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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Eat, Pray, Love: This hidden gem can be found within a West Campus Shell gas station

Wee+poses+proudly+in+front+of+her+menu%2C+tucked+away+in+the+corner+of+a+Shell+gas+station.+She+was+excited+to+greet+guests+and+welcome+them+into+her+restaurant.
Breze Reyes
Wee poses proudly in front of her menu, tucked away in the corner of a Shell gas station. She was excited to greet guests and welcome them into her restaurant.

Every year, The New York Times releases “The Restaurant List”, which features their top 50 food hotspots in the United States. Austin was featured for two restaurants: Este, a Mexican Seafood restaurant, and Wee’s Cozy Kitchen, a Malaysian restaurant tucked in the back of a gas station. I often find myself reading food reviews and deciding to see what the buzz is all about . Although I have lived in West Campus for three years, I hadn’t heard of this spot before. As I drove around trying to find it, I realized that this highly-sought-after restaurant is inside the Shell gas station on 24th Street and Rio Grande Street.

Crunchy, delicate wontons will leave you wanting more with every bite bursting with a savory-sweet flavors. (Breze Reyes)

Comforted by the fact that I used to stop at this gas station almost every morning for a coffee and a snack, I didn’t rush to any judgments. I walked over to the menu and was immediately greeted by Wee, the owner of this popular Malaysian spot.. Wee was delighted by the fact that I was new to the cozy kitchen experience and was eager to walk me through the menu.

I started off with the fried dumplings for $4.99, which were a success. They were crispy, giving it the perfect amount of crunch and oily, but not in an overbearing way, finishing with a light and meaty flavor.

The beef Char Kway Teow was $14.99, and is a stir-fried noodle dish that can most definitely bea comfort food. The noodles were soft and wide, the beef had great flavor and the bok choy had a refreshing sweetness that cut the dark and savory flavor of the dish.

The beef rendang for $15.99 was my favorite dish by far, and was also the dish that Wee first recommended to me when I walked in. The shredded beef in this dish had a little kick to it and a strong ginger flavor. Next to the beef, there was a fried egg laid over a bed of rice. The egg was perfectly cooked over medium, so the yolk spilled into the rice. The dish was completed with peanuts on the side, adding a crunch with the creamy peanut flavor on top of the spice to balance it out. Dried anchovies were also sprinkled on the side. I was convinced these were crispy onions, so don’t be afraid if you aren’t an anchovy lover. Two small rice patties were also served on the plate to add some crunch to the meal.

The chicken curry laksa was $12.99 and had thick, soft noodles mixed in a hearty chicken curry broth. It had quite the spread of vegetables: carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, bok choy, mushroom, eggplant and potato. If you’re a fan of  spice, I would recommend asking them to kick it up a notch, as its flavor was surprisingly mild.

The beef Char Kway Teow (top left) has soft noodles, the beef had great flavor and the bok choy had a sweetness that cut the dark and savory flavor of the dish.
The chicken curry laksa, (top right), had thick, soft noodles mixed in a thick chicken curry broth. It had quite the spread of vegetables: carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, bok choy, mushroom, eggplant and potato.
The beef rendang, (bottom right), has shredded beef with a little bit of spice to it and a strong ginger flavor. Peanuts and rice wafer added a crunch to the dish.
(Breze Reyes)

This restaurant would definitely be a spot to share with friends. The food came out quickly, and ordering or getting a seat wasn’t a hassle. The portions were large and are certainly sharable. The price point is great, especially for such large portions.

Even if I wasn’t going back for the food (which I intend to), I’d go back just to see Wee. She was extremely welcoming and friendly. It is evident that she loves what she does. She told me all about her experience making it on The New York Times top 50 list.

“I got the news when the rest of the world did,” Wee said. “They kept everything anonymous.” They even sent an interviewer and the photographer but didn’t mention what it was for specifically. 

 Wee and her restaurant are considered a hidden gem, a must-have the next time you want to impress your friends with a deliciously surprising experience.

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About the Contributor
Breze Reyes, Staff Writer
Breze is a senior majoring in communication with a minor in journalism and digital media. It is her second semester writing for Hilltop Views. During her free time, Breze likes to be outside in the sun, hang out with friends, practice yoga, swim at the lake/Barton Springs, read books and try new restaurants.

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