First, the good news. Satay on Charcoal, a regular fixture at the city’s night markets, has opened its second restaurant in Victoria Park. And the very good news? The second Satay on Charcoal is significantly larger than the original Mends Street cafe, all its tables are indoors, and the expansion has allowed chef and owner Zac Yusoff to add more Malaysian dishes to the menu.
“The way we cook is more like home cooking which is the way our mums, aunties and grandmas cook,” says Yusoff. “Back home in Malaysia, people love to eat from roadside stalls. We want to introduce a bigger range of dishes, especially street food.”
So while charcoal-grilled satay remains the BYO restaurant’s calling card – the chicken is notable for its caramelised glaze while the beef sticks boast savour for days – diners now have myriad ways to bulk up dinner. The hand-pulled roti, for instance, is available with a number of fillings including egg and canned sardine. There’s also a roti boom, a braid of dough flattened into a coin and fried crunchy.
Not only did the fried chicken and beef rendang nasi lemak (mixed rice) both survive the journey from South Perth intact, they’ve been joined by a fried beef lung version in Vic Park. Soups run the gamut from Malaysian favourites like vegetable, oxtail and beef rib to distinctly un-Malaysian Thai tom yum soups.
In short, those familiar with Satay on Charocal have plenty of new dishes to road test, although it’s worth mentioning that much of the menu leans sweet. Equally notable are the bowls of weapons-grade chilli guests help themselves to. One bowl is filled with cut green chilli. The other, red chilli sambal. The contents of either will trigger Tex Avery-style reactions. Approach with caution, or at least ensure you’ve got something cold at hand: the restaurant is BYO and a selection of sweet Malaysian drinks including lemon tea and Milo dinosaurs – cold Milo topped with more Milo – is available. Plans to open for breakfast and lunch are also in the pipeline.
Satay on Charcoal
313 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
(08) 6110 4890