Malaysian Kitchen on Doncaster Road, Doncaster is another Malaysian restaurant in Victoria. The place is quite spacious having two floors and seems to be quite popular among the locals. During lunch peak time, it filled up quickly. At Malaysian Kitchen, they serve the Malaysian favourites as well as a few obscure dishes.
Ever since having Pan Mee at the now closed Claypot King in Glen Waverley, I’ve always tried to find a place that can match or better it. Chef Lagenda‘s version is decent, but they don’t make their own noodles which Claypot King do. The other Claypot King locations don’t offer Pan Mee either so it is a real disappointment. Malaysian Kitchen’s Pan Mee with the addition of the crunchy anchovies and fried onion creates a wonderfully flavourful soup. The noodles appear to be made with a Pasta maker, the thin long noodles make it a challenge to eat. If it was cut up into smaller pieces, I think it would be much better. However, the noodles itself have just enough bite to them which is all you want. In addition, their Pan Mee includes mince meat, mushrooms and bok choy. Overall, it’s a decent Pan Mee packed full of noodles in a small bowl but I still prefer Chef Lagenda’s Pan Mee.
Their Char Kway Teoh is an interesting thing, as you can see they add strands of Hokkien Mee into this dish. I can’t say I enjoyed this, it really doesn’t taste much like Char Kway Teoh and doesn’t have that wok flavour. You’ll find a better (but not the best) Char Kway Teoh at Straits Cafe Doncaster. The use of fatter noodles adds a heaviness to the dish and really the sauce is too subtle to add anything. Not great.
Malaysian Kitchen’s Fish Head Curry is quite pleasant. The sour soup with the noodles and fish just works. The soup isn’t too sour but that slightly tangy taste that lingers on your tongue is beautiful. The deep fried fish either needs to be taken out quickly or eaten quickly because the crispy fish will get soft and less appetising. I’m not a fan of deep fried fish like this, and here, its no exception and with the plentiful bones to boot it isn’t an enjoyable eating experience to put it lightly. Apart from that, I think it’s a winner, the soup provides that feeling like you’re having a home cooked meal with your family. Familiar and cosy.
Given the food we ate, I’m not quite sure why it’s so popular. Maybe it’s the food we chose but I couldn’t see anything all that special about the Malaysian food here. Maybe it’s because Doncaster or around these parts really doesn’t have great Malaysian food like South Eastern suburbs and even arguably the CBD has. I find it overall decent but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here again.
910-912 Doncaster Road
Doncaster VIC 3109
Madam Kwong in Box Hill is one of the very few Malaysian restaurants around these parts. Not only that, it’s one of the very few authentic Malaysian restaurants around. Having opened not that long ago, this small shop is seemingly always filled with people. Probably because of the lack of seating, but also frequented by Malaysian Australians. You can tell just by hearing their accent! I digress. From what I’ve been told, the food they serve here is Penang style cuisine which I’m actually more used to since my parents are from Northern Malaysia.
What they also have retained from Penang is their smaller portions. It’s not exactly small but for the price it leans towards being expensive compared to other Malaysian restaurants in Victoria.
I ordered the Nasi Lemak with Beef Curry. I actually really loved the curry, it was just creamy enough but not overwhelming and had also just enough spices and hit of chilli. I really couldn’t ask for a better curry to go with my Nasi Lemak. What they lack here though is a sambal of sorts, they included the preserved vegetables (behind the rice) but sambal is almost a necessity for Nasi Lemak so that in itself was slightly disappointing. However they do make up for it with generous serving of beef. They add all the other common sides, egg, cucumber, nuts, anchovies and scented rice. Overall, I was still pleased with the dish and at least the curry made up for any shortcomings.
Madam Kwong’s Char Kway Teoh is packed full of flavour. You can really taste the heat of the wok come through and of course you can’t have a Char Kway Teoh without a bit of spice. We asked for spicy, it was, sort of. Not as spicy as I would have liked though. The noodles were seasoned and cooked well, with all the things you’d come to expect with this dish. A satisfactory dish I would say!
What I was very disappointed with was their “Ice Kacang”, and I use quotation marks with that because I really don’t know what we were given. I mean it meets the literal definition of Ice Kacang (shaved ice and beans) but it was basically sugar syrup and ice. It needed a serious tablespoon of brown sugar syrup, a bit of condensed/evaporated milk and thinly shaved ice. It actually tasted like those snow cones that come with just cordial/liquid sugar flavourings and ice but not even as good as that. It was also extremely small for the price. Wouldn’t order it again.
Their cendol was indeed better. The cendol (green jellies) seemed fresh enough, not rubbery or hard. The jellies had a delicacy to it. It was quite creamy with the coconut milk and brown sugar and very sweet. I think they added too much coconut milk for my liking but it wasn’t in anyway bad like their Ice Kacang was. Would I order it again? Hmm, probably not. Again portion size is to be considered for the price, I wouldn’t. Straits of Malacca and ChilliPadi Mamak do it better and bigger.
I liked their food, there isn’t too much variety on their menu but what they serve in terms of hot food is tasty and that’s all that really matters here. The desserts, and even their Kuehs’ I find them to be on the sickly sweet side but I guess some people like it that way. They also are partly a grocery store (well they sell a few grocery items) and frozen dim sum dishes so even if you may not fancy their food, if you’re in the need of a few Malaysian ingredients this may be very well be the place to stop at.
1025 Whitehorse Rd
Box Hill VIC 3128
Straits Cafe near Knox is a popular Malaysian eatery, mostly known for it’s tasty Char Kway Teoh and overall good food. It’s extremely difficult to get tables during the weekend as the place doesn’t cater to many people (space is small) and well, people just enjoy going there to dine.
Sometimes Straits has specials on posted at the back whether it be main dishes or entrees. We ordered their Friend Chicken with Sambal seasoning. It was served fresh and straight from the fryer and was quite tasty. The skin was crisp and crunchy, and the chicken was cooked well. I couldn’t really taste the, I presume, spicy seasoning but for Malaysian Fried Chicken it was tasty nonetheless.
I believe they are quite well known for their Char Kway Teoh because of it’s authentic Malaysian flavour and one of the more spicy offerings around. There is just something I can’t really put my finger on it, that gives it that extra hit. It’s that special “wok” flavour but it’s so vague and indescribable that it’s best not to talk about that any further. You really are hard pressed to find a Char Kway Teoh as flavourful, spicy and overall tasty as this. I’d say Claypot King in Glen Waverley had nearly or even just as good of a offering as Straits but they no longer operate so the crown goes to Straits.
Their Char Hor Fun has stir fried hor fun noodles which are always a delight. The egg sauce is delicious, and I believe they put in the deep fried diced lard but I can’t be certain. Everything here was tasty, the seafood and chicken cooked nicely, and a good serve of vegetables. My only criticism, even if, ever so slight, is that they put the preserved (vinegar) chopped green chillies on the plate as well. So if you don’t like your sauce a tad sour, it can make the sauce kinda strange as somehow the chilli flavour spreads throughout the whole sauce. Again, nothing to make a fuss about, but it may not be to people’s likings.
One of their main specials was the Tok Tok Mee, which is apparently Penang Style. I can’t vouch for that as I have never tried it in Penang but this dish sure looked delicious. It had a wide selection of toppings from the steamed chicken, char siu pork, crumbed chicken, boiled wontons and vegetables. It really had it all.
For a sweet warm dessert, Pulut Hitam hits the spot. My mother does an excellent Pulut Hitam, that is much less sweet and actually tastes better as a result (Go figure) but for a restaurant offering, it’s quite nice. It has those black sticky rice that give it that added texture and the coconut cream provides the creaminess that is much required. Overall, it’s a pretty good Pulut Hitam as many places don’t offer it, although slightly too sweet for my tastes but maybe I’m just spoilt with my mother’s delicious cooking.
Straits Cafe offers a good variety of Malaysian dishes and most of them do hit the spot. The authentic Malaysian flavours is what people come back for and you can certainly see why. On weekends it was definitely is preferable to book ahead as without a reservation you may be waiting for quite some time.
241 Stud Rd
Wantirna South VIC 3152
Jalan Alor is small Malaysian restaurant in Melbourne’s China Town. It’s part of the renovated walkway that once held Village Cinemas, if you can remember that far back! At times you might be hard pressed to find seating as this restaurant seats is extremely low. If you do get a chance to eat here, it is worth it.
Their Curry with King Prawns tastes just as good as it looks. With the tomato and eggplant giving it a nice flavour, along with the pleasant curry taste. It is a surprisingly good dish to order.
I found the Char Kway Teoh on this occasion to be slightly overcooked. It had a slight burnt taste to some of the noodles but it didn’t spoil the whole dish so I set the few strands of noodles aside. Other than that, it was quite tasty. It had the crispy lard that not many places cook with so that sets it apart from other Malaysian restaurants. I asked for spicy but it was not spicy at all so not sure what happened there. Overall, it was nice but there are some let downs as I mentioned before.
Their Char Hor Fun was quite nice. There are some varying styles of this dish, some don’t cook the kway teoh in the wok as much (or at all) but I prefer it when they do. Jalan Alor does this and it’s great. It has that nice “wok flavour” as some puts it. The egg base sauce is also tasty. It is definitely hard to do a bad egg sauce though.
Iced Red Bean Drink with Coconut Milk is also another winner. It’s not too sweet, nice and chilly on a warm day. The red beans add the sweetness to the drink, and the coconut milk add that creaminess. I’d order it again!
The food at Jalan Alor is quite good, along with their drinks. However, I found their service to be slightly lacking. The waitress’s didn’t know what fresh chillies are. For a Malaysian restaurant, I feel that’s severely disappointing. When we asked for a plate to put the rice on for the Curry with King Prawns dish (the bowl was too small!), she didn’t know what we were talking about and had to ask another one of the staff. The other staff asked if we would like a small plate and it seemed like it was a lot of effort for them to bring one out.
Other than that, I’d go back again. I have been there a couple of times, but this was my most recent experience.
7/206 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000