Petaling Street Box Hill re-opened its doors last year after what seemed like years when it unexpectedly shut down. Today, the venue seats quite a large number of customers and marks a return of the Malaysian cuisine to the Box Hill food scene. Box Hill now offers a range of choices from what seemed like years of only Madam Kwong’s, with Straits of Malacca also having opened its doors last year.
The Box Hill outlet serves the same menu options as its other Melbourne counterparts, but where it differs as you’d find with most outlets of the same name that the standard of the food varies.
Their Ipoh Hor Fun is one of those differences unfortunately. The soup base lacks depth in flavour but general blandness in taste. I found myself in the situation where I needed to add soy sauce to the soup for taste. The chicken served also lacks flavour but at least it has a marinate. In most restaurants, the cut of chicken served would be a selection of cuts but mostly the tender and moist parts of the chicken with bones being mostly a small inconvenience. Maybe I’m just a bit lazy, but it’s something I often never seem to come across when I order a Ipoh Hor Fun.
The Dry Curry Noodles (Chicken), at least has great curry flavour and sauce. It’s rich, slightly creamy but still a tad spicy and goes well with the noodles. My only con is for a tiny bit more curry sauce to flavour the noodles as well.
As with the other Petaling Street restaurants, they also offer fish as a menu item. Steamed and Fried varieties. Their Steamed Fish was surprisingly decent, the sauce was flavourful, but the balance wasn’t quite perfect. The garnish of these fried pieces adds a bit of crunch and is most welcome.
Overall, I found Petaling Street to be slightly underwhelming. The food standard here isn’t as high or as tasty as you may find in Glen Waverley but I only hope as time passes, it gets better with age.
Petaling Street Box Hill
600 Station St
Box Hill VIC 3128
Straits of Malacca is a Malaysian eatery on the popular Kingsway, Glen Waverley. I know what you’re thinking. Another Malaysian restaurant? What’s slightly different about Straits of Malacca, if you couldn’t guess from its name is that it offers a variation of Malaysian cuisine from Malacca.
There are your standard affair Malaysian dishes like Char Kway Teoh or Curry Laksa but Straits of Malacca offers their own take on these dishes, but some dishes are what you may see in any other Malaysian restaurant.
I ordered the Nasi Pattaya with Thai Sauce Fish Fillet and Spring Rolls. If you’ve eaten Petaling Street’s Nasi Pattaya you’ll notice the similarities. Nasi Pattaya is Seafood Fried Rice wrapped in a paper thin egg crepe and topped off with sweet chilli sauce.
Compared with Petaling Street, I found it lacking in flavour. It just didn’t have enough seasoning in the Fried Rice, but I’d still say it’s a pleasant Nasi Pattaya. The real winner of this dish is the Thai Sauce Fish Fillet. If you have tasted Assam Laksa, you’ll instantly be reminded of this taste. It has that superb sweet, sour, salty and spicy combination found in Assam Laksa. The sauce works so well with the salad and fish fillet. My only negative is that the fish is deep fried. I can see why they deep fry dish as it will most likely last longer but I just dislike deep fried fish.
The little spring rolls that accompany this dish are quite unique as it isn’t your commonly found spring roll. They have this very light crispy outside and the usual ingredients inside. I’ve actually never had spring rolls like this before, and it was mostly good!
Their Kuala Lumpur style Hokkien Mee reminds me of how delicious my mother’s Hokkien Mee is. I found that the sauce was strong but not too overpowering. I’m not a big fan of fishcake as I find it very artificial, but it is a standard in Hokkien Mee’s I’ve tasted so I can’t really knock it. As you can see, the dish is quite shiny, this is the oil that makes the noodles so glossy.
Again, another pleasant dish from Straits of Malacca.
On their Menu they have a selection of “Fish Banquet’ dishes, I believe this was the Malacca Style Curry Fish with Rice. Again, Straits of Malacca opts for deep fried fish which probably most will like but I find it takes away from the natural fish taste.
The curry was interesting as it was a bit sweet and not spicy but I found it tasty nonetheless.
You can’t go to Malaysian restaurant and not try their Ice Cendol. I always look out to see if the Cendol (the green jelly) is fresh or not. More often than not, the Cendol is hard, indicating the jelly has been left in the fridge for a couple of days or so.
I liked the flavour from the Ice Cendol, the brown sugar syrup and coconut milk were in a perfect mix. Not too sweet, but could have dialled down the sugar just a tad. My only con is that it was served in a glass! I like my Ice Cendol in a bowl so I can share it around.
I know many have already decided whether or not they like Straits of Malacca but I really do like that it offers quite a different mix of dishes that you probably are unable to find elsewhere.
Some of their dishes are your standard affair but some dishes like their Nasi Pattaya are winners in my book. Straits of Malacca continues to be popular with locals as it constantly fills up during lunch time, and I do have to mention, they do have a number of tables. Basically they bought over the restaurant next to it months ago so its definitely one of the bigger restaurants on Kingsway.
I’ve seen they have also have stores in Prahran, Hawthorn and in the CBD but I’m unaware if the food quality is consistent among all locations.
Check them out if you’re interested!
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
T: 03 9561 3880
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
Petaling Street is one of the newer entries to Kingsway, Glen Waverley. Replacing the Kowloon Cafe, a Hong Kong style eatery. When they first opened, it was shockingly terrible. Horrible service and the food wasn’t too flash either. I believe a year and a half later, they are doing fine. One of the more popular places because of it’s variety of dishes, cheaper prices and great portions. It has turned itself around.
I believe they have another store in Hawthorn but according to some friends, it’s not as good. The image above is of a Crispy Noodle Combination, it’s actually pretty good. Maybe just as good as The Grand Tofu’s offerings.
I always come back here for their Nasi Goreng Pattaya, it looks pretty cool and well it tastes good too. Here it is below. The sweet chilli sauce and the really thin egg layer gives this Nasi Goreng some added flavour and texture.
Below are some other dishes they have. I think the first one is a Combination Hor Fun and I can’t remember what the second one is, maybe a Spare Rib Noodles or something but it wasn’t that great.
Even on weekdays, Petaling Street at around lunch time can get full. People always come back for more and you can see why, the food is good and their portions are reasonable. The only real negative is that the service is still kinda lacking. Sometimes they are quick but most of the time you have to go out of your way to get them to take your order and the wait for your food is a whole other issue. If you do want to try it out, probably it’s your best bet to try it ‘off peak’ either before 12pm or after around 2pm.
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
(03) 9561 1388