Barang Restaurant Review, Brisbane News

Seven years later after this review was published and not a day goes by without me feeling grateful that we had one of the biggest adventures in the hospitality business (besides the Tea Bar) before the wombats arrived and it had been a blast indeed.

The busiest time for our restaurant BARANG came after this review in the Brisbane Times in June of 2008, the same year we had to give up running it. The best thing about retiring at your peak is that it’s how you’ll always be remembered by your fans. We thank our regulars for their unending support through the years Barang was home to them in the little food strip along Station Road at Indooroopilly, and for their loyal devastation when we had to break the news. Barang was a huge undertaking and a wonderful journey that completely changed our lives forever.

Brisbane News, June
Brisbane News, June

SOUPED UP – by Jane Scott, Brisbane News JUNE 4 – 10, 2008, Pg 21

5/8 Station Road, Indooroopilly. Ph: 3720 0169. Chef: Kat Lim. Owners: Kat and Chris Lim. Tue–Thu, 5.30pm-late; Fri & Sat, 5pm-late. BYO. Most cards & eftpos. Wheelchair access. Off-street parking. FOOD//8 WINE//7 SERVICE//7 AMBIENCE//6.5

Lovers of Thai, Chinese and even Vietnamese food are pretty well served in Brisbane. But for those who’ve enjoyed steaming, messy bowls of laksa in Singapore, or street-side roti canai in Penang or Kuala Lumpur, finding a great local equivalent at which to relive those happy holiday memories is not so easy.

Indooroopilly residents, however, have got lucky in the last year with the opening of Barang by Kat and Chris Lim, who first came to Australia from Singapore as international students 10 years ago. It’s their first restaurant, but not their first foray into the food business – they previously owned those bubble tea shops that have sprouted up in a number of our major shopping centres.

Barang is brightly lit with simple, imaginative decor – a mix of modern white tables and chairs and cushion- scattered daybeds. To one side is a small retail area, featuring a selection of Asian-themed jewellery and giftwares.

After a warm welcome, we ordered three plates from the yum cha entrees: the thai fishcake plate ($5.50), the pork shiu my steamed dumplings ($3.90) and a red bean steamed bun ($2.90).
The fishcakes were very good – fresh and homemade, with chunks of red chilli and spring onion. The steamed bun was light and fresh.
Barang is really about the main courses though. My husband chose roti prata singapura (indian bread nd chicken curry, $13.90), and I opted for Singapore combination laksa noodles ($13.90), for the sake of all those people out there who will go a long way for a good laksa.

photo by Brisbane News
photo by Brisbane News

The chicken curry (inset) was perfect – fragrant, richly flavoured with coconut and chilli, and served with plenty of broth to mop up with two fresh, flaky roti.
If you’re lucky enough to have eaten at one of Singapore’s wonderful hawker centres, this will take you right back there. Serious curry fans should ask for the spice level to be upgraded, as Barang’s curries are served at a level palatable to the average customer.

Now the laksa. Barang’s is described as “authentic Singapore Peranakan-style”. The coconut laksa broth was loaded with rice noodles, prawns, fishballs and fried fish cake, fried tofu puffs and chicken. Fans of the genuine Singapore article will love it. Desserts include red bean, green tea and coconut ice cream (from $3.50), and crispy pancakes with red bean filling ($5.50). Cafe standards such as rocky road, brownies and caramel slice are available from $2.50, and during our visit a number of customers came in for coffee and cake on one of the comfy daybeds. Casual and low-key, Barang offers great Malay/Singapore classics in surroundings more stylish than the average noodle shop, and no matter what side of town you live on, it’s a lot closer than Singapore.

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