Okra (Invited)

Monday, June 06, 2016 Sharon Halim 0 Comments

Okra has been opened for 15 years by Lawrence Fu, a Vietnamese friendly and multitalented man that loves to share his love of food to the people. Partnered up with his Head Chef Michael Tu creating irresistible South East Asian fusion menu with the freshest local ingredients to enhanced the flavour. The name Okra comes from a vegetable with high antioxidant, fiber, Vitamin C and more, it's consider as a superfood. Located in Camberwell, approachable by public transport such as train and plenty car parking space on the street.

I was invited by YourSocialChef to dine in at one of their blogger event at Okra. I love SouthEast Asian food so I'm pretty excited to have a taste. My usual partner is of to Sydney for a business meeting then I decided to bring someone new to dine in with me. She is my friend sister, she also often dine out and sometimes review them on Zomato. The restaurant it self was quite elegant even though the interior design has a mix and match vibe. Semi private room available both in the first floor or the second floor.

We start with Tangy Oysters baked with tangy salsa ($14). As some of you may have known, I'm not a big fan of oyster cause it tend to have a strong fishy smell and after taste. But this was an exceptional, I love every bit of it. Arguably my favourite dish of the night. It has a smell just like tom yum but a strong lemongrass taste. This dish also had the theatrical value with the flaming fire in the middle.

Grilled Satay Chicken and Beef ($12-6 skewers). It has real chopped peanut in the peanut sauce which was unique and intriguing but to me it needed a little bit more flavour. Maybe sweet soy sauce together with the peanut sauce. The texture of chicken it self was tender and chewy as well as the beef.

Filo wrapped King Prawn with Wasabi Mayonnaise (ea $7). I have tried this kind of dish before and it was really oil but Okra managed to make them crunchy but not oily at all. The wasabi mayonnaise needed to be a little bit thicker for my taste and the prawn needed a little bit more salt in it but overall I like it.

Spicy Salt and Pepper Calamari. The first couple bites was salty because of the fried onion on top but It was delicious. The texture just perfect with the seasonings.

Twice-cooked Black Pepper Duck. To be honest, it did not taste like duck because it was so tender and the sauce has richness and deepness to it.

Monthly Special;Malaysian style Chilli Crabs with Homemade Roti Chanai.  The crabs was so easy to eat, does not need any helping tool to crack the shells which I highly appreciate since I'm not highly skilled at eating crabs. The roti chanai was soft, warm yet still fluffy partnered really well with the sauce. Even though some might prefer a little bit spicier and richer sauce, this one pretty unique with thin sweet and sour sauce.

Indonesian Style Grilled Chicken or Ayam Bakar. This is my second favourite dish of the night, it has the charcoal smell to it as well as smoky taste. 

Creamy Coconut Lamb Curry or Gulai Kambing. This dish is very popular in Indonesia and known for the richness of the soup. I honestly think the soup it self was tasty but the lamb still has the lamb smell on it.

Pla Sam Rod - crispy whole snapper with tamarind, chilli, onion and garlic. The skin was crispy and the sauce mixed in really well with the fish but be careful of the fish bone.

Tumis Stir Fry Balachan Okra with  Chilli Shrimp Paste. Okra is a unique vegetables in need, crispy hard shell with goey seeds inside. Definitely not for everyone but the sauce match well with the Okra. All dishes accompanied by Fragrant Coconut Rice. The coconut rice was one of the highlight for everyone. It has pieces of coconut in it and the sweetness just perfect with amazing coconut smell and taste.

Okra Dessert Platter; sticky black rice, sago pudding, seasonal fruits, durian ice cream, coconut ice cream and green tea ice cream ($30.9). Unique presentation of sticky black rice but I do prefer more of the coconut cream and red sugar on both sticky rice and sago pudding. The coconut ice cream is the champion of all.

The owner Laurence is a very friendly and warm man, his wife is Indonesian so we had many things in common to talk about. Many of his dish also had Indonesian influence in it and I'm definitely familiar with it. It was a pleasant night. On Sunday, they served hawker food and I can't wait to be able to taste them.

Okra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Sunday: 12pm-3pm & 6pm-11pm

159 Camberwell Rd
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123