Of all the towns along The Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Lorne is possibly the most popular vacation destination. Galleries, boutiques and bars populate the main drag through town. Lorne also appeals to families as the beach park, much of it covered in grass, has picnic areas, playground, trampoline center, swimming pool and skate park. It even has a resident population of cockatiels that vies with seagulls for scraps of human food.
The beach, while not the best along The Great Ocean Road, is fine enough, with surfers out in good number.
Lorne also has many restaurants. A walk through the town’s center reveals one restaurant or café after another. There is enough variety to satisfy everyone, it seems.
The restaurant that caught our eye was Chopstix Noodle Bar which features dishes from all over Asia, including sushi, potstickers, spring rolls, satays, Singapore noodles, kway teow, and so on. Ordinarily, this eclecticism spells disaster, at least in my estimation. No Pan-Asian restaurant I’ve ever eaten at was successful at making all their dishes taste good. With a reach from Japan to Southeast Asia, Chopstix is mighty ambitious with its menu. Skeptical, my wife and I passed on it and went walking in search of another lunch spot.
But one dish I saw on the menu stuck in my mind: nasi goreng, a good example of which I had yet to taste when dining out, not because there aren’t any out there but Indonesian restaurants in Seattle are rare. We went back to Chopstix. Also on the menu was Philippine Style Chicken Noodle Soup, an interesting enough sounding dish that we gave it a shot, too.
Though a tad sweet, the soup broth had good chicken flavor with a sneaky chile kick that occasionally brought on coughing. There were generous servings of vegetables (bean sprouts, nappa, green onions, julienned carrots, sliced red chile) and plenty of wide rice noodles. A good soup (☆☆½).
My wife and I both were surprised at how delicious the nasi goring was, even if it lacked some typical garnishes like cucumber, tomatoes or even fried shrimp chips (krupuk). The Indonesian fried rice had plenty of flavor from ketjap manis and possibly oyster sauce, chicken thigh pieces, tiny shrimp, green onions, baby bok choy, shredded carrots. We easily polished off this dish (☆☆☆½).
Chopstix Noodle Bar
96 Mountjoy Parade
Lorne 3232, VIC, Australia