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
OldTown White Coffee opened its first restaurant in Melbourne earlier this year. Old Town already has a presence in Australia through its 3 in 1 White Coffee sold in quite a number of Asian grocers across Victoria. Originally from Ipoh, Malaysia, it has spread across Malaysia and into parts of Asia as well. It’s similar to PappaRich with its prominent drinks menu and wide variety of Malaysian dishes to choose from.
Oldtown’s Nasi Lemak comes with a number of sides, such as fried chicken, satay skewers and seafood sticks and of course sambal. The sambal is quite fragrant, although is sweeter than I would like. I still would say PappaRich’s sambal trumps it but it’s not far off. I found the satay to be warm, and not hot, which indicated to me that they pre-cook it. I suppose that’s to be expected as to speed up the order to serving time. The fried chicken, however, appears to be cooked to order. The coconut rice leaned towards the mushier side of things, and the fried seafood sticks were interesting things but I wasn’t a big fan of it. Overall, it’s a nice dish with many accompaniments which is a plus!
Their Balacan Seafood Fried Rice is delicious. It has that lovely fragrance of spices and it was spicier than expected.
I simply adored the Roti Canai, it’s fluffy and crisp. It’s my favourite Roti Canai in Melbourne. Every other Malaysian restaurant does it the typical square shape and although it’s crispy when cooked on the stove, it lacks this lightness to it that Oldtown’s has. It’s served vegetarian with a Curry, the typical Dahl curry (without the Dahl) and sambal. Mamak’s curry probably beats it in terms of flavour but its all pretty similar in my books. I’d go back just for this Roti though, it’s that good.
Their Ice Kacang looks exceptional but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of taste. It’s overly icy, the shaved ice is too rough for my liking. It lacks the red syrup (usually like a rose syrup), but does have the brown sugar or palm sugar syrup. The cendol jelly is a nice bonus but once you get the syrup, condensed milk mixture wrong, it really lets everything else down.
Oldtown’s Ice Teh Tarik has a wonderful strong tea taste, though just a tad too sweet for me. One of the better ones in Melbourne.
The reviews for Oldtown make you really question whether you would want to try it out. Maybe, I dined on a good day when service was pretty fast, although not particularly friendly but that’s pretty much expected at most Malaysian/Asian restaurants. Taste-wise it’s definitely above average and I can’t really understand the poor reviews it has received apart from the pricing which is a $1 to $2 more than most Malaysian restaurants. I’d go back.
303 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Straits of Malacca opened last year in Box Hill, in a place I never knew could even house another restaurant. Situated on the far eastern side of Box Hill Central, close to Station St and with entrances from Main St and Station St, it’s easily accessible. Straits of Malacca in Glen Waverley, didn’t overly impress me on my initial visit but you can definitely find a pretty good meal there.
The Box Hill outlet may not match Glen Waverley in terms of tastiness but it does come close. Their Indian Mee Goreng has all the ingredients for a great Mee Goreng and has a subtle tomato flavour to it but doesn’t overwhelm the dish with the other spices and sauce.
Their Nasi Pataya isn’t quite as good as Petaling Street in terms of their fried rice incased in the egg, but they also do it differently with the addition of a salad with crispy fish and crispy spring rolls. The egg wrap is also very thing (just how I like it) with enough sweet chilli sauce to bring it all together.
Funnily enough, it was their Teh Ice that I enjoyed the most. It has the right amount of tea flavour but not overly sweet. How it should be!
Straits of Malacca sprinkles a bit more of Malaysia into the Box Hill food scene, and although it seems many aren’t too taken by it. I find it to be overall quite decent in flavour, not as great as the Glen Waverley outlet but definitely not bad as its made out to be on Urbanspoon. Would dine again.
O’Town in Glen Waverley replaced Hakka Tea House this year. O’Town specialises in Penang cuisine, many of my favourite Malaysian dishes have origins in Penang such as Char Kueh Teow, Har Mee and Mee Rebus but of course you can find many of these dishes elsewhere in Malaysia but it’s telling that there are eateries in Kuala Lumpur/Selangor that prides itself on Penang dishes.
O’Town’s decor is very reminiscent of the streets of Penang, with its British influence and Penang’s famous street art replicated on the walls.
O’Town’s Hakka Kon Loh is served with fishball soup and taste wise it was oddly familiar, like a drier Pan Mee because of the mushrooms and crunchy anchovies. It’s subtle in flavour as I did require some sliced chilli to go with it but I was happy with the flavours nonetheless. The soup is pretty much your typical Asian stock soup so nothing really out of the ordinary.
The Chicken Satay’s here aren’t grilled, instead its deep fried. So it has this crispiness to it, however it isn’t quite the same as the smokiness of a grilled satay stick. The peanut sauce is pleasant, with a wonderful nutty aroma I preferred it to the actual satay to be honest. That’s not to say it’s a bad satay dish, just different.
O’Town’s Nasi Lemak comes with a very tasty Chicken Curry. I loved the creaminess of it, yet not overpowering with the spices. A good balance of ingredients. The sambal is nothing really to run home about but definitely above average.
When ordering the Assam Laksa we were worried they would use sardines instead of other fish, luckily our worries were squashed as they use small fishes but definitely not sardines. Sardines give off a very strong fishy flavour which, more often than not, overpowers the Laksa flavours. Here the Assam Laksa has a lighter soup base taste but it’s one of the better Assam Laksa’s around.
The Ice Teh Tarik is not bad a bit light as I actually prefer a stronger “Teh” flavour. When talking to one of the staff, it appears that initially the Teh Tarik here did indeed have a stronger tea taste to it but people complained (what!). In any case, the staff mentioned you can request for a stronger Teh Tarik if that’s to your liking.
O’Town makes a mark in Glen Waverley, adding to the Malaysian restaurant scene and yet all have slightly different styles of Malaysian dishes due to their local origins (e.g Penang, Malacca, KL, Sarawak). The food here is on average pretty good, but nothing came across as amazing from the dishes we tried.
19 Railway Parade N
Glen Waverley VIC 3150