Expensive & Westernised
I've been wanting to try this restaurant for many years and finally had the chance to go with the family and to take a couple of our visiting Malaysian relatives. In hindsight it's probably not a good idea to try and take authentic Malaysians to a Sydney-based Malaysian restaurant because the food is never going to be as good as the real thing, and especially not as cheap in a restaurant like this amongst the touristy precinct.
The open planned kitchen, decor and setting was very nice and the service was fairly prompt and reliable. The restaurant was full of patrons although we were pretty much the only Asians except for the chefs, amongst what mostly seemed to be a sea of white collar business people. So this gave me doubts about the foods authenticity, or perhaps it's just the expensive menu that scares off the locals?
This review is more of a photographic record rather than a food favourite and to invite reader comments about your experience of The Malaya dishes as compared to cheaper Malaysian restaurants around Sydney. In any case the dishes I enjoyed the most were San Choy Bow, Popiah, Kapitan Prawn and Beef Rendang. My biggest disappointment was the Salt and Pepper Squid which was more a spongy soft thin batter version rather than my preferred crispy crunchy coated version and the peanut chilli sauce for the satay chicken didn't have a strong peanut taste. I also thought it was a bit strange how they had a garden salad on the side of the Ayam Perchik — Malaysian fusion I guess.
PROS: Nice decor, efficient service
CONS: Expensive, Touristy, Westernised
TRY: Beef Rendang
San Choy Bow: Water chestnut, onion and shallots stir-fried with seafood, served in a lettuce leaf. 4 leaves per serve $22.00
Popiah: Thin pastry skins filled with sliced chicken, king prawns, shallots, vermicelli and beansprouts. Served with a sweet chilli sauce and ground fresh peanuts and cashew nuts.
2 per serve $13
Satay chicken: Singaporean style marinated chicken, skewered, barbequed and served with a satay sauce made from ground fresh peanuts and chilli. 4 skewers per serve $18
Kapitan Prawn: Penang style curry made with fresh chilli and coconut milk (King prawns made without batter on request) $25
Fresh seasonal vegetables: Asian greens stir-fried with garlic, soy sauce and fresh chilli $18
Kwai Du: Flat rice noodle stir-fried dry style with chicken, prawn, beansprouts, onion, shallots, chilli and egg $22
Nasi Goreng: Traditional Indonesian fried rice cooked with prawns, chicken, egg, peas, potato, tomato and chilli $19
Salt and Pepper: Squid lightly battered, deep fried and tossed in fresh chilli, salt, cracked black pepper and shallots $25
Beef Rendang: Indonesian style beef curry. There are two varieties to choose from, tomato base or dry coconut base (pictured) $25
Ayam Perchik: Marinated chicken thigh fillet barbequed and served with a Nonya style curry sauce made from lemongrass, coconut milk, fresh chilli and bay leaves $27
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