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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Malacca Straits, Broadway


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.

HOUSEKEEPING NOTE: The Grab Your Fork comment form has been switched back to the old Blogger version as I understand the embedded version was causing problems for some readers. Let me know which comment form you prefer/find easier to use and I will monitor accordingly.

View Larger Map
Malacca Straits on Urbanspoon

Malacca Straits
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)
20 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/09/2009 02:32:00 am


  • At 12/09/2009 9:23 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Wow, I've walked past this place so many times without actually going in! I think Hainanese chicken is an underrated dish - simple to make, sure, but the goodness is all in the sauce. And that ayam goreng fried chicken! Am sooo ridiculously hungry right now - and it's only a bit past 9AM! Garhhh..

    Also, I think I like the old comment form better. I have to click more times to post with this current one.

    PS. Thanks for commenting on my blog btw! I kind of squealed going HOLY SMOKES THE GYF HELEN POSTED A COMMENT when I saw it =)

  • At 12/09/2009 10:37 am, Anonymous Mei said…

    Hi Helen, i'm so glad you posted an entry on this hidden gem, I love it to bits! well, the hainanese chicken rice is always an old favourite - I come here when i'm missing home. though the goat stew wasn't perfect, that picture of it looks good enough to eat! see you on sunday :)

  • At 12/09/2009 10:49 am, Anonymous aptronym said…

    Ah I am glad to hear that there are okay things there! I went once, had the Char Kway Teow, and basically decided not to go back, as it was really terribly ordinary.... Maybe I ordered the thing that they do worst? LOL.

    I was one of the ppl having probs with the other comment form btw.

  • At 12/09/2009 11:04 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    Love Hainanese chicken rice, so simple and delicious. Looks like a great place to go when in Broadway, so thanks for revealing this hidden gem.

  • At 12/09/2009 11:29 am, Anonymous Rose said…

    I'm super pleased because people are starting to review all the places I think about going to. I've always wanted to go in but I was a bit suspicious of the Malaysian/Thai hybrid - I find that when places do fusion stuff like that they either only do one very well or none of them.

  • At 12/09/2009 11:42 am, Blogger papa lazarou said…

    pretty good for a quick meal... the ayam goreng is always great... we usually go late at night, and the owner is a talkative/funny guy who always sits down with us for a chat...

  • At 12/09/2009 1:00 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    I've been past this place heaps of times but I never realised it was so popular! Thanks for the review!

  • At 12/09/2009 4:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have not heard of this place. Always interesting to find out the hidden gems. I only have eyes on the pisang goreng... I prefer the old comment form. I think I am one of the few having problem with the current one.

  • At 12/09/2009 5:12 pm, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    Sounds like good value, and some of the dishes look great. The banana fritters look good.

  • At 12/09/2009 7:52 pm, Blogger Suyin said…

    Oh i love this place! It's fun to read your review of it. I come here a few times a week since it's near uni, and it satisfies my homesick cravings. heheheh. My favourite dishes are the nasi lemak (with chicken curry), the kuay teow nam (especially on cold days) and the chicken capitan. The laksa and beef rendang are not bad too. It's a great place for casual meals, it's cheap and good quality. Yum!

  • At 12/09/2009 10:28 pm, Blogger Suyin said…

    Oops! i meant Wat Tan Hor when I wrote kuay teow nam! not sure why I wrote that instead. :P Wat tan hor is what I used to know as Ipoh Hor Fun in Singapore.

  • At 12/10/2009 2:48 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Margaret - I always find that sometimes it's the hidden spots that are the best finds! And I agree, Hainan chicken is all about the sauce!

    Ha, glad my random comment managed to generate so much excitement. lol

    Hi Mei - Ah great to see a fan of Malacca Straits. Have only had the Hainan chicken once but now you're giving me a craving to have it again, and soon :)

    Hi aptronym - Shame about the char kway teow - I haven't had that yet so I'd be curious to see what it's like.

    Thanks for the feedback. I presume people are finding the old-style comment form easier to use.

    Hi Joey - There are quite a few good eats along this strip and yes, always good to have a few options. I like that it's quiet with lots of room too.

    Hi Rose - It's always good to get a bit of preview of places you've been meanign to eat at. They don't tend to do fusion food but do offer a few dishes in each cuisine. I guess you'll only know if you like it by going there yourself to find out :)

    Hi Papa Lazarou - The ayam goreng was so tasty and it's always nice when the staff are friendly.

    Hi Jacq - I think it has quite a following - hope you give it a go soon and would be keen to hear your thoughts on your experience.

    Hi Ellie - Mmm pisang goreng is always a favourite although I did like the sticky rice here too. Thanks for the feedback about the comment form - it's a shame the embedded version seems to be causing so many problems.

    Hi Arwen - I think food always tastes better when it's good value :) Banana fritters are such a tasty way of eating fruit! lol

    Hi Syn - Thanks for the feedback and your recommendations for dishes. I agree - it's a nice spot for a bite to eat and I like the open quiet space too. Must try Wat Tan Hor too :)

  • At 12/10/2009 9:32 am, Anonymous Simon said…

    I much prefer current comments setup. Quicker with less (so far, no) failure rate.

    Ok, with that out of the way, the roti canai looks like the premade frozen ones you can get from a lot of Asian grocer stores. However, the ayam goreng looks like. How can you go wrong with fried chicken? :)

  • At 12/13/2009 5:02 pm, Anonymous wei said…

    Thanks very much for posting this. The "padthai" chicken looks so much like Char Kway Teow to me. Usually pad thai doesn't have that "brownish" colour like char kway teow.

    By the way, have you been to Ayam Goreng 99 on Anzac Parade in Kingsford? If you haven't you might want to consider going there, the grill chicken is to die for!

  • At 12/14/2009 7:44 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - Thanks for the feedback re: comments. I found the roti a little disappointing, but yes, as you say, fried chicken = win everytime!

    Hi Wei - I have been to Ayam Goreng 99 and I agree their chicken is amazing. For some reason don't often end up eating in Kingsford but yes, lots of good food to be found!

  • At 1/14/2010 2:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This place, as a lot of your correspondents have said, is a hidden gem.

    Apparently, as told by one of the wait people, they now have on board a new Malaysian Hainanese chef who used to be the ex-Executive Chef of Malaysian Airlines and that's reflected in the additional delish Malaysian favourites onto the menu.

    The murtabak and the satay are, without doubt, the best in Sydney -really authentic - but truly what lifts this place above the rest is the simply heavenly fish head curry - gelatinous gloops of wonderful fish cheeks served with okras & tomatoes in a fantastically creamy curry sauce.

    The new Ayam Bakar and Chow Tow Kueh on the menu are wonderful as well. I think, however, a truly great Malaysian restaurant is judged by how well they do their Hainanese Chicken Rice, Har Mee, Nasi Lemak, and Chow Koay Teow and Malacca Straits certainly delivers on that front.

  • At 1/14/2010 10:12 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Thanks for the info. I didn't know about the new chef :)

    Must try the murtabak and the fish head curry soon. They sound great!

  • At 7/13/2010 1:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, I can't believe it took me so long to find this review! It was a pleasure sharing dessert with you :). You've also inspired me to start my own blog!

  • At 7/13/2010 2:38 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi thecheapglut - No problems. It's always a welcome treat to find someone who is committed enough to fit in dessert. So pleased to hear you have started a food blog. I've added you to the centralised list of Sydney food blogs too. Welcome to food blogging!

  • At 7/22/2011 11:19 pm, Anonymous Razor said…

    Went there just now..The penang asam laksa was extremely delicious. Sadly, it was only available on Friday and Saturday. The bad point is their services; waitress is unfriendly and even asked me if I want to eat laksa with rice. Overall, it is a good place if you want to eat Malaysia cuisine


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