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
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
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
PappaRich fever has hit Australia.
It seems like it’s the sister franchise to PappaRoti (Update: I’ve been informed they are completely separate entities). With its first franchise opening up in QV where Old Town Kopitiam Mamak was, earlier this year. They have quickly opened up two more stores, one in Doncaster and the latest one in Chadstone Shopping Centre (Outside but close to Aldi) with probably more to come. If you haven’t guessed already, they serve Malaysian food and quite a good variety of food at that.
We ordered Nasi Briyani with Eggplant, Curry Prawns and Fried Chicken and Pappadam. I don’t think very many places serve Nasi Briyani, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it on the menu. The Briyani was fantastic, it had a very strong but not overpowering flavour, nicely cooked with all the spices. I’m not a big fan of sultanas in Briyani though, but it is a staple for most.
The Curry Prawns aren’t overly spicy, it’s mostly sweet actually and these prawns are the bite sized kind. I prefer the King Prawns but these little prawns suffice. The eggplant adds a nice spicy flavour to it to. Overall, it’s definitely a good meal, with a wide variety of flavours that all work well together. A must for Briyani lovers.
Their Curry Laksa is very different to the popular Laksa’s around. It tastes very home-made and it also lacks that huge punch of coconut milk/cream. Which is a good thing in my book! Sometimes I prefer a milder, less rich Laksa and this hits the sweet spot. There are a couple of Laksa varieties of the menu, Chicken, Vegetarian, and Seafood. I chose the Chicken version and it is served with chicken (of course), fried bean curd, bean curd, eggplant and a hint of mint. It also only has Hokkien Mee (no Bee Hoon as some Laksa’s have) so it really depends on your preferences. There is a lot to like with PappaRich’s Laksa as mentioned above, the curry soup is delicious as it retains a nice curry flavour but also adds a kick of spice. Overall, I’m pretty happy with this dish it is a definite change of pace.
You can’t go to a Malaysian restaurant and not see Nasi Lemak, here we ordered the Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken and Sambal. I’ve got to say that Sambal is superb. It’s sweet, and my golly does it have a huge hit of heat. I’m in love, best Sambal I’ve had in a while. The Curry Chicken is slightly sweet, but it’s nice. I’d order this dish just for the Sambal to be honest.
Their Drinks menu is quite large too, here we ordered the Soya Bean with Grass Jelly. I liked this because it has a strong soya flavour but also it isn’t too sweet so for those that would like a nice refreshing drink but not overly sweet. Here it is!
PappaRich’s Teh Tarik is pretty good too, has a nice tea flavour but not overwhelming. Same with the sweetness, although I still prefer Chilli Padi Mamak‘s Teh Tarik. It’s also a tad smaller then what you’d get elsewhere, so there is a bit of a trade off.
PappaRich has definitely made an impression on me. It’s menu is full of things to try, from their Roti’s and snacks, to Noodles and Rice dishes and a great selection of desserts and drinks. Although their ABC Ice Kacang is definitely the most expensively priced item I’ve seen, priced at roughly $7 I didn’t even try it. I’m a bit wary of the portion size but also if it leads to disappointment as I think it would.
I do have to warn you for first timers that you order by writing down your selection on the pads found on the side and once you’re down you wave down one of the staff to take your paper. They then give you your receipt which you pay at the end of your meal at the receipt counter. I don’t think some of the staff do tell you that so best be warned before sitting there for minutes waiting for service.
Other than that, the service was surprisingly good. We had to wait roughly 10 minutes to get seats as PappaRich still is affected by the “new/curious” diners (like me) but once we ordered, food came within another 5/10 minutes. Pretty good actually for a full house.
Overall, I would dine again just to try their other items and it means there is actually some good Malaysian food in Chadstone, apart from Chadstone Shopping Centre’s Chilli Mama (Located in the Food Court) and Nudle (Near Nandos/Cinemas). It actually makes me want to go to Chadstone more often!
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Chadstone VIC 3148
Update: ABC Cafe has closed its doors and I believe a Vietnamese eatery will take its place.
ABC Cafe is situated in the heart of Glen Waverley, on the popular Kingsway street, right next to Petaling Street.
It isn’t a very big eatery, and it doesn’t serve that many people but if you want good Malaysian food for a decent price it’s here.
What differentiates ABC Cafe from the other Malaysian restaurants is that it serves Mee Rebus on the menu. Not very many eateries cook Mee Rebus. As I don’t think it’s as commonly known and I think the many Australian Australians’ just don’t know what it is so restaurants don’t bother serving it and just stick with the Char Kway Teows’, Nasi Gorengs’ etc.
What makes Mee Rebus so good, and ABC Cafe’s is the sauce. The sauce is everything, it is like a viscous soup, and with the noodles, tofu, bean sprouts, prawns and garnish. It just makes a perfect combination. I probably don’t know what an ‘authentic’ Malaysian Mee Rebus is, as I’ve only eaten it a couple of times when I went back but it sure tastes good and that should be all that matters really.
Their Curry Laksa is also no too shabby, it packs the flavour, spiciness and slight creaminess that makes a Laksa appetising. Also, a great Laksa includes both the Hokkien Noodles and Bee Hoon Noodles which ABC Cafe do include.
Portion size is also quite decent, as is with the Mee Rebus.
Their Ice Kacang is also a winner, although it doesn’t have peanuts in there. The flavour and syrups used are just what it should be, just a word of caution even on a cooler day it melts quickly. I think it’s due to their fine ice shavings as opposed to larger ice shavings which seem to stay cooler, longer, and hence hold its form.
I would put the ABC Cafe’s Ice Kacang above Petaling Street and The Grand Tofu’s offerings. It just happens to tick the most boxes when it comes to flavour and the ingredients they used. Definitely like what I had in Malaysia.
I’m pretty happy to dine at ABC Cafe, I’m just not quite sure why it’s not as popular as the other Malaysian restaurants in the same area as some of their dishes taste better then the others.
Glen Waverley, 3150
(03) 9561 6888