11 August 2013
Family and friends assembled to celebrate a milestone birthday and uni graduations! It was bloody difficult to find a nice restaurant that would take a booking for 7 people on Saturday night, despite a few days’ notice. I breathed a sigh of relief when the manager at Kitsch organised a table for 8pm which gave us time beforehand to enjoy fancy bubbly and nibbles at home.
Thank god we snacked before we arrived. We were greeted and immediately informed that we would wait at least one hour for food. Argh!! Kitsch serves small Asian-fusion dishes that are designed to share as you drink and chat. Don’t go on an empty stomach or you’ll be rolling about drunk on the floor before the food is ready.
Prawn crackers ($3.60)
Our waitress quickly brought us prawn crackers with yellow rock chilli salt, which were stored in a large metal bin. Expensive, stale, and otherwise indistinguishable from regular prawn crackers. Seriously not a good start!
Roasted peanuts ($3.60)
The chilli and lime peanuts were salty and moorish. Good serving size. We were very glad to have snacks because the dishes that we ordered took an hour before they started arriving, one by one, in random order.
Fresh squid tentacles and prawns (~$14)
The cripsy fried tofu was off the menu, so we opted for squid and prawns. Strong flavours, not spicy, and a nice squeeze of lime juice. The seafood was well-cooked but a small portion that was hidden under green capsicum and spring onions.
Spiced corn fritters ($11.90)
One of the favs that night was the corn fritters with green chilli coriander syrup. The fritters were unexpectedly soft and not filled with corn kernels as expected. Lovely crispy fried outside and tasty sauce. Pity we didn’t order two servings so we could have a fritter per person.
Sticky pork ribs (~$14)
Biggest disappointment of the night was the pork ribs with smokey plum sauce & pineapple. Almost entirely bone with barely half a mouthful of meat on each piece. Shocking and ridiculous price for sauce, sesame seeds, and bits of pineapple. How could the manager allow this dish to be served??
Coriander mojito (~$15)
To wet our whistles, we ordered a few special Kitsch cocktails. The coriander mojito was tasty and inoffensive, but the bartender did not muddle the leaves so it tasted like a standard cocktail.
Kitsch gingerbeer ($12.50)
A very interesting drink was the Kitsch gingerbeer (spicy option). It had a big hit of ginger and left a soft chilli burn in my mouth. My friends loved it, but it wasn’t to my taste because it had strong flavours and no fruit, haha.
Kitsch punch (4 person serving for $40)
I shared the Kitsch punch with a couple of others at the table. Pear cider, gingerbeer, and fruity liqueurs! Cute teapot, light and refreshing drink, not very alcoholic, and quite a decent serving.
Slow roasted pork belly ($25.90)
The pork belly with a hot and sour apply salad was another winner. Crunchy crackling, soft layers of fat and meat, tangy sauce, interesting side salad. We enjoyed this dish, but similarly to the pork belly at Little Creatures, the serving seems a bit small for the price.
Prawn toast ($14.50)
The prawn toast looked unusual compared to the usual sesame-covered variety that you see at most Chinese restaurants. For double the usual price, you really do not get much prawn toast. The sauce was sweet and tangy, but this was not a particularly memorable dish.
Beef cheek jungle curry ($24.40)
We ordered two curries and they were the last dishes to arrive at our table, roughly 1.5 hours after we ordered them. Nobody understood why because curry is normally something that cooks for hours and is easy to serve-up. Not very spicy for our palates, but rich and tasty, with pineapple pieces on the side. We shared four servings of coconut jasmine rice ($3.80 per serving), which was just enough for two curries.
Goat curry ($25.90)
The goat curry was also tasty and had a decent serving of meat, which had quite a bit of fat running through it. The chickpeas were under-cooked so they were somewhat crunchy rather than soft. Curry and rice filled our stomachs but Kitsch does not amaze with the more traditional Asian dishes.
Open-plan kitchen with smiley staff
Our waitress was friendly, while the manager was quite blunt and unapologetic about the long wait for food. However, the manager did note our disappointment at the stale prawn crackers and pathetic meat-to-bone ratio for the rib dish.
Unfortunately, our waitress forgot to order the papaya salad. It did not arrive, so we cancelled the order, and headed to Greens & Co for dessert.
Bartenders keeping busy
Kitsch is a quirky and dimly-lit restaurant that does better as a bar than a restaurant. The wait times were probably worse than normal because we visited on a Saturday night. I would not return for a meal because the servings are small and the dishes are hit-and-miss. However, it could be worth stopping by for some of their Asian-inspired cocktails.
Likes: some creative Asian-fusion dishes
Dislikes: long wait, small portions, uncomfy seats, no meat on pork ribs!!
Value for money: not great
Overall: not likely to return for a meal
229 Oxford Street
(08) 9242 1229