Lunch for under $15: Kooky's Place

The lowdown: A river view is one of the chief attractions of Kooky’s Place, a Malaysian/Chinese cafe in the orange strip of shops in Rebecca Walk, between the aquarium and the World Trade Centre. While most of the outlets in the strip are unfortunately shut, Kooky’s six indoor tables and five more outside are full of city professionals at lunch hour.

The highpoint: Kooky, the mother of the young woman at the till, is from Macau but knows her way around Malaysian favourites like curry laksa, nasi lemak, mee goreng and roti canai – all around $10 – as well as Chinese staples such as wonton soup amid a surprisingly extensive menu.

The X factor: Tucked away and not easy to spy is what make Kooky’s special. You can also order takeaway, go for a stroll along the river bank and return just in time to pick up your spicy interlude for the day.

The knowledge: Kooky’s is open only from 11am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. Daily specials come with a complimentary drink.

The details: Kooky’s Place is at 20 Rebecca Walk, in Batman Park on the north bank of the Yarra. Details: www.kookys-place.com.au.

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