From Malaysian hawker centre to heart of Melbourne

Owner Chee Wong was inspired to bring a piece of Penang’s vibrant street food scene to Melbourne’s CBD, so in 2020, he opened a restaurant called Lulu’s Char Koay Teow. The name is from his mother-in-law, who was renowned for her version of this Malaysian comfort dish.

In case you didn’t know, Char Koay Teow consists of flat noodles stir-fried with a protein, soy sauce, bean sprouts, garlic chives, and a host of other ingredients. It has a smoky flavour, with the Penang version typically tasting more savoury and looking lighter in colour.

The small restaurant is located on the quieter side of Hardware Lane, it’ll be visible because there is usually a few people waiting. It’s a quick meal sort of venue, and you’ll be greeted with efficient service.

Can you smell the “wok hei” (the unique taste imparted by wok cooking)?

It's not just the Char Koay Teow

Seven varieties of Char Koay Teow are cooked here, with choice of ingredients including jumbo prawns, squid,  blood clams, and razor clams. Tasting it, the noodles are bouncy and flavourful. It’s not surprising that the restaurant has developed somewhat of a cult following.

Lulu’s talent spreads to other Malaysian dishes, including a deiciously aromatic Har Mee soup noodle. You can try Char Mee, Hokkien Mee and Loh Mee. Catering to wider diets, there are vegetarian versions available too. See the full menu here

For a video illustration, see our TikTok here.

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I’m Garry Ho, founder of Koalamate.
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