Menzies Alley
Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Cold rainy weather calls for two things: hot food and as little time spent as possible outdoors. And that’s how we finally ended up at Chillipadi, the well known Asian-but-mostly-Malaysian chain of restaurants that’s been there in my peripheral vision for as long as I can remember.
I had always thought the al fresco seating lined up along Menzies alley was that of Chillipadi, but turns out the tables were actually Chilli India’s, a restaurant I can only assume is affiliated with Chillipadi, judging by the similar name and logo. Instead, we were led upstairs to a cosy and delicious smelling loft for our meal. 
Teh Tarik ($3.5, cold)
I’m currently doing a medicines information rotation at work, which means sitting on my buttocks all day, and hence I end up drinking an ungodly amount of tea between 8:30 and 5, Monday to Friday. Not that that stopped me from ordering more tea, in this case Teh Tarik ($3.5, cold), the traditional Malaysian drink of strong black tea with condensed milk. This tasted alright overall, but it missed the mark of an authentic teh tarik. Though strong like it should have been, the tea tasted over-steeped and bitter, with none of the sweet frothiness that comes with properly pulled milk. 
Curry Chicken ($9.9)
So it was a bit of a surprise for us to find that the Curry Chicken($9.9) was delicious. The sauce came with a bit of chilli, a whole lot of spice, and a splash of coconut milk for that lingering creamy sweetness. The chicken was exquisitely tender, and the portion generous. 
Penang Prawn Mee ($9.9)
Penang Prawn Mee ($9.9)
Making the most of the cold weather, I ordered a deep, steaming bowl of Penang Prawn Mee ($9.9). After mixing in the prawn paste, I dug through the dark, aromatic soup, finding supple slices of fish cake, half a dozen prawns, and a tangle of egg noodles and vermicelli. The rich, spicy flavours were very comforting on a rainy night.
Unexpectedly, our dinner at Chillipadi turned out to be one of the best Malaysian meals we’ve had for a while. I’m keen to come back to its sibling, Chilli India, and dig into a thali of curry and roti. Then finally, I’llbe the one people are jealous of as they walk by.
Rating: 13/20 – cold weather comforts.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. 

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