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
With Jonker Street seemingly always busy, we decided to try Meals At Jackson’s. I believe it changed management in recent times, but I never actually dined there before the change. Meals At Jackson’s offers a selection of Chinese and Malaysian style dishes like Laksa, Nasi Goreng, Lemon Chicken and Sweet & Sour Pork.
I tend to order a Laksa at Malaysian restaurants I’ve never been to before, it seems to be a decent indicator of the quality and authenticity of Malaysian dishes. The Chicken Curry Laksa at Meals At Jackson’s, is unfortunately a disappointment. It has a generous use of curry powder, and lacking in pretty much any other flavour. The shrivelled up long beans don’t make things better either. I guess one of the pluses is that it comes with a lot of chicken pieces.
Their Ipoh Combination is decent. Though, an odd addition of Char Siew (BBQ Pork) instead of the typical chicken, or beef which adds this weird sweetness to it. The noodles also lack some of the “wok flavour” too.
The Fish Head Noodle Soup was also lacking in flavour. It’s “milky” but it doesn’t have the required sourness from the preserved vegetables and tomatoes to balance it. Quite average.
I hope Meals At Jackson’s Chinese style dishes are tastier because their Malaysian dishes are truly mediocre.
Meals At Jackson’s
52 Jackson Court
Doncaster East VIC 3109
Kim Sing opened its doors earlier this year under new management after Madam Kwan closed down. Their menu has been tweaked and a number of menu items have been removed from the menu, but Kim Sing still has a mixture of Malaysian/Chinese style dishes on offer and they advertise itself as Kim Sing, Truly Malaysian Delights. So expectations are high with that statement.
More often than not, I always try a new Malaysian restaurant’s Curry Laksa to see if they can trump Laksa King and Chef Lagenda. Kim Sing’s Laksa is a letdown, and substantially poorer quality than its predecessor. It has this watery, curry powder flavoured taste to it. A Curry Laksa it ain’t.
Their Char Kway Teow is served in a bowl, for some odd reason and with Madam Kwan’s logo still placed on all its crockery. It has that ‘wok’ flavour, so thank goodness for that but there are several oddities with this dish. It uses Char Siew (BBQ Pork) as its protein instead of Lap Cheong (Chinese Sausage). The prawns are tiny, and they don’t add in the deep fried Pork Lard but usually I can live without that. We also ordered it spicy, but no heat to it whatsoever. The substitution of Lap Cheong with Char Siew completely changes the taste of the Char Kway Teow. Very strange.
The Salt & Pepper Chicken Ribs with rice was actually quite nice. No chilli, which I think it needs to give it a bit of kick and depth of flavour but the chicken is crispy and still moist but they aren’t very generous with their fried capsicum and onion which I think is needed to give the chicken and rice much needed flavour. Decent but you can probably find better elsewhere in Box Hill.
Kim Sing unfortunately does not live up to its Truly Malaysian Delights statement. It serves quite frankly, mediocre dishes that are so disparate from traditional Malaysian dishes.
Shop 3, 1 Main Street
Box Hill VIC 3128
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
PappaRich is practically everywhere in Melbourne, and interestingly their Doncaster outlet is located in a separate building and not part of a shopping centre or shopping strip. It’s a spacious area but bustling during the weekends. If you had never been to a PappaRich before, they basically offer a wide selection of Malaysian rice, noodle and roti dishes along with a an almost innumerable amount of drinks to choose from.
PappaRich’s Chicken Curry Laksa is one of the better laksa’s around town, but still the ones to beat are Chef Lagenda and Laksa King. It’s just creamy enough, with the right amount of chilli and spices. With a hint of mint to freshen it up.
Their Red Chicken Briyani with Fried Eggplant is a dish you wouldn’t often come across as it leans towards the more Indian/Malaysian style of cooking unlike most Malaysian restaurants which are more Chinese influenced.
I love Briyani and the rice here has that lovely spices infused into the rice, but I detest sultanas in dishes so I very rarely (read: never) order this. Comes with a crispy thin pappadam too!
Doncaster outlet doesn’t stray too far from the standard set by Chadstone or Glen Waverley so it’s nice to have one on the eastern side of town.
540 Doncaster Road
Doncaster VIC 3108