In the heart of bustling Sydney's city centre lies the HSBC Centre, off George Street, and the street entry food court has a range of office lunch time food providers. The one special to my heart is nearest the main entry, a branch of Lees Malaysian, offering an equal mix of Chinese Australian dishes and Malaysian staples like curry laksa, satay skewers and the classic har mee (prawn sufficed stock soup accompanied by vermicelli or Hokkien noodles). In all these years, my penchant for their version of the har mee has not abated. I recall with fondness even now, how I would ensure having this dish for dinner before going home to the Sydney suburbs. The bus stop I used was only a stone's throw away along Druitt Street and I would gingerly time myself for enough indulging in this dish before catching the public transport home. This outlet of Lees Malaysian also opens late to almost 7pm each weekday evening, so it was great to visit after work or gym. Above image - the Mongolian lamb, a staple of Chinese food in almost every Australian town and city.
Satay, oh satay as it should be. Juicy, tender and moist, exuding of the best parts of chicken or beef cuts (above), flavoured just right with a combination of spices and whiff of lemon grass in the south-east Asian style. The peanut and chili based sauce is most critical, adding to the sensation of well prepared and marinaded meat cubes melting in our mouths. Below, an illustrative representation of what is referred to as dim sims Down Under, always deep fried, wrapped in batter or skins - picture below depicts the spring rolls and snack bites, always good with beer or tea.
Above , the dish that I clamour for, a sort of soul or comfort food from my childhood - the har mee.
Garnished with a variety of equatorial spinach (kangkong), graced by thin juicy slices of prawn and pork cuts and topped up by a sprinkling of crunchy deep fried shallots, the dish's ultimate taste and outcome is also influenced by the amount of chili paste condiment you prefer and adopt (on spoon in picture above). The soup is first served clear before you add your choice of how much of such a chili paste condiment you then stir in. There is always a half boiled egg as well for this street food special is traditionally consumed at breakfast time. Yummy yum, I am salivating as I write this piece.
There is a method to making the noodle soup, as evident by the display above at Lees Malaysian.
The ingredients are prepared in various ways - chopped, sliced or julienned - before any cooking is done. They may involve carrots, corn, green veg, cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms, cooked meats and more, and the image above reminds me of a Subway fast food outlet as well.
My overall impressions of the Lees Malaysian outlet, located at the HSBC Centre in downtown Sydney, are:
Atmosphere: Office and student crowd.
Location: City centre.
Taste: Good value.
People Engagement: Food court.
Service: Quick and responsive
Best Time to Visit: 2pm to 7pm on weekdays
Fav Dish Experienced: Har Mee
Would I Return?: Always