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 Kwan’s recently opened its doors in Box Hill, replacing Straits of Malacca which seemed to vanish as soon as it opened. Also, not to be confused by Madam Kwong’s and Kwan’s Dim Sum on Whitehorse Road. It retains the same name as a franchise in Malaysia. Variety-wise, it’s quite similar to PappaRich with a mix of noodle and rice dishes, drinks and desserts (Durian too) although where it falls short is the number of menu options, like Nasi Kandar, Roti Canai but seem to mark its place with a few of their specialties such as Madam Kwan’s Noodle Soup.
Madam Kwan’s Mee Goreng, is probably one of the better ones I’ve tried although it lacks that slight sweet and sourness from the tomato sauce that is frequently used in Mee Goreng. Apart from that, I found it quite filling (portions are generous).
The Chicken Curry Laksa isn’t like what you’d find in Chef Lagenda or Laksa King where it has this rich, creaminess to the Laksa. Instead, it opts for the fragrance of the spices used to add depth to the soup base. Again, it’s a generous offering with both egg and rice vermicelli noodles.
Madam Kwan’s Lobak is one of my favourites I’ve tried in Melbourne and can actually best some of the ones I’ve tried in Malaysia. It has this wonderful balance of pork and the seasoning. Plus, it adds yam/taro that adds texture and fragrance that I didn’t even know I wanted in a Lobak, and yet it works so well together. Yum. Be warned though, their side dishes cost nearly as much as their mains.
I found their Teh Tarik on the other hand to be overly sweet from its excessive use of condensed milk. Tea flavour-wise it’s on the stronger side of things so the balance is a bit off in my books.
While I would say, Madam Kwan’s isn’t my favourite Malaysian eatery in Melbourne, it’s probably one of the tastier choices for Malaysian cuisine in the Box Hill and even Doncaster/Blackburn area.
3/1 Main Street (Box Hill Central)
Box Hill VIC 3128
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.
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
Sambal Kampung is located in the heart of Melbourne’s Chinatown. It is one of the few Malaysian restaurants that have opened up in recent years on Little Bourke St. It’s probably my most visited Malaysian restaurant in the CBD as there aren’t many Malaysian restaurants to choose from in the city.
I believe there have been changes in menu and cooking over the years though so it can be a bit inconsistent and well, I went there a couple weeks ago and it definitely wasn’t as good as before.
The image on top is of their variation of the Mee Goreng, and to be honest, it was actually quite good. I’m not a big fan of the sweet and strong tomato tasting Mee Goreng’s, and in this dish it isn’t overpowering. It also has hints of chilli with it too, so that’s a plus. Squeezing some lemon juice on top also gives this dish an added layer of freshness over the slightly oiled noodles so overall it’s a balanced Mee Goreng.
We ordered a Tom Yum Nasi Goreng, with seafood. I expected it to have a a really fake tom yum taste but again I was pleasantly surprised with how it tasted. It wasn’t too overpowering but you could definitely taste that it was tom yum and it had a great balance between the spicy, sweet and sour elements of tom yum. Matched with the nicelycooked seafood, it was quite a nice dish.
Their satay snack dish is one of their newer menu items and it was again, surprisingly tasty with loads of flavour.
The few negatives I would say about this was the actual meat was overcooked and a tad dry, and since there wasn’t really enough satay sauce to dip into, parts of the meat went without sauce and it didn’t taste as good.
Also the fresh cucumber was soft when it should be crunchy with some bite to it. You could tell it was probably not at its peak ripeness.
However, the satay sauce was the hero of the dish. It was packed with flavour. It had a strong nutty flavour, slightly sweet balanced against a great nutty and slightly viscous texture.
I was a bit disappointed with their drinks menu. The black jelly drink had no sweetness to it at all, and was just ladled with ice so you didn’t really get your monies worth.
Same goes for the Three Colours drink, which had red bean, cendol, syrup and ice. It didn’t have the sweetness to make it nice, as the red bean and cendol aren’t sweet at all. The loads of shaved ice also made this a difficult drink to well…drink. It just made what sweetness was existent disappear when the ice melts and so it was just kinda bland.
As mentioned before, we ate here again and it was disappointing to see that their dishes just lacked the flavour that it used to have.
234 Little Bourke Street
(03) 9663 2666