.

  • At 1/18/2012 6:57 pm, Blogger Taufulou said…

    thats really a lot of food available on the picnic~

  • At 1/19/2012 9:02 pm, Anonymous Sara - Belly Rumbles said…

    Helen thanks for organising a wonderful get together with Suze. I know we all appreciate the effort you guys put in.

  • At 1/20/2012 1:44 pm, Anonymous jenius said…

    Those ribs sound so good! My mum prepares a similar dish at home but with chicken instead. By the way, the picnic looks awesome, a shame I couldn't make it! Looking forward to the next one ;)


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