Shop 18, Tivoli Arcade
235 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9663 2588
Adam and I study at RMIT Business library quite a bit because we both work in the city… and let’s be honest, who can be effed going all the way to Caulfield and Clayton respectively when 90% of the prescribed textbooks on your reading lists can be found at RMIT? Studying at RMIT means that you are afforded the choice of many, many eateries when you are famished and need a break in between reading cases or punching numbers into your financial calculator. You can stroll over to Chinatown for cheap and cheerful Chinese or walk several blocks up or down Bourke Street and be exposed to the city’s finer Italian and Indian restaurants. When you can’t be arsed, however, there is Chatterbox, a student-friendly budget cafe that serves hawker-style dishes … and the beauty about this place is that it’s only one elevator ride away from the library.
I ordered a steaming plate of char kway teow ($8.30), a generous serving, which failed to excite me. The noodles may have been fresh from the wok, but it lacked the mandatory ‘wok hei’ that makes a char kway teow so good. The sauce, while a little on the sweet side, along with thick slabs of fish cake may have given this dish a pass but the addition of seafood extender (!) brought it back to a fail.
Adam’s roti with lamb curry ($9.20) was surprisingly MUCH better. It was one of the dishes off the specials menu which meant that it took slightly longer to arrive but when it did, we both dug hungrily at it. The roti was thick and soft yet somehow beautifully flaky. A good dosage of aromatic lamb curry was the perfect accompaniment and could arguably rival lamb curries served at one of the better Indian eateries in the CBD. More please!
Okay, so my char kway teow pretty much sucked but Adam’s roti rocked. I’ll probably be back to try more of their noodle dishes before I will write this place off. In the mean time, just stick with the roti.