204 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9663 2347
Last weekend, we said farewell to Sellina and Andrew who were about to do what every other Aussie under 30 does these days: go to the UK to find work. After an ‘interesting’ night at Ondergronds, we dragged our sorry drunk-arse selves along Russell Street to continue the night. While we somehow managed to lose half the crew along the way, the ones who managed to stay within the group suddenly decided that they were hungry. And when one is smashed and hungry at 2am in the morning, supper at Ling Nam in Chinatown is the best idea.
Leesa was the most drunk of the lot but she was surprisingly the most comprehensible and could actually speak Chinese so we let her do the ordering. One problem with Ling Nam is that they do a ‘minimum $18 per head’ thing on Friday and Saturday nights so even though we just wanted XO pipis, fried dough sticks and congee, we also had to order a whole bunch of random stuff.
Errrm, you’ll have to excuse the quality of these photos. Firstly, I was more than a bit tipsy and secondly, I didn’t bring my camera with me. So anyway, we ordered a big bowl of congee. It had mince pork in it … and lots and lots of liver. The congee was nice enough but it could have done without the liver. I like to think I’m not a terribly fussy eater but liver and blood is something that I still struggle with even today.
I preferred the crispy combination egg noodles. Nothing soothes your drunken head quicker than a bowl of greasy fried noodles, in my opinion, and although these noodles weren’t the best, they did hit the spot. The only problem was that there were bits of liver in the noodles too – I guess that’ll teach us not to let Leesa order for us again!
These fried dough sticks were delicious, especially when dipped in the sauce that came with the pipis (below). Oh, they were also great with the congee too. As for the salt and pepper calamari, they were one of the ‘random’ dishes we were made to order but they weren’t actually too bad. They were crispy and tasty.
I don’t know which genius decided on the sweet and sour pork but there they were. They were alright as far as Australia’s favourite Chinese dish went but probably a bit too dry – I did grab more than my fair share of pineapples though as some of the dishes contained a very liberal amount of salt. Oh, and those XO pipis were pretty damn good. Definitely a must order.
Leesa wanted fried chicken so we ordered the chicken version of the salt and pepper calamari. The chicken was nice enough but the pieces were way too big – they were more like chicken quarters, which made dividing them a bit awkward. Not that it mattered anyway because by the time the chicken arrived, most of us were full and Leesa was about to throw up.
Ling Nam is good for a post-clubbing/drinking meal due to its close proximity to lots of clubs and bars. They also make good carb-rich and tasty foods to sooth your head and stomach while you wait to sober up before grabbing the next cab home. That said, I would only really recommend the Chinese dough sticks, congee (sans liver) and XO pipis though, as everything else was either too salty or just okay. If you’re on a budget though or not overly hungry, you’re better off getting a souvlaki at Stalactites as the $18 per head policy might sting you.