We’ve been eating at Spencer Village International Food Court for years. The tables are sticky and it can get stuffy on a hot day but the food’s cheap and tasty. It’s our favourite Asian food court, well worn and comfortable, like the faded old T-shirt you want to keep forever.
There was a time when Spencer Village had a bad reputation, with a number of stalls named and shamed for violating health regulations. The Perth Sunday Times even published a story called “Food hall from hell.” Today, for us, it’s a food haven and still one of the best Asian food courts in Perth. It’s the only place I’ve found in Perth where I can get a durian smoothie or A&W root beer while Jac orders cendol or coconut juice.
My favourite stall at Spencer Village is the family-run Fook Kee. Theirs is a unique menu, a collection of small dishes, some of which you won’t find easily around Perth.
The Fook Kee family usually takes their annual holiday over Chinese New Year, and on their first day back, there’s always a queue of Fook Kee devotees desperate to get their fix. We know – we’ve been part of it.
The Fook Kee menu also includes:
- chai tow kway – radish cake, with egg and beansprouts, stir-fried to order with or without chilli
- yong tow foo – stuffed bean curd, eggplant and capsicum; fish balls; bean curd skin – this is another of my faves
- loh bak – five spice pork rolls
- siew mai – steamed pork dumplings, like what you get at dim sum
- popiah – vegetarian, with or without chilli
- tow foo goreng – fried tofu smothered in peanut sauce
- steamed Asian greens with oyster sauce
- steamed buns, with ‘big bun’ (chicken, hard-boiled egg and water chestnuts – brilliant for breakfast the next day) and ‘small bun’ (BBQ pork, red bean paste or lotus paste)
- chee cheong fun – soft rice flour rolls topped with sweet soy sauce, sesame seeds and bean curd skin – is not listed on the official menu, but if it’s available on the day, there’ll be a plate of chee cheong fun on display at the stainless steel bench where you place your order.
Everything is available for eating there or takeaway, and it’s all handmade and home-style, cooked fresh and delicious. In my opinion, the only thing that’s changed for the worse over the years is the size of the siew mai – they’re still porky and steamed perfectly, but they’ve shrunk significantly and are not as plump and juicy as they used to be.
If you’ve only got a couple of bucks, you can buy a small steamed bun for a snack and still get change. Red bean’s my pick of the small buns.
Fook Kee is at Spencer Village international food court
200 Spencer Road, Thornlie
Open 11am to 9pm Wednesday to Sunday, and public holidays
- Spencer Village is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but open on public holidays – it’s been a real godsend on long weekends when I’ve been sick of Easter chocolate and Christmas turkey.
- We try not to go late on a Sunday – if Fook Kee’s going to run out of anything, it’s most likely right before the two days Spencer Village is closed.
- If you’re not driving, the Thornlie train from Perth city (T line) will get you within walking distance – just cross Spencer Road from the Thornlie train station and you’re there. There’s a KFC, Hungry Jack’s and IGA supermarket in the same complex.
- Spencer Village stalls include Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysian (multiple) and an excellent drinks stall.
- Durian fans, in addition to durian smoothies at the drinks stall in Spencer Village, make sure you check out Master Chang’s Bakery next to Spencer Village (exit via doors closest to KL Foods) for durian cream puffs, durian pancakes and durian swiss rolls, as well as other Asian bakery goodies such as kaya buns, pandan buttercake, egg tarts, and coconut buns.