Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bibik Chan's Satay Garden, Nedlands

Down Stirling Highway in Nedlands, Bibik Chan's has long been serving the locals some relatively cheap Asian cuisine. Bibik Chan's makes a claim that they serve some pretty good satay sticks. Given the use of words such as 'succulent' and 'tender', that's a tall claim. Given the lure of good satay sticks, I thought it might be good to give it a try.

Bibik Chan's isn't a very large restaurant but it has a reasonable amount of seating when you combine the inside restaurant with the outside garden area. The garden area is out the back of the restaurant, decorated with plants and filled with plastic outdoor furniture for a garden experience should you choose to eat outside. The seating and interior inside is also quite simple and resembles a cheap Asian eatery.

Bibik Chan's serves various Asian dishes, but after looking at the menu seems to specialise in Malaysian food. Their offerings start with various appetisers and satay sticks, to Malaysian curry dishes, Malaysian rice dishes, noodles, and a range of vegetarian and other meat dishes. Prices for mains average about $8-12. Bibik Chan's also offers a few desserts such as a black sesame dessert and a sago pudding dessert.

Satay sticks - $8

The satay sticks consist of meat threaded onto skewer sticks and grilled. It is served with some pieces of cucumber, pineapple, and onion, as well as a small bowl of satay dipping sauce.

One serving of satay sticks gives you 6 sticks of either beef, lamb, chicken, or prawns. As the price for each type is the same, you can also choose any combination of the above to make up your dish. We opted for a couple of each of the beef, chicken, and prawn satay sticks as a combination.

In the combination of satay sticks, the chicken was tender and succulent, the beef was tender, and the prawns were crunchy. Not bad. The sauce was slightly sweet (to a good level and wasn't too sweet), had that peanut taste, and overall had a mild satay flavour but was not spicy (I would have preferred at least a bit more spice). Generously coating the sticks with the satay sauce, I could have done with a bit more satay sauce before having to ration the remaining amount.

Rendang lembu - $9
On ordering it, I wasn't exactly sure what rendang lembu meant but with the description I assumed it meant beef rendang and the dish indeed came out with large chunks of beef coated with rendang sauce. The sauce was reasonably hot and perhaps as a result (and for my tastebuds) I couldn't taste any other strong flavours of the garlic/lemongrass or other flavours often found in a rendang. The amount of sauce provided was also not a lot for what I am used to (though it may have been reduced in the simmering process), but was thick and could be spooned onto the beef. The spooning process was necessary as many of the beef chunks were quite large and as a result seemed to me to be a bit dry and had absorbed less flavour on the inside, which is normal for any meat dish with large chunks.

The amount of beef that came out for the price wasn't too bad, but for my taste this dish could have had more emphasis on being flavoursome as much as it is chilli hot.

Nasi padang - $10
This dish consisted of a few components intended to serve one person: rice, curry chicken slices, curry vegetables, and beef rendang.

Compared to other curries I have tried, the curry used for the chicken and the vegetables had only a slight amount of coconut milk, was very mild as far as spiciness is concerned, and had a very runny consistency for a curry. However, it was tasty. Probably being chicken breast, the chicken was on the drier side so for me the sauce made it nicer to eat, whilst the vegetables were drenched in curry sauce making it very tasty. The vegetables used included carrot and cabbage.

The beef rendang was similar to the rendang lembu described above.

Rojak - $7.50
I am told rojak is often either a mixture of vegetables in rojak sauce or the rojak sauce is used as a dipping sauce for vegetables and fruit.

The rojak sauce itself is hard to describe but had a sweet, nutty taste (being mixed with lots of crushed nuts). The sauce is mixed into a variety of fruit and vegetables such as apple, pineapple, bean sprouts, and cucumber. Being my first time ever eating this, this was quite a tasty dish offering various tastes from the vegetable tastes of the bean sprouts and cucumber covered in the thick, sweet and nutty sauce, to the sweet and refreshing apple and pineapple also coated in the same sauce.

In summary, Bibik Chan's is pretty reasonable for the prices charged. There is a decent variety of dishes available that, whilst are a variety of Asian dishes, are mostly Malaysian. The satay sticks were good, and some of the other dishes are worth a try as there are some good dishes served here.

Points to note: Some good dishes on offer, but may take a bit of trying to see what dishes you like. The place is BYO.

Go for: Asian (more so Malaysian) food at relatively cheap prices.

Bibik Chan's Satay Garden
134-B Stirling Highway
Nedlands WA 6009
(08) 9386 8492

Trading Hours
7 days - 5:30pm till late.

Bibik Chan's Satay Garden on Urbanspoon

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