Having pondered over where to go for dinner that day as I do very often, I suddenly remembered Satay on Charcoal, a restaurant I wanted to check out previously but have forgotten about. The tastebuds aligned with the desire for satay sticks that evening so off we went. Satay on Charcoal is located off Mends Street in South Perth, I say “off” as it is actually a back shop on Mends Street, on the rear end of an alleyway. Luckily there is sufficient signage on the pathway so that if one is looking for the restaurant, one can easily find it.
It is a very small and simple restaurant, mainly alfresco dining with only two tables on the inside. I managed to snag the last table on the inside that evening as I remembered to call ahead. Phew! It would have been a long wait otherwise.
The menu consisted of hawker favorites such as Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice), Nasi Lemak, Mee Goreng, Maggi Noodles (yes, it’s only at a Mamak store that you will find instant noodles being sold!), as well as Satays, Curry Puff, Teh Tarik (yum!) etc. A few to choose from! Note that orders are taken and paid for at the counter.
We started with a Vege Curry Puff ($2.50) and Vege Popiah ($2.50). The Popiah turned out deep fried, more like a spring roll than the traditional soft skin popiah, it tasted quite good. I did not like the Curry Puff though as the batter was thick and the filling was not flavorsome. I’m quite picky when it comes to curry puffs!
The Satay came next, their Signature Dish! The satay is cooked on traditional charcoal which is rare nowadays in Perth! I was looking forward to this dish the most, and the Nasi Lemak and the Gado Gado when I first checked out the menu. Unfortunately for us the Gado Gado was sold out on the night so we could not taste the dish. I had bumped into some friends when we arrived and they had told me the Gado Gado was great! Next time!
Anyways back to the Satay, we had the Chicken Satay ($9.90 for 5 sticks) and the set comes with cucumber, ketupat (rice cake), onions and satay sauce. The Satay did not disappoint, perfectly chargrilled and marinated well. It lived up to expectations! The satay sauce was really yummy as well! I would order this again!
For mains, we had:
- Nasi Lemak ($9.90) – there is a choice of either beef rendang or fried chicken for the meat, I opted for the unhealthy option, the fried chicken :p The Nasi Lemak was good overall, flavorsome chicken, great sambal, crunchy peanuts and ikan bilis. The only drawback was the rice. It was not the usual fragrant coconut rice, rather plain white rice. I guess it offsets the fried chicken in the health scale? :p
- Nasi Goreng Kampung ($9.90) – there are various versions of the Nasi Goreng on the menu, the Kampung version is with a fried egg on top. An abundance of rice with chunks of chicken and veggies fried through, it was another tasty dish albeit oily. I shouldn’t really be thinking healthy when I’m in a hawker store!
- Mee Siam ($8.90) – I didn’t get to try the dish but mum thought it was good.
For drinks, I ordered a Teh Tarik ($2.90) which was authentic as well. I forgot to take a picture as I was too hungry by then which brings me to another drawback in our dining experience that night. The service was adequate but the kitchen seemed quite disorganized. They mixed up our orders a few times (wrong dishes to the table) and I didn’t get the Nasi Lemak until everyone else had finished their meal. It was fortunate the satay sustained me.
Despite the drawback which was mainly caused by their busyness, I would probably still come back, maybe at a less busy time for the Satay and to try the Gado Gado. Prices are very reasonable!
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars