There's a welcome sense of peace and quiet at Malacca Straits, tucked away in the courtyard of the Quadrant building, off Broadway. You wouldn't know that, less than 100 yards away, six lanes of traffic are steadily weaving their way across the Great Western Highway.
A signboard outside is a helpful reminder to passersby. And yet Malacca Straits seems to enjoy a steady stream of customers, with a mix of local office workers and university students getting their fix of Malaysian and Thai cuisine.
Hainanese steamed chicken $11.00
On my first visit, we try the Hainanese steamed chicken - a Maryland joint that is tender and succulent. The accompanying soup isn't the clear consomme I'd expected, although its generous with shards of Chinese cabbage.
Crying Tiger $12.00
Delicately marinated bbq beef fillet served with spicy hot chilli sauce
The Crying Tiger elicits barely a sniffle from any of us, and whilst the beef is tender, I find it a little too softened to the point of being spongy and without texture.
Massaman curry $13.00
Tender and chunky mild beef curry with potato
Massaman curry is a swathe of thick sweet gravy, perfect for drenching over rice although lacking perhaps in a complexity of flavours.
Roti canai $6.00
served with curry dip and sambal sauce
We hit the roti canai on my second visit - the roti is reasonably flaky if a little dense - part of me wishes the roti had been fluffed up into a traditional flower shape.
Goat stew with Chinese herbs $14.00
I'd been quite excited by the prospect of goat stew with Chinese herbs but the soup is not the dark fragrant broth I'd been hoping for. We find a generous jumble of bean curd, mushrooms,water chestnuts, Chinese vegetables and goat pieces on the bone. The goat is quite mild in flavour, and the soup has a pleasant sweetness.
Ayam goreng $11.00
Malay-style marinated and fried chicken
served with chilli sauce and cucumber
Instead I'm much more entranced by the ayam goreng fried chicken. Juicy portions of chicken are sheathed in a thin crisp skin deep-fried to a burnished gold. A wedge of lemon is squeezed over the lot for a refreshing zing.
Pad Thai with chicken $9.00
It's not until my third visit that I finally find someone willing to join me for lunch and dessert. I'm relieved that our Pad Thai with chicken isn't suffering from a sauce overload, the mound of soft rice noodles lightly coated in sauce and livened by the crunch of bean sprouts and fine shallot rings.
Assam Ikan $14.00
Assam Ikan is a sweet and tangy dish of fish cooked in tamarind sauce with fresh tomatoes and okra. This is another dish that contains a sauce perfect for drizzling on rice.
Pisang goreng $4.50
Banana fritters with ice cream
And finally, I find a ready and willing dessert devotee. Given the modest cost, the serving of pisang goreng banana fritters is more than generous. We bite past the golden deep-fried batter to reveal warm lengths of creamy banana.
Sticky rice with Thai custard $4.50
However sticky rice with Thai custard is my favourite of the two desserts. The sticky rice is rich with coconut milk, a chewy starchy grains a welcome contrast against the rich eggy custard.
There's plenty more on the menu to explore, including Kangkong Belacan, Nasi Goreng, Char Koay Teow, Hokkien Mee and fried Mee Hoon, but whilst we finish our dessert there's only the sound of silence. A happy silence broken only by the scrape of a spoon against the bottom of the plate.
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66 Mountain Street, Broadway, Sydney
(in the courtyard of the Quadrant Building)
Tel: +61 (02) 8021 7069
Open Monday to Saturday
Lunch: 11.30am - 3pm
Dinner: 6pm - 9.30pm
10% surcharge on public holidays
BYO $1.50 per head
All food is halal
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Malacca Straits, Broadway (Dec10)
Malaysian - Kopitiam, Ultimo (Dec08), (Apr07) and (Apr06)
Malaysian - Makan at Alice's, Thornleigh (Feb08) and (Jun07)
Malaysian - Malay Chinese, Sydney (26 Apr 07) and (3 Apr 07)
Malaysian - Mamak, Haymarket (Jul09), (Nov07) and (Oct07)
Malaysian - Mc Lucksa, Haymarket
Malaysian - The Malaya, Sydney
Malaysian - Tan's Malaysian, Ultimo
Malaysian - Temasek, Parramatta (Jan09) and (May08)
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12/09/2009 02:32:00 am