Located across the street from Burwood Park, this traditional Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant is a popular favourite of my family and other Malaysian Chinese alike. Being in this shop evoked memories from when I was small enough to need a high chair!
The restaurant has been owned by the same person since I needed that chair, the ever-friendly Steven. He also has a long-term team of ace waiters and kitchen staff to back him up. Despite Botoli’s unassuming exterior, it’s a great place to grab a quick, fuss-free meal.
We ordered the Special Fried Rice to share around the table. Steven told us that there was more meat in this dish compared to the other fried rice dishes but we were surprised at just how much meat there was! The mountain of rice alone was generous enough but to have so much ham, prawn and chicken gave the dish much more bulk.
To complement the rice, we ordered some Stuffed Tofu served with Oyster Sauce. This turned out to be a bit of a misnomer as the stuffing was actually padded onto the side of the tofu, not inside the tofu pieces. Nevertheless, what we got was delicious; very satisfying and filling!
To top this meal off, I ordered my childhood favourite; Cambodian Noodles (large) with a side of crispy Prawn Crackers. The prawn crackers are made in-house and are unique to Botoli. They’re soft in the middle and very crispy around the rim. Bursting with prawn flavour, I like to soak them in my soup to cut the oiliness a bit.
It is amazing how consistent the Cambodian Noodles are; in the almost 10 years I’ve been ordering this dish, it has tasted the same every time. From the oily broth flavoured with fried garlic to the preserved vegetables, right down to the texture of the noodles, reminds me of Saturday lunches with my family. A reliable favourite of mine, definitely worth ordering if you want a convenient, generous bowl of noodle soup.
To help wash all that food down, my girlfriend ordered the Ching Poo Leong (pictured right) which was a refreshing sweet cold drink with barley, dried longan and lotus seed in a sweet syrup. I ordered the Sam Seek Ping (pictured left) which had coconut milk and cendol, mung bean and red bean. It was a much heavier drink than the Ching Poo Leong but a perfect way to round out my meal.
Botoli is an old favourite of mine, a very solid option for lunch or dinner if you want a convenient and casual meal. Reliable food and reliable staff, definitely worth checking out.
Cost: $53.40 for two
Payment: Accepts cash or card
I went back for my birthday dinner with the family; it was that good. In addition to the usual dishes, what really shone out for us was the Thin Vermicelli XO Sauce Crab Hot Pot. XO is a spicy Hong Kong-style seafood sauce and was paired with a fair amount of chopped fresh ginger. The whole pot is steamed with an egg sauce and a huge crab. This is not an easy dish to eat; it’s served with a crab cracker, wet towels and a bowl of lemon water. You’re supposed to get your hands dirty but I assure you, the dish is well worth the effort.
Botoli was a great way to celebrate my birthday with my parents and the other dishes we tried were exactly as we had tried them over five years ago.