Lim’s Nyonya Hut is located in Donvale (Update: Has since closed down), in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, offering a variety of Malaysian dishes such as Rendang, Char Kway Teow and Laksa. While they do have a good selection of individual dishes, they also do offer main/sharing dishes like Nyonya Grilled Fish and Curry Chicken.
Their Mee Goreng is served with prawns and topped with lettuce, peanuts and fried shallots. I prefer my Mee Goreng to be a bit drier but flavourwise it wasn’t bad, but not spectacular either. I’d also prefer it to have chicken in it like most other Malaysian restaurants include in theirs.
The Assam Laksa lacked that balance of sweet and sour, and was also lacking in that fish taste for the broth. Again, it wasn’t bad but there’s better Assam Laksa’s around, for instance O’Town (Glen Waverley) and Chef Lagenda (Flemington).
The Char Kway Teow, while it had that lovely wok flavour. Lacked that spicy kick, and the noodles were all stuck together so the flavour doesn’t carry through the dish evenly.
The Ice Teh Tarik had a nice tea flavour to it, although a tad too sweet. I’d also prefer it to have a stronger tea flavour but that’s hard to come by.
The Cendol drink had fresh green jellies, but the ratio of palm sugar syrup and coconut milk was a bit off. It needed a bit more palm sugar flavour. Otherwise it’s just coconut milk!
Overall, if you’re around this part of town, there isn’t really that many Malaysian restaurants to choose from. I wouldn’t go out of my way to dine here, especially when there’s better Malaysian restaurants around Melbourne.
Lim’s Nyonya Hut
69 Mitcham Road
Donvale VIC 3111
While Laksa King and Chef Lagenda are the known entities around Newmarket/Flemington, M Yong Tofu is another Malaysian eatery just minutes walk from the others and located on the busy Racecourse Road.
One of the things that M Yong Tofu does differently is that it offers ‘Yong Tofu’ which is basically your choice of add ons such as eggplant, wonton, fish stuffed tofu, prawn dumplings, fish balls with your choice of soup (Curry soup/Chicken soup/Tom Yum soup) along with your choice of noodles (Hokkien noodles/rice noodles/egg noodles/rice vermicelli). However, while they do this they also offer the more commonly known Malaysian dishes such as Laksa, Mee Goreng, Char Kway Teow and Nasi Goreng.
Their Mee Goreng is almost perfect, but a bit too wet and a bit too much tomato flavour. It needs that extra wok flavour to make it excellent.
As mentioned before, their Yong Tofu has all these different additions to it that make a nice change to the more traditional curry laksa as it uses a very similar broth. I quite like the curry soup in M Yong Tofu, it’s probably not as creamy as you’d find in either Chef Lagenda or Laksa King but it’s not that different either.
The Assam Laksa broth needed a bit more sourness to it but overall it’s a decent Assam Laksa.
Their Iced Teh Tarik needs to have a slightly stronger tea flavour and it’s a tad too sweet but it’s pretty good.
I quite like the Ice Kacang here and it has everything you need for a great Ice Kacang, except lacking in shaved ice.
All three Malaysian restaurants have their strong points and M Yong Tofu’s is in its Yong Tofu.
M Yong Tofu
314 Racecourse Road
Flemington VIC 3031
Jonker Street in Doncaster is named after a popular street in Malacca, Malaysia which has now taken over the location that Ronz Roti Kaya used to occupy. The menu at Jonker Street is actually quite extensive, they offer an array of noodle and rice dishes, as well as congee which include your Malaysian staples like Nasi Goreng, and Curry Laksa but they also serve mains if you prefer to share dishes and take the opportunity to try a few more dishes at a time.
Not many places can do a good Assam Laksa, it’s usually either it lacks in flavour or their use sardines which often changes the entire flavour of the broth. I found the Assam Laksa here to be lacking in flavour, it tastes slightly watered down which is disappointing. I’d say it’s around 70% of the intensity it should be at.
The Curry Laksa here is surprisingly good, but it isn’t your typical Laksa that you might find in Laksa King or Chef Lagenda that are more creamier. The Laksa tastes like your typical Chicken Curry sauce but as a broth, which has this lovely spiciness to it that it needs.
The Pan Mee here also has the same issues that the Assam Laksa has, which is that the soup base lacks flavour but more so in this case. The Pan Mee broth should have the flavour of pork and dried anchovies, but it really doesn’t have any taste to it at all so I had to add a lot of chilli to give it flavour.
The Teh Tarik isn’t too bad, maybe just a tad too sweet and not pulled enough but overall it’s decent!
The Ice Cendol has the balance of gula melaka syrup and coconut milk all out, it needs a lot more gula melaka.
There isn’t anything that stands out to me at Jonker Street, though the Chicken Laksa is probably one of the better dishes but it seems like they have issues with making their broths more intense in flavour. Maybe their other dishes are better, but at the moment I’m in no hurry to try it again.
84 Jackson Court
Doncaster East VIC 3109
Penang Flavours on Doncaster Road, minutes drive from Doncaster Shopping Town used to be under the same name as the Malaysian eatery in Wantirna, Straits Cafe. Although under a new name, the food remains just as good as before.
Their Har Mee has a lovely prawn soup base flavour, and the sambal mixed in gives it a nice chilli aroma. My only downside I found is the oiliness in the dish, as is apparent in the picture above but I guess that comes with eating out.
The Wattan Hor (Combination Hor Fun) is one of the better ones I’ve had around town. The wok flavour of the hor fun is noticeable and adds that little bit extra that is needed to balance the creaminess of the egg sauce. Delicious
Penang Flavour’s Assam Laksa wasn’t anything special. Assam Laksa really needs that sweet, sour combination to soup base but also with that subtle fish flavour. Not to say it was bad, it isn’t. Not many Malaysian restaurants can actually do it well actually.
Malaysian Kitchen also is located close by to Penang Flavours, but if I were to choose, I’d definitely go with Penang Flavours. Their Char Kway Teow is one of the better ones in Melbourne too.
694 Doncaster Road
Doncaster Melbourne VIC
O’Town in Glen Waverley replaced Hakka Tea House this year. O’Town specialises in Penang cuisine, many of my favourite Malaysian dishes have origins in Penang such as Char Kueh Teow, Har Mee and Mee Rebus but of course you can find many of these dishes elsewhere in Malaysia but it’s telling that there are eateries in Kuala Lumpur/Selangor that prides itself on Penang dishes.
O’Town’s decor is very reminiscent of the streets of Penang, with its British influence and Penang’s famous street art replicated on the walls.
O’Town’s Hakka Kon Loh is served with fishball soup and taste wise it was oddly familiar, like a drier Pan Mee because of the mushrooms and crunchy anchovies. It’s subtle in flavour as I did require some sliced chilli to go with it but I was happy with the flavours nonetheless. The soup is pretty much your typical Asian stock soup so nothing really out of the ordinary.
The Chicken Satay’s here aren’t grilled, instead its deep fried. So it has this crispiness to it, however it isn’t quite the same as the smokiness of a grilled satay stick. The peanut sauce is pleasant, with a wonderful nutty aroma I preferred it to the actual satay to be honest. That’s not to say it’s a bad satay dish, just different.
O’Town’s Nasi Lemak comes with a very tasty Chicken Curry. I loved the creaminess of it, yet not overpowering with the spices. A good balance of ingredients. The sambal is nothing really to run home about but definitely above average.
When ordering the Assam Laksa we were worried they would use sardines instead of other fish, luckily our worries were squashed as they use small fishes but definitely not sardines. Sardines give off a very strong fishy flavour which, more often than not, overpowers the Laksa flavours. Here the Assam Laksa has a lighter soup base taste but it’s one of the better Assam Laksa’s around.
The Ice Teh Tarik is not bad a bit light as I actually prefer a stronger “Teh” flavour. When talking to one of the staff, it appears that initially the Teh Tarik here did indeed have a stronger tea taste to it but people complained (what!). In any case, the staff mentioned you can request for a stronger Teh Tarik if that’s to your liking.
O’Town makes a mark in Glen Waverley, adding to the Malaysian restaurant scene and yet all have slightly different styles of Malaysian dishes due to their local origins (e.g Penang, Malacca, KL, Sarawak). The food here is on average pretty good, but nothing came across as amazing from the dishes we tried.
19 Railway Parade N
Glen Waverley VIC 3150