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Penang Flavours on Doncaster Road, minutes drive from Doncaster Shopping Town used to be under the same name as the Malaysian eatery in Wantirna, Straits Cafe. Although under a new name, the food remains just as good as before.

Their Har Mee has a lovely prawn soup base flavour, and the sambal mixed in gives it a nice chilli aroma. My only downside I found is the oiliness in the dish, as is apparent in the picture above but I guess that comes with eating out.

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The Wattan Hor (Combination Hor Fun) is one of the better ones I’ve had around town. The wok flavour of the hor fun is noticeable and adds that little bit extra that is needed to balance the creaminess of the egg sauce. Delicious

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Penang Flavour’s Assam Laksa wasn’t anything special. Assam Laksa really needs that sweet, sour combination to soup base but also with that subtle fish flavour. Not to say it was bad, it isn’t.  Not many Malaysian restaurants can actually do it well actually.

Impressions

Malaysian Kitchen also is located close by to Penang Flavours, but if I were to choose, I’d definitely go with Penang Flavours. Their Char Kway Teow is one of the better ones in Melbourne too.

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Penang Flavours
694 Doncaster Road
Doncaster Melbourne VIC

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Straits Cafe near Knox is a popular Malaysian eatery, mostly known for it’s tasty Char Kway Teoh and overall good food. It’s extremely difficult to get tables during the weekend as the place doesn’t cater to many people (space is small) and well, people just enjoy going there to dine.

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Sometimes Straits has specials on posted at the back whether it be main dishes or entrees. We ordered their Friend Chicken with Sambal seasoning. It was served fresh and straight from the fryer and was quite tasty. The skin was crisp and crunchy, and the chicken was cooked well. I couldn’t really taste the, I presume, spicy seasoning but for Malaysian Fried Chicken it was tasty nonetheless.

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I believe they are quite well known for their Char Kway Teoh because of it’s authentic Malaysian flavour and one of the more spicy offerings around. There is just something I can’t really put my finger on it, that gives it that extra hit. It’s that special “wok” flavour but it’s so vague and indescribable that it’s best not to talk about that any further. You really are hard pressed to find a Char Kway Teoh as flavourful, spicy and overall tasty as this. I’d say Claypot King in Glen Waverley had nearly or even just as good of a offering as Straits but they no longer operate so the crown goes to Straits.

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Their Char Hor Fun has stir fried hor fun noodles which are always a delight. The egg sauce is delicious, and I believe they put in the deep fried  diced lard but I can’t be certain. Everything here was tasty, the seafood and chicken cooked nicely, and a good serve of vegetables. My only criticism, even if, ever so slight, is that they put the preserved (vinegar) chopped green chillies on the plate as well. So if you don’t like your sauce a tad sour, it can make the sauce kinda strange as somehow the chilli flavour spreads throughout the whole sauce. Again, nothing to make a fuss about, but it may not be to people’s likings.

IMG_9110One of their main specials was the Tok Tok Mee, which is apparently Penang Style. I can’t vouch for that as I have never tried it in Penang but this dish sure looked delicious. It had a wide selection of toppings from the steamed chicken, char siu pork, crumbed chicken, boiled wontons and vegetables. It really had it all.

IMG_9106Straits’ Teh Tarik was a slight letdown as it was overly sweet and lacked the pulling tea flavour. It also wasn’t frothy enough but still may please some people.

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For a sweet warm dessert, Pulut Hitam hits the spot. My mother does an excellent Pulut Hitam, that is much less sweet and actually tastes better as a result (Go figure) but for a restaurant offering, it’s quite nice. It has those black sticky rice that give it that added texture and the coconut cream provides the creaminess that is much required. Overall, it’s a pretty good Pulut Hitam as many places don’t offer it, although slightly too sweet for my tastes but maybe I’m just spoilt with my mother’s delicious cooking.

Impressions

Straits Cafe offers a good variety of Malaysian dishes and most of them do hit the spot. The authentic Malaysian flavours is what people come back for and you can certainly see why. On weekends it was definitely is preferable to book ahead as without a reservation you may be waiting for quite some time.

Straits Cafe on Urbanspoon

Straits Cafe
241 Stud Rd
Wantirna South VIC 3152

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