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
Laksa Town is one of the newer Malaysian eateries in Glen Waverley. Located on the popular Kingsway, it offers a variety of Laksa options, as well as Nasi Lemak, and serves Claypot dishes and Bak Kut Teh as well with a selection of classic Malaysian drinks like Teh Tarik and Cendol.
Their Claypot Mee Pok which reminds me of a dry Pan Mee with the crispy anchovies, mushrooms, and mince meat with flat noodles. It’s actually quite nice and I’d definitely go for it on a hot day instead of the soupy Pan Mee.
Their Laksa has a more spice infused broth and not as creamy or rich as you’d find in Laksa King or Chef Lagenda, or even Yong Tofu in Glen Waverley for that matter. It’s not bad by any means, and I think it just comes down to preference.
Laksa Town’s Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken had a nice flavour to the curry sauce. A tad spicy but lacked the punch from the sambal that is needed for the Nasi Lemak. The fried egg though is a nice touch.
Their drinks menu has the typical 3 Layers, Milo Dinosaur and Teh Tarik. On this occasion, we tried their Ribena Lychee Sparkling and the Cendol Special. The Ribena drink was something I haven’t had since I was a kid, but with sparking water and lychees which had a lovely fruitiness to it.
The Cendol was quite nice actually, the Cendol jellies were soft still and had the nice gula melaka syrup flavour. The addition of red beans and grass jelly was nice too.
Laksa Town does distinguish itself with its extensive variety of claypot dishes but nothing we tried was amazing and I do prefer O’Town in Glen Waverley for good Malaysian food. However, I recommend giving it a try.
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
Jonker Street in Doncaster is named after a popular street in Malacca, Malaysia which has now taken over the location that Ronz Roti Kaya used to occupy. The menu at Jonker Street is actually quite extensive, they offer an array of noodle and rice dishes, as well as congee which include your Malaysian staples like Nasi Goreng, and Curry Laksa but they also serve mains if you prefer to share dishes and take the opportunity to try a few more dishes at a time.
Not many places can do a good Assam Laksa, it’s usually either it lacks in flavour or their use sardines which often changes the entire flavour of the broth. I found the Assam Laksa here to be lacking in flavour, it tastes slightly watered down which is disappointing. I’d say it’s around 70% of the intensity it should be at.
The Curry Laksa here is surprisingly good, but it isn’t your typical Laksa that you might find in Laksa King or Chef Lagenda that are more creamier. The Laksa tastes like your typical Chicken Curry sauce but as a broth, which has this lovely spiciness to it that it needs.
The Pan Mee here also has the same issues that the Assam Laksa has, which is that the soup base lacks flavour but more so in this case. The Pan Mee broth should have the flavour of pork and dried anchovies, but it really doesn’t have any taste to it at all so I had to add a lot of chilli to give it flavour.
The Teh Tarik isn’t too bad, maybe just a tad too sweet and not pulled enough but overall it’s decent!
The Ice Cendol has the balance of gula melaka syrup and coconut milk all out, it needs a lot more gula melaka.
There isn’t anything that stands out to me at Jonker Street, though the Chicken Laksa is probably one of the better dishes but it seems like they have issues with making their broths more intense in flavour. Maybe their other dishes are better, but at the moment I’m in no hurry to try it again.
84 Jackson Court
Doncaster East VIC 3109
Located in Bayswater, Junior Tan Hawker Kitchen adds to your list of Malaysian restaurants to choose from in Victoria. The decor inside Junior Tan has this colourful 1920’s Chinese era imagery on the walls that I haven’t see done before. On their menu, some of the items have a slight twist to it like Eggplant chips, Balachan chic-a-wings or even a ‘Malaysian’ burger. However, they do also offer the more traditional dishes such as Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Char Kway Teow and Nasi Goreng.
Junior Tan’s Nasi Lemak looked quite appealing, it had all the essential parts to a good Nasi Lemak. However, I found the beef in the curry to be very tough, presumably not cooked long enough. The sambal was also a bit average, it doesn’t quite have that punch of flavour and spice.
The Char Kway Teow had a lovely wok flavour, and spiciness! Although, it was overly oily and wet as a result and the choice of the thin noodles I felt was a bit of an odd choice but overall I was quite happy with it.
Junior Tan’s Murtabak had this nice crispy exterior and flavourful filling. The curry sauce had just enough creaminess and spice to it, and goes well with the murtabak. My only con with it, is that is looks very barebones (styling is leaves a lot to be desired).
Still on my mission to try all the Teh Tarik’s around Melbourne, so how does Junior Tan’s drink stack up? Well, it has that lovely foamy top that is very essential to a good Teh Tarik. A tad too sweet for my liking but tea flavour is just strong enough with the condensed milk.
If I were around these parts of town, Junior Tan would probably be high on my list of places to dine at. However, is it worth the extra effort? Not particularly for me, when there are plentiful of choices around me and in the CBD but as I usually say it’s worth a try.
Shop 25, 7 High St
Bayswater VIC 3153
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