19 June 2008

OMG! Chef's Hat Fire Sale

April 2007:

Fire has gutted a South Melbourne cooking equipment supplies shop, causing an estimated $250,000 damage.

Firefighters were called to the Chef's Hat store in Coventry Street about 3.30 this morning.

At the height of the fire, a rear wall of the building collapsed, blocking access to the seat of the blaze, in a storage area at the rear of the business.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade communications controller Laurie Crowther said crews called in extra resources and aggressively battled the fire from the front of the shop, confining the blaze to the storage area and "significantly" reducing the damage bill.

It took 25 firefighters 90 minutes to bring the blaze under control.

No one was injured.


In April last year the Chef's Hat Store in South Melbourne - specialising in hotelware and catering equipment - had a fire. Since then, I have been lurking there regularly, waiting for the fire damaged stock to come on sale. Well, finally, it has happened. I suppose the investigation has been concluded in so far as insurance etc and in front of the counter now are pallets of fire damaged stock.

I looked in and walked out with a perfect - though ash covered - Scanpan at a third of the retail price and some fabulous stemware priced at
50cents each. On sale there is all manner of items, some charred, covered in ash, dented or damaged, some in perfect condition and although mostly suited to the hospitality industry there are finds for the home cook too.

Terms of the sale are no refund, no exchange, no guarantee and no account payment. Had I a bigger kitchen I would have bought more paraphernalia and there was even a lamp I was eyeing off. I watched more stuff coming out of storage as the stock moved and there were only a modest number of shoppers milling about digging through cartons.

More good news - a new stall has opened next to the famous South Melbourne Market Dim Sim shop. Named Linx it is a Chinese roast meat store which ironically also sells dim sum, including Sui Mai - the dumplings that Aussie Dim Sims were modeled on. The window is sexily filled with glistening examples of Cantonese style roast meats that make my mouth water.

Both dine in and take away is offered, with outdoor seating and also a few tables indoors. The kitchen is on display and a Chinese Sui Mei Master and Dim Sum chef are hard at work, supported by a number of ladies who speak in reverential Cantonese to them.

I have eaten at Linx twice and taken away both Cantonese Roast duck and Char Sui. Both were as good as my father's. I give the dim sum the thumbs up too, including PG's favourite fried footballs, Ham Sui Gok. Also available are Chinese Red Roast sausage, soy sauce chicken and roasted crisp belly pork, which can be eaten on the spot served on rice. The menu has a selection of Malaysian noodles and the bain marie contains the
customary western oriented items like lemon chicken, generic stir fries etc.

Luckily for me it is open six days a week (Tues-Sunday) so I no longer have to go to Victoria Street, Richmond for a fix.

Chef's Hat, 131 Cecil Street, South Melbourne, Victoria

Linx Chinese Food - BBQ & Dim Sum

Stall 92-93 South Melbourne Market, Cecil Street South Melbourne
Tue-Thurs 11am-9pm, Wed-Sun 9.30am - 9pm
ph. 9696 1628

Both venues offer trade and retail sales

Parking for both venues


purple goddess said...

I loves me some deep fried footies!!!

Might have to check 'em out this weekend.


Anonymous said...

NOWWWWW you tell me! I had part of the arvo free and now it's too late. Boohoo. I guess i'll be heading there on Saturday, after everyone's bought the good cheap stuff!

stickyfingers said...

Duncan, I figure there is a lot of stuff to come. Just go early on saturday.

They appear to be unearthing a jumble of cartons with no idea what is in them and then pricing accordingly - though some stuff has not even been marked with a price yet so you need to ask first.

I saw commercial frypans, rolls of butchers paper sheets, vases, mouli's, placemats, takeaway containers, pepper mills, plastic containers, jugs galore, glasses, decanters, platters and that's the tip of the iceberg. I expect there will be flatware and bakeware in the days to come.

Agnes said...

Thanks for the post about the Chef's Hat fire sale - I wish I still worked in South Melbourne! Will have to make it down on Saturday, hopefully there'll be some good stuff left.

Anonymous said...

G'day Sticky, for a mo I thought you were blowing the lid on the way the the Age Good Food Guide determines its scores, by bribery!
Glad you managed to get some bargains though.
Are the dim sim shop & Lynx owned by the same operators?

stickyfingers said...

LOL Gobbler! And BTW no Lynx isn't owned by the Kings of Dim Sims. In fact I think the operators are Malaysian Chinese.

Agnes get down there as early as you can, I expect that once the saturday morning market shoppers cotton onto it there will be a bun fight of a foodie shopping frenzy.

Thankfully there are good brekkies to be had near there at Sweethearts, Panette, York, The George etc and even a good humble toasted sanger from the corner stall at the market food court. Enjoy!

stickyfingers said...

Linx soy sauce chicken, with geung chung (Chinese ginger and spring onion relish) - big tick!

Y said...

I once considered buying a really cheap tandoori oven but then realised I would have nowhere to put it.

I think I would've been even more tempted by those amazing Malaysian cooking paraphenalia you took pictures of (in an earlier post) - especially the tiffins.