14/07/2015

DINING OUT: MABROWN CBD

On a cold, Friday night, eve of the so-called Antartic vortex, my sister and I visited Mabrown in CBD for their infamous fried quail. Tucked away in an office building, Mabrown stood there humbly, without so much as a line outside. In fact, the place was only half-full with international students and a few families looking to for a cheap, quick bite.


We looked around us and saw a mountain of chewed through quail bones on the group table beside us. Despite them being a group of 10 people, we barely heard any conversation: just the sound of chewing, finger-licking and the occasional bone-cracking (quail bones). They must be good.

…and I was not disappointed. We ordered one spicy quail and one non-spicy quail – they were both equally tasty. The skin was crispy and sweet, while the flesh was tender and juicy. The highlight for me was the capsicum and tomato salsa on top of the deep-fried quail, which added some punch and freshness to it.


Besides quail, MaBrown also offers other delicious Malaysian dish. We’ve heard so much about their laksa, which sadly ran out on the day. So, we settled for their mamak noodle instead. Sadly I couldn't take a picture with it as my fingers were full of quail juices! Anyway, mamak noodle is a Malaysian specialty - stir-fried yellow noodle with eggs, vegetable and usually chicken in a spicy sauce. Mabrown's version took me straight back to Malaysia and the sweltering heat/humidity, a temporary reprieve from the icy winds in Melbourne.


Just to balance the spicy-non spicy ratio, we also ordered the drunken chicken, which is poached chicken with rice wine. The chicken was tender and the rice wine was not overpowering, which is a win in my book. Of course, it dimmed in comparison to those delicious fried quail, but it provides a good balance of flavour.

Although Mabrown does not have Broadsheet-worthy d├ęcor or three-hatted chefs, their food, especially the delicious quail, is worth the trip. Plus, in this day and age where anywhere decent requires an advanced reservation or a twenty-minute wait (somtimes both,) Mabrown's casual atmosphere is indeed refreshing and I'll definitely be back for more.

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