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In Asian, Dining on
December 1, 2013

Malaysian Eats Around Sydney

When my friend told me she was in the mood for Malaysian food, a quick google search resulted in many terrific Malaysian eateries that we wanted to try so we spent our next couple of lunches visiting a few of them 🙂

Ipoh On York

Asam Laksa ($10.5)

We start first at Ipoh on York, as it’s one of the few Malaysian restaurants which are actually open on weekends- and it’s incredibly quiet too, with only one other table eating in when we walked in at around 12 on a Saturday afternoon. It’s a food-court style restaurant, where you pay and pick up the food at the counter before taking a seat. We have a bit of difficulty both choosing what to order and reading the menu on the board above the counter but luckily the staff were nice enough to hand us some takeaway menus to sit down and look over whilst we decided.

My friend went for the asam laksa, a quite different variation to the laksa we’re used to- the slightly sour soup was an interesting and refreshing change and we didn’t find it too spicy for our tastes.

Roti Canai ($3 each)

The roti canai weren’t as great as Mamak’s but they were nice and flaky, and overall quite enjoyable.

Seafood Kway Teow Siram ($11.5)

I went for the Seafood Kway teow siram as they had a delicious picture of it on the menu. The stir fried rice noodles are covered in much more gravy than I’d expected, though the gravy is very creamy and tasty, with thin bits of egg making it seem a bit like egg flower soup. I wasn’t quite sure how the combination of stir fried noodles (which tend to be dry) and the gravy would work out, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked together!

Malay Chinese Takeaway

Chicken and Prawn Laksa $9.60 

Online reviews pointed us towards Malay-Chinese takeaway for arguably ‘Sydney’s best laksa’. I must have been too busy salivating over the tasty laksa photos when reading about it, as I didn’t notice that the place would be absolutely packed at lunch time with just enough tables to accomodate the customers. And in the time we were there, there was almost no seat that was empty for more than a 30 seconds. Literally.

Nor did I notice that the place would be filled almost solely with office workers, making us feel rather out of place in our casual-wear. But nevermind that- the laksa was all we were really after.

I’m not a huge a laksa fan (though I do enjoy it from time to time) so I can’t tell if this ticks all the boxes for an ‘amazing’ laksa, but I did like it more than any other laksa I’ve tried previously….which is about two. The soup has a rich coconut taste which is just strong enough to compliment the other complex flavours (of which I have not idea what they are but it was tasty!). It is covered with a thick layer of red oil though, which probably accounts for its tastiness but looks so unhealthily bad for you we had to scoop off some of it before drinking the rest of the soup.

Daily Special: Grilled Chicken with Rice ($9.5)

I was a little disappointed that the daily special of deep fried chicken with rice (as advertised on the website) had turned into grilled chicken instead when we turned up. It’s nothing too special, but the chicken is tasty and tender…..and soaked in pool of oil. Nevertheless it was quite enjoyable, though I’ll definitely be returning to try out their fried chicken when they have it again 🙂

Ito’s Malaysian

We’d originally planned to visit Ito’s on our first trip, but we realised at the last minute that they were only open on weekdays. So we made sure that the next time we met up, it was a weekday so that we could try  it out!

Beef Rendang ($8.5)

We were surprised how average and ordinary it looked, sitting in a quite food court- had it not been for the online reviews, I would probably have never tried the place!

The menu isn’t particularly extensive with a couple of noodle dishes, satay and a couple of curries in the bain maries, but we still took quite a while deciding what to have since everything seemed so good! I usually prefer dishes cooked to order over those pre-cooked and sitting in the bain marie but I made an exception this time because the beef rendang looked pretty tasty.

And I was pretty glad I chose it because the beef rendang was amazing! It’s less coconutty than most version I’ve tried, but the taste is amazingly addictive and the beef is so tender it falls apart really easily.

Chicken Laksa

My friend orders the chicken laksa, which is much less intense than the one at Malay Chiense takeaway. It’s much lighter and more coconutty, and we find it to be enjoyable, just in a very different way to the one at Malay-Chinese takeaway.

Ipoh On York on Urbanspoon

Malay Chinese Takeaway on Urbanspoon

Ito's Malaysian on Urbanspoon

In Asian, Dining on
August 12, 2011

Ma’leisia Cafe

Finding somewhere to eat with my family isn’t exactly as easy as it seems- we all have quite different tastes, we have a limited budget and of course the area we live in isn’t exactly as full of exciting choices as perhaps the city. Too often, we run out of ideas of where to eat and end up revisitng the same places over and over again- not that it’s a bad thing, but sometimes, a little something different would be nice!

So when I saw this restaurant on Chocolatesuze’s blog, I was quite excited to try it out. Walking there from the shopping centre, we almost decided to try some of the restaurants on the way there instead, but I persisted and we eventually made our way to this little cafe.

Deep Fried Salt and Pepper Calamari ($7.90)

We start with an entree of deep fried calamari. They look quite like the packaged ones which you fry yourself at home, but are deliciously tender, with a satisfying crunch which leaves us hooked and not at all disappointed.

Nasi Lemak with Bali Chicken ($9.90- lunch special)

The Bali Chicken is a curious looking dish, with chicken covered in a mysterious dark, thick sauce. The chicken is quite tender, but it is really the sauce which is the highlight of this dish- slightly sweet and nutty, and flavoured with various spices, the sauce is incredible tasty. So much so, that I would have happily licked all of the remaining sauce on the plate if it were not for its spiciness! (It probably wasn’t that spicy- I just don’t take spicy too well!)

Ipoh Chicken Rice ($8.90- lunch special)

The Ipoh Chicken bares a strange resemblence to Hainese chicken- especially with soup and sauces it came with. The generous serving of chicken is served on top of a bed of bean sprouts, with a light drizzle of a tasty soy-based sauce and my favourite component- plenty of deep fried garlic! Served with a mound of tasty chicken flavoured rice, which is delicious enough to be eaten by itself, this dish was another winner which we wouldn’t mind ordering again.

Ais Kacang ($3 – with meal)

We finish with a dessert of Ais Kacang, a jumble of sweet delights like grass jelly and red beans beneath a sweet mountain of shaved ice drizzled with rose syrup. It’s not quite as good as the version at Mamak (which is where our first encounter with the dessert occured) but still a satisfying end to a delicious meal.

Ma'leisia Cafe on Urbanspoon

In Asian, Dining on
July 13, 2011

Mamak Village

I’d been meaning to try out Mamak Village for a while (especially after Alison recommended it!), so when my friend revealed that she had never been to a Malaysian restaurant before, I quickly suggested we come here for our next lunch together. A short walk from uni, we find ourselves at the entrance, looking at a closed sign. It’s strange to think that I ate lunch at 11 in the morning when I was at uni- I only wake up at that time now! Just as we begin walking away however, the blinds are opened and the restaurant is opened- yay!

Roti canai ($4)

We couldn’t come here without ordering the roti, of course, and we chose the most basic roti canai to share between us. It is crisp and flaky, though not quite as much as Mamak’s (is it even possible not to compare any roti with mamak’s?), but every bit as exciting and satisfying! The curries were also delicious, though we couldn’t quite figure out what the middle sauce was, and we had no problem mopping just about all of it up!

Mee Siam $9.50

The rest of the menu was a little more difficult to choose from, only because of the large variety of dishes on offer. Luckily, they have pictures on the back of the menu, and I automatically go for the Mee siam. The vermicelli stir fry is nice and dry, with big chunks of prawns, crunchy bean sprouts and lettuce to accompany the tasty noodles.

Nasi Lemak $10

We decide to order the Nasi Lemak because we wanted something with rice and this had a thumb next to it on the menu 😀 We ordered it with chicken curry (instead of beef rendang) which comes as a tasty drumstick which is tender enough to be easily split into two halves by a spoon. As surprising as it may seem, this is my first taste of Nasi Lemak- and I loved it! The coconut rice was delicious enough to enjoy by itself and I loved trying out each of the accompanying components to see which one I liked the best (I think it would have to be the anchovies!)

We leave feeling full and satisfied- and me with intentions of coming back here more often! If you have any suggestions for good restaurants near Sydney uni, leave a comment- I can’t wait to try more places when the next semester starts (just about the only thing I’m actually looking forward to about uni….) 🙂

Mamak Village on Urbanspoon

In Asian, Dining on
May 31, 2011

$5 dining in Sydney

Ever since I discovered cheap lunches near my uni, I’ve been eating out relatively often, and I have quite a few restaurant I need to blog about now! A couple of months ago, the Sydney Morning Herald had coupons for $5 dining deals in Sydney, I couldn’t resist trying them out! So here I present you with the cheapest of all the lunches I’ve had so far this year (in Sydney)!


Chicken Pad Thai- $5 (normally $8.90 on the lunch menu)

My first trip was to Home, though I had no idea where it was and ended up taking a lengthy walk down Sussex street. To be honest, I was expecting some cheap food court like place- afterall, the coupon was offering a pad thai for $5! So I was surprised when we arrived to find a really nice restaurant which was already packed but we were lucky enough to get a small table straight away and had our order quickly taken by the waitress….with an ipad!!

The prices on the menu itself were also pretty low, and there were many items on the menu I’d love to come back to try. I salivated over the satay skewers and the beef salad the table next to us had ordered, and wowed at the beautiful dish served in banana blossom that we saw taken from the kitchen.

My Pad Thai was equally as tempting, with its beautiful presentation and its taste did not dissappoint either! I would have liked it a little sweeter, but I do like my pad thai’s to be very sweet, but I still loved these noodles!
Malacca Straits

Deep Fried Tofu with Minced Chicken- $5

I’ve walked past the Malacca Straits sign many times when walking down Broadway and after reading about it on many food blogs, I was looking forward to trying it out. We arrive quite early (as we usually do), to find the restaurant empty, but luckily, open. It could really do with an open/closed sign 😉

The coupon for this restaurant was a for a fried hand-made silken tofu with minced chicken dish. It’s something I wouldn’t have ordered if I’d seen it on the menu, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The dish arrived so hot and steaming that I couldn’t manage to take a picture without the lends fogging up (hence the ugly picture!). The tofu was deliciously unique- it was extremely soft and silky though not to the point that it didn’t feel like tofu and had a distinct tofu taste. It tastes a lot better than the packaged tofu we usually buy from Asian supermarkets! The sauce and the vegetables were a great accompaniment, but I didn’t notice the chicken mince until we’d almost finished the dish!

Garlic Prawn Stir Fry $11

After deciding we didn’t want chicken (since the above tofu dish already featured it), we decided on seafood as the best alternative, since it was nothing like chicken, and settles for the garlic prawns. A generous serving of prawns, accompanied with a selection of vegetables nicely stir fried with plenty of garlic, there was nothing not to like about this. I however, found it a little ordinary- I guess was expecting something a little different, after reading some interesting dishes on food blogs. Oh well- I guess I’ll have to try out other dishes another time!

La Casa Pasta

Spaghetti Bolognese- $5
Lured by the promise of a $6 pasta, I decided to take my friends to try out La Casa Pasta. Though the website showed various locations, we arrived at each only to find they were no longer in business, and ended up taking the long walk down Glebe Point road to find this store- which looked more like a take away shop than restaurant, but we’d made it so far, we went in anyway.

The pasta turned out to be $5, which was even better though just judging by the looks of the place, we weren’t really expecting that much. We ordered anyway (and paid at the table….which I found quite strange) and waited. And then we saw a cockroach on our table……

My friends ordered a spaghetti bolognese which was okay, though the pasta was a little soft and it was not really flavoursome enough.

Primavera ravioli- $5
My primavera ravioli was a little better in terms of taste- the primavera sauce was not too bad, and more flavoursome than the spaghetti bolognese with its hint of garlic and herbs. The ravioli however, was definitely overcooked and was much too soft- my friend thought it tasted like a dumpling 😉

Home Thai Restaurant on UrbanspoonMalacca Straits on UrbanspoonLa Casa Pasta on Urbanspoon

In Asian, Dining on
September 24, 2009

Taste of Malaya

I always miss out on weekday lunch specials at restaraunts. Why? At lunchtime, I’m at school. =[ Because this is (or was) our exam week , we don’t have to school when we don’t have exams. So I took the opportunity to go to lunch with my parents despite the fact that I had two weeks worth of exams to study for!


A few weeks ago, we walked past all the restaraunts and cafes at Castle Towers to find somewhere to eat for lunch. We didn’t end up eating there because it was all too expensive (our budget is quite low). My mum took us to Eastwood but promised me we would come back another day because there’s a really good restaraunt which has weekdays specials!

Why they put their sign sideqays is beyond me. But the restaraunt was very pretty- to me anyway. The menu was quite extensive but of course, we only chose from the lunch specials which were $9.50 each which is much cheaper than the usual price of around $14 (that’s a whole $5 difference! =O )

I’m probably the world’s most indecisive person- if I choose what to eat at a restaraunt, it’ll take me ages! So this time, I chose the Beef Rendang which my mum suggested.

Beef Rendang $9.50

I’ve never had beef rendang before. It’s a funny name…..=] And it is so delicious! The sauce tastes a bit like curry but still different and goes really well with the rice. And the beef is incredibly soft. I think I just might have an obsession with beef rendang!

Nasi Goreng $9.50
Nasi Goreng is one of the dishes which I’ve heard of before. I usually have it at a chinese restaraunt where they fry a ‘sunny side up’ egg on top of it and serve it hot so that when you mix the raw egg yolk with the rice, it cooks the yolk. Although this egg wasn’t ‘sunny side up’ (tehehe, I love that name), the egg yolk was half raw and still cooked in the rice. I loved this dish (but not as much as the beef rendang) because of its strong flavours and the prawn crackers! (yay!)

Chicken Mee Goreng- $9.50

I have no idea what mee goreng is. I’ve always though it was those packets of noodles which say ‘mee goreng’ on it (which actually say ‘mi goreng’- oops). I never knew it was a dish. This dish tasted like normal stir fried noodles- they were nice but not all that exciting……….I prefer the packaged noodles.

The meal was quickly finished which unfortunately mean that I had to go home and study. Damn.

Edit: the lunch special prices have now increased to $10.50

Taste of Malaya
56 Castle St, Castle Hill
NSW 2154
(02) 9634 8967
(or in the Piazza section of Castle Towers)

Taste of Malaya on Urbanspoon