Restaurant review: Secret Recipe, Knox city

Secret Recipe
03 9801 3335

Corner Stud Rd & Burwood Hwy
Wantirna South, VIC 3152
Secret Recipe Online

I don’t normally like going to restaurants that are ‘asian inspired’. Call me a snob, but I try to avoid them as they generally disappoint. But a dear friend, Siera, insisted on paying Secret Recipe a visit, and who am I to say no? After all, her obsession with Secret Recipe was my fault as well.

I think sometimes, the best way to go to a restaurant is to go without any sort of expectations. Because that’s what I did. I went without any expectations of grandeur, instead I thought I was going to be horribly disappointed but instead I found myself loving the food!

I will admit, the Char Kuey Teow wasn’t authentic. But authenticity is a slippery slope and the more I go through the mind-boggling number of malaysian/singaporean cuisine restaurants, the less inclined I am to talk about authenticity. So let’s skip right past that. Because despite the lack of wok hei, it was incredibly tasty. We were sharing two mains between three of us to have room for cakes so it took an absurd amount of willpower not to just finished the lot. Save to say, I wish we had more. Ah damn.

Looks can be deceiving. When this appeared on the table, I shook my head and thought “here comes the disaster”. It does look quite unappetizing, doesn’t it? What is this dish? It’s pumpkin and almond agnolotti with sage and shallot cream sauce. And of course, I had to eat my words just as much as I had to stop myself from licking the plate. Was this just a fluke or was Secret Recipe actually dishing out decent meals?

The mains were made really quick work of, especially between the three of us. We eagerly pushed the plates away and started contemplating dessert. After all, Secret Recipe is known for their cakes. That’s their hero product.

Here are the cakes we got:

I wouldn’t say that this is where the meal went downhill, but I will say that it’s funny how things worked out. I didn’t expect anything good from the mains and I was greeted with incredibly tasty dishes. I was expecting the cakes to be amazing, and they were so-so. Full of fatty, fatty cream and not much else. Ew.

I won’t even bother naming the cakes because I don’t think any of it was memorable. But that’s alright, because I’d still go back to Secret Recipe. Those mains!

Here’s another reason why I will go back. I left my brand new camera there, on the table. I went three days without realising it was gone. When I did, I couldn’t even begin to think where I had left it. In a fit of desperation I called up Secret Recipe and what do you know, my camera was there. Untouched, safe, and perfectly taken care of. I went to retrieve it immediately but I was so incredibly impressed by the service for having taken care of the camera and keeping it safe. Thank you.

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9 Responses to "Restaurant review: Secret Recipe, Knox city"

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  1. Cally Staples-Hilll

    November 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    WOW! That’s amazing that you were able to retrieve your camera! That food looks amazing! You’re making me hungry Celeste!
    Cally Staples-Hilll recently posted..Bella Box Explored: Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant

    • Celeste

      November 23, 2011 at 8:45 am

      Haha, thanks Cally!

  2. Beauty Snippets

    November 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I was so confused reading this post because I scrolled through the pictures first and saw an Asian dish and then suddenly, non-Asian!!
    That is so nice of the restaurant to take care of your camera. So lucky xx
    Beauty Snippets recently posted..Australis Sweet Pea nail colour

    • Celeste

      November 23, 2011 at 8:45 am

      Yeah it’s a bit confusing as the restaurant does anything and everything! Trying to cater for all tastes.. but it’s often bad news for restaurants like these as they are the jack of all trades and master of none!

  3. Kate A

    November 23, 2011 at 5:30 am

    I work in the cake industry (yes.. you get over it quickly) and those cakes look like ‘Asians trying to do Western cakes’. The sort I find in Bali or even Singapore. The ingredients are never quite the full monty and the layers thing is over done. Just like your take on Asian inspired restaurants, I feel the same about cakes. That is why I adore BreadTop. No mistaking that it is Asians doing their thing, and well! I go in there knowing I am gonna get Asian baked goodies, not some insipid copy.

    Thankfully you got your camera back. I commend the staff for that! Still doesn’t inspire me to go there. :-S

    Ever been to Nelayan on Swanston St? Or Dinny’s on Princes Hwy Clayton? The best sambal ever (weeeell, within the state of Vic!)

    • Celeste

      November 23, 2011 at 8:41 am

      I used to go to Nelayan all the time! Until their cooking got gradually worse and I stopped going there. Never been to Dinny’s … I’ll have to go check it out! Clayton is my ‘hood!

      And omg you work in the cake industry! I admire everybody who works in the food industry. I love love love to bake and cook but never could I make a career out of it. I couldn’t take the stress! And you are right. They are very much ‘asian trying to be western’. It’s very much like the cakes back home haha, another reason why I don’t like them!

      BreadTop isn’t great tho. I’m not fond of their cakes either. At least they do make buns the proper way. I can’t eat western buns coz it’s all too hard. My gums hurt. Haha.

  4. Glo-w

    November 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    We have many Secret Recipe outlets here in Malaysia. The cakes are not bad the food, hit and misses.
    Glo-w recently posted..PSA: The Water Rises

    • Celeste

      November 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm

      I remember the Secret Recipe near my house, we used to often get christmas cakes from there. But never too fond. Too much cream D:

  5. Bianca @ The Cooking Capers

    November 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Oh wow, I never knew Secret Recipe did meals! I’ve only ever seen people eating cakes and drinking coffee there, so I’ve always walked past as I’m not a huge fan of either. Maybe I’ll actually take a moment to walk in one day now though :) thanks for the review!
    Bianca @ The Cooking Capers recently posted..Chef Lagenda, Flemington


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