58 Hotham Street, Traralgon VIC 3844
Hey everyone, K here, making the first of hopefully many guest appearances on Judy’s blog. I’m currently out on placement in Traralgon during the week so I had a rare meal without her at a place called Little Prince. It serves an Asian and Mexican fusion style tapas. I’m always a bit hesitant about Asian fusion because I grew up on home cooked Chinese food and generally find that the best Asian food will be found in the cheapest, dingiest back alley. Nevertheless, I had heard good things so I was excited for the trip to Little Prince.
The place had an interesting urban design with concrete walls and a mostly neon red colour theme which wasn’t overwhelming or tacky. There was a theme throughout about frogs and princes which was consistent at least, even if I didn’t quite get how it applied to the food. I was pleased with the amount of choice on the menu, but a little put off by the price. $8 for 3 dumplings is not our usual style as I’m sure you’ll see in some future reviews. I was eating with some new friends I had just met in Traralgon and we decided to go with the $59pp FEED ME! option, which is basically a chef’s choice. I definitely appreciated that it was an option there because otherwise I would have no idea how much food to order for one person.
A classic thai dish which I had tried a few times before. The egg was excellently cooked with the outside crispy and the yolk runny. The relish definitely seemed non-traditional but it possessed all the sweet and sour flavours I expected to find. I like a bit of chilli (but not too much) which this particular dish lacked but that didn’t detract from what was put on offer. A strong start to the night. As an aside, I was curious as to how the name “son-in-law egg” arose. I did some reading and apparently there are two common explanations. The first is that the golden colour of a well-fried egg was associated with wealth which is commonly sought after in potential son’s-in-law. The second, and my preferred theory, is based on the Thai word for “egg” and a males most sensitive parts being identical. Mothers would cook this dish for potential son’s-in law as a kind of…warning, of what might happen to them if their daughter was mistreated in any way. A deliciously draconian threat.
A dish on the Mexican end of Little Prince’s menu, they were crispy, flavourful with generous amounts of sauce and a strong kick of chorizo. Nothing really spectacular, but very tasty.
Excellently seasoned, tender, juicy, chicken drumettes. The chilli lime was probably closer to lime with a bit of chilli but I perceptions of chilli are so varied it’s impossible to please everyone and it was definitely sufficiently zesty. Probably the weakest dish of the night for me, I was disappointed by the dry, flavourless wrap which really detracted from the flavours of the rest of the dish.
Definitely the highlight of the night for me. I loved the eye-catching presentation. The roll was crispy and not too oily, the prawns popped in your mouth and the sauce balanced everything out. The best part was that you always had the tip of the roll at the end which was just crispy, deep fried goodness.
Another dish more on the Mexican end of the spectrum. The corn was juicy, the sauce was generous, the lime really cut through and the miso butter was a very interesting curveball. A tasty dish with no particular drawbacks.
A cute little dish that has an onion ring in a burger (what a brilliant idea!). The thing that appealed most to me was, honestly, how neatly everything was set up in a little tower. I got an extra patty because one of the other diners didn’t eat beef. The patties were a bit on the dry side, maybe a consequence of their size, and the onion ring certainly didn’t compare to Brother Burger, but it was a well put together little treat.
The main for the night, I find it a bit hard to review this one because the other diner who didn’t eat beef was given most of the salad and, by itself, the beef was just a bit overwhelming. It was certainly well cooked and fell apart but I felt it needed some more seasoning and the peanut glaze wasn’t enough for the rather substantial beef cheek. I don’t know if those deficiencies would have been offset if I had been able to incorporate more of the salad, so it’s really a reserved judgement on this dish.
Not much to say about dessert. There was plain popcorn made up for by a strong salty hit in the caramel. The ice cream was unremarkable but yummy. There’s not too many ways to go wrong when you combine those things. I might have wished for more but I had already been well fed by this time. Overall it was an enjoyable experience. I liked the different take on some classic Asian dishes and there are definitely some I would go back for. I calculated the price of paying the chef’s choice option and if we had ordered each dish individually and they are approximately equal. Given the lack of choice I would have expected that it would be slightly cheaper, but I wasn’t much bothered by that having walked away well satisfied. The only major disappointment is that no dumplings came with the chef’s selection of dishes. I’ll definitely have to go back and fill in the gaps I missed.
Until next time, K