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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Malaya, Sydney

It wasn't all that long ago that King Street Wharf was just a gigantic carpark for wharf deliveries. These days the hip and happening congregate here like bees to a honeypot (or moneypot, as the case may be).

This was my second time to The Malaya. On a December lunchtime, the place was packed with office Christmas lunches and the clattering din was only amplified by the minimalist furnishings. A long steel countertop runs the length of the open kitchen offering a birds-eye view of the chefs in action. Should you be seated facing the other direction, an uninterrupted view of Darling Harbour is your eye candy for the duration of your meal.

We had the $38 per head banquet--a seemingly neverending parade of spicy dishes.

Thin pastry skins filled with sliced chicken, king prawns, shallots, vermicelli and beansprouts, served with a sweet chilli sauce and ground fresh peanuts.

Salt and Pepper Prawn
King prawns lightly battered, deep fried and tossed in fresh chilli, salt, cracked black pepper and shallots.

Chilli Beansprouts and Snow Peas
Beansprouts, snow peas and shredded Chinese mushrooms stir-fried with garlic, soy sauce and chilli.

Pepper Chicken
Marinated pieces of chicken thigh fillet, stir-fried with fresh chilli and cashew nuts in a sweet pepper sauce.

Kwai Du
Flat rice noodle, stir-fried dry style with chicken, prawns, beansprouts, onion, shallots, chilli and egg.

Curry Prawns with Roti Canai
Made to the Malaya's original 1963 recipe. Medium hot served with pan fried crispy Malay bread.

Pan fried crispy Malay bread

Korma Lamb
Malay style green curry made with yoghurt. Medium hot.

Satay Lamb
Singaporean style marinated pieces of Lamb fillet, barbequed and served with Malaya Satay sauce made from fresh ground peanuts and chilli.

My personal highlights were the salt and pepper prawns, the pepper chicken and the satay lamb. The satay sauce was definitely a "drizzle on your rice" winner.

I've heard that the Malaya was much better at its previous location in Ultimo--cheaper and more authentic. I do find many of its dishes a little too sweet for my liking--and I'm not adverse to sugar in the least. I do remember the otak otak white fish fillet from my last visit (minced with chilli and spices, wrapped in a banana leaf and barbequed) with salivary fondness.

This is good Asian food in a modern upmarket setting, although we have found service a little hit-and-miss (getting drinks to the table always turns out to be a herculean feat). The minimalist furnishing and long open dining room can give a slight cafeteria-style feel but with the lights twinkling on the harbour and plenty of chilli on the palate, everything starts to look all spicy again.

The Malaya
39 Lime Street, King Street Wharf, Sydney
Tel: 02 9279 1170
3 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 12/07/2004 11:55:00 pm


  • At 1/18/2005 3:25 pm, Blogger Ms One Boobie said…

    I was so hoping i can find a review on The Malaya.. :) and you didn't disappoint..!! i so love the food here .. coz' when i'm away from singapore for a long time.. i want my local food so much.. although Malaya's food is not authentic local.. i still does good for my cravings.. and cure it for abit.. :) Cheers..!

  • At 12/13/2007 1:11 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Do you know if I can get popiah skin at Chinese grocery stores?

  • At 12/17/2007 11:09 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - I had heard that many people use raw spring roll sheets to make popiah. Perhaps give these a go?


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