Work lunches

Tuesday: Han’s stir fried noodle [sic] from Han’s Cafe – egg noodles stir fried with BBQ pork and seafood (fish cake, squid and prawns). I used to eat this dish all the time at one of the Han’s Hay St cafes when I worked in the city years ago. The Subiaco Han’s version of this dish is even saucier and tastier than what I remember, and it was just loaded with BBQ pork, seafood and bits of yummy cooked egg. The squid was great – sooooooo tender, even (surprisingly!) the cross-hatched curled up pieces. A delicious feed and definitely worth the AU$8.95 I paid for it. The sauce was absolutely drinkable – once I’d eaten all the noodles I did drink the surplus sauce down – no way would I waste a drop! As I ordered my takeaway noodles, I saw that the cafe wasn’t busy at all – maybe next time I might dine in.

Han's stir-fried noodle

Wednesday: the next time! I decided I would indeed dine in at Han’s. I chose a table by the window so I’d have enough light to take photos and wouldn’t draw unnecssary attention to myself by having to use the camera flash. I read a book (currently reading Faint Praise by Ellen Hart) as I ate and enjoyed a rather pleasant lunch, enjoying not only my food but the sights, smells and sounds (I love the sound of sizzling meat on a hot plate!) around me in a not even half-full dining room. In a chickeny mood (well, when am I not in a chickeny mood?!) I started with a serve of chicken satay (AU$4.95 for three sticks). My initial impression: fried chicken chunks stuck on skewers, served with a rather anaemic looking sauce. I didn’t really expect to, but I enjoyed this dish. The chicken had a golden brown fried crust on the outside with little flecks of chilli, and underneath the crisp exterior the chicken was deliciously juicy in the wonderful way freshly fried chicken is when it’s been cooked perfectly. The sauce was unappealingly pale in appearance, murky rather than nutty brown, but it was unexpectedly tasty and savoury, with an interesting hint of lime – it went really well with the slightly spicy chicken. If you like Malaysian-style satay don’t order this dish though – you’ll probably be disappointed – unless you’re a big chicken freak like me and can forgive the satay and focus on the chicken.

Chicken satay with peanut sauce

Speaking of which, my main course – which featured more chicken! I ordered the Japanese chicken rice (AU$8.95), described on the menu as “steamed rice with chicken topped with special sauce”. This is another dish I used to eat regularly at Han’s on Hay St. I don’t even know how to describe that special sauce – it’s like teriyaki but intensely strong in flavour, sweet, almost caramelised. I wish the dish came with more lettuce or some other green vegetable though – you really need something else (yes, in addition to all that rice!) that’s fresh and relatively bland to soak up that sauce.

Japanese chicken rice

Jac refuses to go to Han’s at Carousel – we’ve had nothing but terrible service there -and in fact, she’s pretty much anti-Hans Cafe as a result. The service at Han’s in Subiaco was fine – nothing to get excited nor complain about. I will probably definitely have lunch there again in future. Yeah, definitely – I must have Han’s stir fried noodle again.

Thursday: gozleme, from the Pavillion Markets. After last week, we decided to try typing out our orders this time, to see if it would help us get what we actually ordered. The gozleme stall people reacted very positively to the typed list, admiring it and then quite happily using it as they prepared our order. They even helped us out by writing the price of each goz next to each order so we could work out everyone’s change easily later back at the office. And, back at the office, as we tucked into our gozlemes we were most pleased – for the first time in quite a while, everyone got exactly what they’d ordered!


My goz this time had chicken, spinach, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. I do think the lamb is much tastier, and you do get nice meaty clumps of minced lamb whereas the chicken is perhaps too finely chopped – but it was nice having chicken after many weeks of lamb.This time I got some really lovely big pieces of mushroom, which I really enjoyed.

Gozleme innards

Friday: I grabbed takeaway lunch for a workmate and myself from the Saigon Express stall at the Station Street Markets. This was my workmate’s lunch – garlic chicken and fried rice. This is not actually on the menu – they have garlic chicken and steamed rice for AU$8.00 – but as my workmate had said she’d love some fried rice with some sort of meat, I asked the lady who took my order if I could have the garlic chicken with fried rice instead of the plain steamed rice. This cost an extra dollar, which I was happy to pay. The garlic chicken smelled amazing. I might have this myself next time.

Garlic chicken with fried rice

I had planned to get my lunch at this stall on Friday because I had been craving the Saigon chicken fried rice ($9.o0) all week. The fried rice was as tasty as ever, and as usual I picked all the coriander off it before digging in.

Fried rice

I asked for some sweet chilli sauce to go with my chicken. The piece of chicken was huge – my boss was quite intrigued when she overheard me telling someone I was planning to get deep fried pterodactyl leg with fried rice for lunch. :)

Saigon chicken fried rice

Just look at the size of the chicken compared with the takeaway container of rice! They give you the chicken leg in a paper bag as it won’t fit in the fried rice container. This week’s chicken was fantastic – succulent and juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside. I love Fridays because Saturday follows, but I also love Fridays because I can go to the Station Street Markets and grab myself some deep fried pterodactyl leg. Of course, I don’t have it every Friday. I’d like to, though.

Mega chicken leg

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