Forest Road in Hurstville is always bustling with shoppers, but there's a tiny one-way section of road that is significantly quieter. It's here you'll find Kampong Boy, squeezed between two Sichuan restaurants either side.
Inside the decor is understated and simple, but the dark timber tables, hanging lights and the spinning wooden fan overhead has echoes of a Malaysian kopitiam coffee house.
There's a steady stream of locals through for dinner - couples grabbing a quick to eat, and families tucking into matching bowls of laksa.
Chicken and beef satay $15 for 1 dozen
The menu is reasonably brief, although it's present in a somewhat dizzying collection of laminated double-sided sheets. There are several types of laksa (including Hakka fried pork), a "toast corner" with kaya coconut jam and butter on thick toast, and they even serve Nestum prawns ($18.80), made with a crispy fried oat mixture.
We place a fairly large order and it doesn't take long for the food to arrive. In fact it all seems to arrive all at once, forcing us to play dinner table tetris with a relentless onslaught of dishes.
The satay is the first to arrive, skewers of chicken and beef marinated and grilled until lightly caramelised. The tender meats are even better when plunged into a bowl of peanut sauce, and eaten with chunks of cucumber and raw red onion.
Nasi lemak ($11.80) arrives next, a meal usually eaten by one, but we manage to share the crunchy fried chicken wing, boiled egg, achar pickled vegetables and peanuts with anchovies.
Curry fish head $33.80
The assam curry fish ($15.80) is sold out so we upgrade to the curry fish head, a bubbling cauldron of aromatic soup heaving with a lucky dip of tomato, mushroom and fish. Fish heads are a seriously underrated delicacy - they offer a succulency of flesh not found elsewhere, combined with pockets of gelatinous fatty deposits and my favourite treat: the fish eye!
Bak ku teh $18.80
Fried kuey tiaw $12.80
Belacan fried eggplant $10.80
Rendang beef $15.80
And finally a clay pot filled with rendang beef, cooked to a fork shredding level of tenderness. We mop up the sauce with rounds of flaky roti. Dinner tetris complete.
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370 Forest Road, Hurstville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8094 8409
Tuesday to Friday 11.30am-2.30pm and 5.30pm-9.30pm
Saturday to Sunday 11.30am-4.30pm and 5.30pm-9.30pm
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2/18/2013 12:24:00 a.m.