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
Whenever I go to Flemington, I usually go to Chef Lagenda or ChilliPadi. For some reason Laksa King never crosses my mind, even though when they were in their old location we used to go there all the time. We ventured here once again to give it another go. I always found Laksa King to be the one more popular with the general public, it always seems to be full around lunch time.
Their Chicken Curry Laksa above, is well known, but also very similar to Chef Lagenda. Many would know the story behind it. Compared to some other Laksa’s both Laksa King and Chef Lagenda lean on the creamier side. I used to find it too creamy, however, on my last outing, I actually didn’t mind it for a change. It also had a nice hit of spice to it. I prefer Grand Tofu in Glen Waverley for my Laksa fix, it’s spicier and less creamy. However, this is just fine once in a while.
Thai Fried Rice is a surprisingly common dish in many Asian eateries. Laksa King’s version isn’t too shabby. It has a nice hit of chilli to it, and has that slight tom yum flavour, which gives it a nice sweet and sourness. The prawns were also perfectly cooked. The wok flavour really makes the dish. Overall, it’s one of the better Fried Rice’s around and I wouldn’t mind eating it again even if it’s on the oily side.
Ah Char Kway Teow. You can’t be a Malaysian restaurant without this. You also can’t have a tasty Char Kway Teow without the devilishly delicious fried pork fat. I know, that sounds hideously disgusting but if you have ever tried it, it just adds something special to it. It’s just crispy, fatty goodness. Obviously, I wouldn’t eat this all the time, nor would I eat all the pork fat in the dish but one or two pieces with the noodles just hits the spot.
One thing I didn’t like was that the fried pork fat wasn’t even crispy! What was the point, it was a total disappointment. The Char Kway Teow was delicious apart from that. It had that special wok flavour and had just enough heat. Again, it was on the oily side, however you don’t order this expecting something healthy in the end. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and wouldn’t mind ordering it again.
We saw people ordering Ice Kacang and it looked huge and delicious to boot. It’s like this large tower but it was so difficult to mix. Since the ice was quite hard, all the ice basically falls on the table. You basically have to dig sections out and mix it in your own bowl. Note to Laksa King, get wider bowls please.
Compared to my all time favourite Ice Kacang from Chillipadi Mamak, this is nearly as delicious but both are very different in taste. Laksa King’s version uses brown sugar syrup heavily as you can see it has a golden brown colour to it. Chillipadi uses a mixture of rose syrup and condensed/evaporated milk. I think any Ice Kacang with nuts added to it is a plus. It isn’t the same without that crunchiness. Although different, it wasn’t overly sweet and had all the other ingredients added to it, such as jelly, palm seeds, corn and lychee.
I’ve mentioned Laksa King numerous times, but first time I’ve actually given it a review. They serve predominantly Malaysian cuisine and don’t skimp on flavour. YMMV, but with the dishes above, most were winners in my book.
I know Laksa King caters more towards the Western flavours and demographic but it still retains the Malaysian flavour which is what most people seek.
6 – 12 Pin Oak Crescent
Flemington VIC 3031
Phone: 03 9372 6383
Everyday 11:30am – 3pm
Mon – Thu 5pm – 10pm
Fri – Sat 5pm – 10:30pm
Sunday 5pm – 10pm
Nanyang Kopitiam is located on Canterbury Road, close to an Indian grocer and a BP Petrol station. They offer a mix of Malaysian and Chinese dishes for a decent price. It’s not exactly a popular part of Box Hill, it’s actually very quiet even around the peak lunch time period on a weekend. [Update: Apparently this has closed down]
They don’t particularly have a great range of dishes to choose from, but they do have all your standards offered in many Malaysian restaurants here. One that seems to be on more Malaysian menu’s now is the Mee Rebus, and luckily for those Mee Rebus lovers out there, this is on Nanyan Kopitiam’s menu.
I’ll first talk about their Nasi Lemak. You get your choice of Curry Chicken or Rendang Beef like most Malaysian eateries, I often choose their Rendang since I like the flavours more so than your usual curry. It’s probably also that I often have Curry Chicken at home anyway.
Their Nasi Lemak also comes with your standard sides, so nothing out of the ordinary here. Their Rendang was a bit too tough for my liking, I think it’s because they hadn’t cooked it long enough but the sweet and spicy flavours were all there. I did enjoy it to be honest but the toughness was a bit of a letdown.
The sambal was overly sweet, and lacked that chilli punch that Taste Of Singapore has.
Overall it was a decent meal, and if you’re in those parts of town their Nasi Lemak is definitely okay.
I had a little taste of their Mee Rebus and it was quite good but it was odd because their sauce was extremely watery but it had all the essential flavours in it. I’m usually used to a thicker gravy but although this was different in looks, the taste was all there.
Probably the stand out for me was their Roti Canai. Their curry was delicious and had loads of flavour. It wasn’t too creamy and had just enough spice and heat to it. Along with their fresh roti (Their own roti if I’m not mistaken), that was nice and crisp on the outside but soft inside, I couldn’t really fault it.
Nanyang Kopitiam’s Char Kway Teow looked great. I only had a small taste of this as well, but again, it had a good balance of flavours and spice to it. People rave about Straits Char Kway Teow as one of the best in Victoria but this isn’t too bad either.
Strangely enough they say Kopitiam but it lacks many of the drinks you may find in a Kopitiam like for instance, Teh Tarik. I can’t remember if they served Coffee but I have my doubts.
All in all, if you’re in the area Nanyan Kopitiam will satisfy your Malaysian cuisine cravings. Even if you’re not , it’s decent enough to give it a try.
895c Canterbury Road
Tel: 03 9899 7077
Kotaraya used to be our go-to Malaysian restaurant. We used to frequent their Elsternwick store, and then on occassion, their Clayton store maybe every few months but then we stopped going there. Not because it was bad or anything, the food stayed pretty consistent of the many years we ate there but only because it got too busy for our liking and you’d be hard pressed to find a table on a Sunday after 12pm.
So instead we opted for the many restaurants in Glen Waverley so you didn’t have to play the waiting game. Earlier this year we noticed it wasn’t particularly busy so we jumped at the chance to revist Kotaraya.
Kotaraya has all the standard Malaysian dishes. Laksa, Nasi/Mee Goreng, Char Kway Teoh but also a selection of Thai and Chinese dishes too.
I always used to order their Char Hor Fun (Combination), and to be honest their Char Hor Fun has pratically stayed the same as I remembered it. It still has the same tasty egg sauce and the slightly wok stir-fried noodles. Of course the price has gone up, but that has been consistent with most restaurants so it isn’t a real negative.
Their Char Hor Fun as all the essentials, calamari , bok choy, and chicken and just enough sauce. You can’t go wrong with this dish.
Check out their menu on the official website and see what you like! There is something for everyone.
Kotaraya – Elsternwick
237-239 Glenhuntly Road
Telephone: 9523 6720
Fax: 9523 1792
Open 7 days (Lunch & Dinner) Lunch 11.30am – 2.30pm
Dinner 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Closed: Saturday Lunch
Public Holidays: Open
KL Bunga Raya is located on Errol Street, North Melbourne, close to the North Melbourne Town Hall. When we went there on a Sunday afternoon, it was very quiet. I’m not too sure if that was a one off or if it’s always like that but I’m guessing it just has very low foot traffic around there.
By it’s name you may be able to guess that it’s a Malaysian eatery, serving all your favourite and commonly known Malaysian dishes such as Char Kway Teow, Curry Laksa and Nasi Lemak. Plus a couple of interesting dishes like the Thai influenced Pineapple Fried Rice. There are actually a few Thai styled dishes to choose from but mostly they do serve the typical Malaysian food.
I tried Pineapple Fried Rice in Malaysia from a Thai restaurant and it was surprisingly good. It was actually served inside a pineapple! So I ordered the Pineapple Fried Rice here to see if it could match or better the one I ate in Malaysia but unfortunately it lacked a bit of taste and seasoning. That’s not to say it was bad, but the pineapple had little flavour and the rice was more wet than I’m used to for Fried Rice. So let’s just say it was interesting and leave it at that.
I tried a bit of the chicken here and it was quite tasty. Packed full of flavour. I can’t recall what the dish was called to be honest.
My verdict would be to give it a try. The food may or may not be to your liking but you wouldn’t know unless you taste it for yourself!
KL Bunga Raya
34 Errol Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051