Lazy Luddite Log

24.9.08

Chow Mein And Pizza?

As a kid my two favourite foods were special friend rice and pizza. Imagine then how my interest was piqued recently on walking past the Great Eastern Hakka Restaurant in Mount Waverley and noticing on the menu in the window that they did both a selection of Chinese dishes and Swedish pizza!

The story as they tell me is this: They are ethnic Chinese (of the Hakka culture) who once ran a Chinese restaurant in Sweden and it was there that they got into also serving pizza the way Swedes like it. Now they are here and continue the tradition. In two separate visits I have sampled both sides of that tradition now and can recommend it to others.

The Chinese dishes are reminiscent of those of other such restaurants and I realised that it is a while since I enjoyed this kind of fare and has subtler flavours and aromas than the now ubiquitous noodle bar. I had the Cantonese Chow Mein with Chicken, Beef and Vegetables. The ingredients were fresh and tasty and there was a nice effect of having crispy noodles hidden under soft noodles. This took me back to many-a-past Chinese restaurant experience. Mind you the days of Chinese restaurants playing Chinese music are long gone and I was lulled into passivity by a combination of filling food and Easy Listening.

Then onto the pizza. They make fresh-to-order thin crust bases and the focus with toppings is on quality rather than quantity. I had Vegetarian #1 which includes mushroom, onion, garlic, fefferoni (a kind of hottish pepper), tomato sauce, cheese, oregano. The peppers came whole one-per-slice so I took the liberty of cutting them into smaller bits and scattering them back onto my pizza (I am experimenting more now with spiciness than in my younger days) but I suppose the way they do it allows one to remove them if necessary. The pizza was tasty (my suburban habits however make me desire something with more sloppy toppings). The other interesting thing was that they served the pizza with a side salad of tangy shredded cabbage (apparently something they do in Sweden).

All-in-all I am happy to return there and try more of the menu. The service is good and the notion of having friends there too and having the freedom of choosing from this eclectic menu is appealing. Maybe you will come with me sometime...

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