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
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
Straits of Malacca is a Malaysian eatery on the popular Kingsway, Glen Waverley. I know what you’re thinking. Another Malaysian restaurant? What’s slightly different about Straits of Malacca, if you couldn’t guess from its name is that it offers a variation of Malaysian cuisine from Malacca.
There are your standard affair Malaysian dishes like Char Kway Teoh or Curry Laksa but Straits of Malacca offers their own take on these dishes, but some dishes are what you may see in any other Malaysian restaurant.
I ordered the Nasi Pattaya with Thai Sauce Fish Fillet and Spring Rolls. If you’ve eaten Petaling Street’s Nasi Pattaya you’ll notice the similarities. Nasi Pattaya is Seafood Fried Rice wrapped in a paper thin egg crepe and topped off with sweet chilli sauce.
Compared with Petaling Street, I found it lacking in flavour. It just didn’t have enough seasoning in the Fried Rice, but I’d still say it’s a pleasant Nasi Pattaya. The real winner of this dish is the Thai Sauce Fish Fillet. If you have tasted Assam Laksa, you’ll instantly be reminded of this taste. It has that superb sweet, sour, salty and spicy combination found in Assam Laksa. The sauce works so well with the salad and fish fillet. My only negative is that the fish is deep fried. I can see why they deep fry dish as it will most likely last longer but I just dislike deep fried fish.
The little spring rolls that accompany this dish are quite unique as it isn’t your commonly found spring roll. They have this very light crispy outside and the usual ingredients inside. I’ve actually never had spring rolls like this before, and it was mostly good!
Their Kuala Lumpur style Hokkien Mee reminds me of how delicious my mother’s Hokkien Mee is. I found that the sauce was strong but not too overpowering. I’m not a big fan of fishcake as I find it very artificial, but it is a standard in Hokkien Mee’s I’ve tasted so I can’t really knock it. As you can see, the dish is quite shiny, this is the oil that makes the noodles so glossy.
Again, another pleasant dish from Straits of Malacca.
On their Menu they have a selection of “Fish Banquet’ dishes, I believe this was the Malacca Style Curry Fish with Rice. Again, Straits of Malacca opts for deep fried fish which probably most will like but I find it takes away from the natural fish taste.
The curry was interesting as it was a bit sweet and not spicy but I found it tasty nonetheless.
You can’t go to Malaysian restaurant and not try their Ice Cendol. I always look out to see if the Cendol (the green jelly) is fresh or not. More often than not, the Cendol is hard, indicating the jelly has been left in the fridge for a couple of days or so.
I liked the flavour from the Ice Cendol, the brown sugar syrup and coconut milk were in a perfect mix. Not too sweet, but could have dialled down the sugar just a tad. My only con is that it was served in a glass! I like my Ice Cendol in a bowl so I can share it around.
I know many have already decided whether or not they like Straits of Malacca but I really do like that it offers quite a different mix of dishes that you probably are unable to find elsewhere.
Some of their dishes are your standard affair but some dishes like their Nasi Pattaya are winners in my book. Straits of Malacca continues to be popular with locals as it constantly fills up during lunch time, and I do have to mention, they do have a number of tables. Basically they bought over the restaurant next to it months ago so its definitely one of the bigger restaurants on Kingsway.
I’ve seen they have also have stores in Prahran, Hawthorn and in the CBD but I’m unaware if the food quality is consistent among all locations.
Check them out if you’re interested!
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
T: 03 9561 3880
ChilliPadi Mamak Kopitiam’s more spacious locations is situated on Racecourse Rd, and only just a couple of minutes walk from Newmarket Station. I’ve already mentioned their store on Waterfront City, but if you want greater variety of choices then their Flemington restaurant is the one to try. It’s sometimes just hard enough to pick what to eat with all these choices! #firstworldproblems
We have now been there on numerous occassions and staff are always quite friendly, along with decent service to boot. With the various dishes I’ve tried, the majority of them would be something I’d go back for.
Their Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang is a good pick. Their Beef Rendang is tender, and you can tell it has been cooked long enough for it to soften. Far too many places that have a Rendang option, serve incredibly tough beef so I was happy that is is one of the few exceptions.The sauce is also quite good, it has a good amount of spice and sweetness but it may be too mild for some people.
Of course with Nasi Lemak, they have the standard sambal and vegetables, all quite good and nothing too out of the ordinary. My verdict? I’d probably order it again, but probably after I’ve tried all the other dishes (Might take me a while)
I’ve had some family friends that have tried this and not really liked it. For me, their Har Mee is also fantastic. It definitely is for those that like a spicier soup. It has all the standard Har Mee ingredients such as boiled egg, prawns, asian vegetables, chicken, fishcake and the two types of noodles. All of it was pretty good, but I’ll admit the prawns lacked any real prawn taste but overall I’d also try it again.
One of the rarer dishes that you’d probably be hard pressed to find in your typical Malaysian restaurant is Pasembor or otherwise known as Indian Rojak. Don’t get confused with their other Rojak as it is worlds apart. Their Pasembor contains fried potatoes, prawn fritters, egg, bean sprouts, cucumber and a warm slightly sweet gravy with a hint of Indian/Malaysian spices. This was the first time I’ve tried this so I can’t gauge it’s authenticity but on taste and flavour? It was good, the sauce was flavoursome, but since I’m not a big fan of bean sprouts either raw or blanched, it isn’t a favourite. What I can say is that my mother (born and raised in Malaysia) had ordered it again on another visit here so that’s a good sign.
Lobak! A good one this time. Sometimes I find Malaysian restaurant’s Lobak to be overly dry and lacking in the flavour department too. This on the otherhand was crispy, not too oily, and was cooked well. Plus, the nice sweet chilli sauce gave it the much needed sweetness and slight chilli spice.
I can’t recall the name of this Cucur Udang (thanks Adri) but it’s basically prawn fritters and it’s a specialty item that was served during the Muslim month of Ramadhan (thanks again Adri!) and Malaysia Day period. The batter is quite thick and crunchy and is served with a satay sauce. This isn’t one of my favourites, it’s definitely too oily and too thick for my liking. Even the satay sauce was a bit too thick but on the plus side, the prawns were nicely cooked.
My mother loves Mee Rebus, she used to always go to ABC Cafe in Glen Waverley and order this. She was saddened to hear that ABC Cafe closed down and so she has been on the lookout for another good Mee Rebus. Their Mee Rebus is different to ABC’s in terms of flavour. There is something with ChilliPadi’s sauce that makes the taste a bit odd, I think it might be too acidic/sour but sweet and packed full of spice so it’s an odd combination. It seems unbalanced but maybe that’s how they do it at ChilliPadi. I’ll say I’ve had a taste of a Singaporean restaurant on Lygon St, called Killiney Kopitiam and was surprisingly close to what ABC’s sauce and flavour was like, albeit less thick.
Their Nasi Briyani was also only a specialty item for Malaysia Day, and I was amazed at how good it tasted. The flavours just in the rice was fantastic, we’ve been asking them to put it on their menu but at this point it probably will stay a once off kinda thing. This was much better than Taste of Singapore’s offering, and even that was good. Their Nasi Briyani is very similar to how my mother used to cook it and that’s how I like it!
As with most Mamak stores in Malaysia, one of their main specialties is their Nasi Kandar. Where you are able to choose your rice, curries, meat and vegetables. ChilliPadi’s selection is decent, slightly smaller selection to Old Town Kopitiam but decent. You can pick from coconut or plain rice, a sauce of either Lamb Curry, Gulai Ayam or Daging Masak Kicap, and your meat/protein (Beef Rendang, Daging Masak Kicap, Gulai Ayam, Assam Fish Curry, Butter Chicken or Lamb Curry), and one vegetable (Jelatah, Tumeric, Madras or Dhall Masala).
I’ve been trying all the Malaysian restaurant’s Teh Tarik and apart from Chilli Mama, there haven’t been any really good ones. ChilliPadi’s Teh Tarik is probably one of the better ones I’ve tasted. It has a stronger tea taste, and it isn’t numbingly sweet, it probably could be less sweet (we add a bit of hot water and it’s perfect) but other then that I can’t really fault it.
Their Ice Cendol was something I was looking forward to trying, however it left me a tad underwhelmed. As you can see, it’s quite runny and it has nowhere near enough shaved ice. They also added way too much coconut cream/milk and not enough brown sugar so it’s balance is off. Maybe I got them on an off day, I’ll probably try it sometime in the future but not for a while since I was quite disappointed with how it turned out.
The three layers drink (
Not sure of it’s name three layer tea according to Adri – thanks for the details!), is very tasty. The layers aren’t as divisive as they are supposed to be but what it lacks in aesthetic value, it provides in great flavour. Be warned as it is indeed for those sweet tooth’s. The syrup layer (palm sugar syrup) at the bottom should probably be stirred until it mixes with the other tea and evaporated milk layer as this is where all the sweetness comes from. It’s actually quite similar to Teh Tarik in terms of taste.
I can’t recall if ChilliPadi serve Bubur Cha Cha on their day-to-day menu but they definitely don’t serve the Burbur Cha Cha with Durian everyday. This particular dessert was on their menu during the Malaysia Day festivities and what makes it so different is the Durian paste-like topping. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice their Bubur Cha Cha was. It had all the essentials, diced sweet potatoes, taro and I think yams, with pearls. The warm coconut milk soup was delicious and is probably one of the best offerings I’ve tasted. It even beats some of the restaurants I’ve tried it in, in Malaysia. Only downside would be the diced vegetables are probably slightly too big, I prefer smaller chunks but it doesn’t really take away from the taste all that much.
Now, with the added Durian paste, it’s a whole another experience. I’m actually not a fan of Durian at all, it’s taste or it’s infamous odour but because it comes in this paste, the natural smell is non-existant and the Durian flavour is milder. I only added a bit of the paste stirred into my bowl so it was quite subtle but still noticeable. I’ll admit that I was very hesitant at first to try this but I actually didn’t mind it. Would I straight up order this instead of the original Bubur Cha Cha? Probably not, but it wasn’t bad in anyway.
For the many locals around Flemington this is a good place to go because it’s Halal, and you don’t see many Malaysian Halal stores around Victoria. ChilliPadi has catered for a different demographic to Chef Lagenda and Laksa King and that’s not a bad thing, we wouldn’t want three of the same stores so close to each other and it’s a welcomed change.
My impressions of ChilliPadi on the numerous occasions I’ve been there have been positive. If I had to choose between the three Malaysian restaurants in Flemington, I’d choose ChilliPadi. I’ll reiterate that, if you like more Indian/Malay styled Malaysian food, this is the one to visit so keep that in mind. It offers a great selection of dishes and they aren’t your typical dishes either. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, give it a try!
293 – 295 Racecourse Road
Kensington VIC 3031
(03) 9376 0228
After holidaying in Malaysia for around three weeks late last year, and after eating Ice Cendol and Ice Kacang nearly every single day. I wanted to make these green jellies myself.
So my mother found a recipe she wanted to try and it was on this website that I am unable to find now. Luckily, I saved the recipe but I cannot give my thanks to the Indonesian site for their recipe.
It’s actually quite simple but pushing out the dough to make the worms is quite tough if you don’t have a cendol mold. We just used a strainer and it didn’t work out too well and took ages to push it all through the pasta strainer but we just had to use what we had in the kitchen. Might have to go buy the cendol mold when I get the chance to go back to Malaysia because it looks much easier with it.
Here is the recipe:
Green Jellies Ice (Cendol)
50g mung bean flour (hunkwee)
40g rice flour
10g tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs sugar
625ml pandan / screw-pine leaves water (by blending 100 gr chopped pandan / screwpine leaves with 650 ml water)
Half basin iced water
For the coconut milk:
1000 ml coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
3 pandan leaves
For the palm sugar syrup:
250g palm sugar (or coconut sugar)
3 pandan leaves
1. Bring 425 ml of the pandan leaves water to boil.
2. Meanwhile, mix mung bean flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, sugar, and the rest (200 ml) of the pandan leaves water in a bowl.
3. Pour the mixture into the boiling pandan leaves water. Keep stirring until the mixture co-mixtures with the pandan water. Turn the heat off when the liquid thickens and forms a transparent colour.
4. Prepare a basin filled with iced water (1/2 basin). Put the mold on top of the basin. It is easier when the diameter of the basin is more or less the same with of the basin’s.
5. Pour the jellies liquid in the mold, press it. The liquid soon becomes jellies when it gets into the iced water. Continue pressing until no liquid is left.
6. Set aside. Let it for some time to give a sufficient firmness. When it is firm enough, drain it.
For coconut milk:
1. Meanwhile, bring the coconut milk, salt and the pandan leaves into boil. Do not leave unattended as over heated coconut milk will be ruined.
2. Immediately turn off the heat once the surface is starting to raise.
For palm sugar syrup:
1. Boil the palm sugar, water, and pandan leaves. Strain if necessary; sometimes they are not well strained in the making.
How to serve:
1. Pour the palm sugar in the bottom (approx. 5 tbs)
2. Add the jellies (approx. 5 tbs)
3. Add the coconut milk
4. Add ice cubes if desired
It was really tasty and you don’t really need shaved ice, ice cubes will do just fine. Homemade cendol is always nicer then those you can buy, they are usually a bit too sweet and too hard and stale. You can even have cendol warm since it’s getting colder and closer to winter.