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.
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
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
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