01 May 2011

May’s Laksa House: Malaysian, North Sydney (28 Apr 2011)

Berry Square Food Court, Level 2, Shop 18B
77 Berry Street, North Sydney NSW 2060

Over the bridge for Malaysian

A reader recommendation by Akiko on my Singapore Shiok post brings me to May’s Laksa House to try their chicken rice. Upon arrival it’s clear that this place is very popular. Shuffling up to the service counter amongst the busy 12.45 pm queue I noticed all the Malaysian classics you’d hope to see on the menu. Self service Prawn crackers are complimentary which is a first for me to see and obviously a crowd pleaser. To make the over-the-bridge lunch visit worthwhile I order four dishes with my colleague. The Prawn laksa ($8.90) is quite generous in size with at least 5 quality large prawns. The broth is more coconut creamy in flavour than my preferred Malay-Chinese laksa and not particularly chilli hot. There’s quite a lot of noodles making the laksa more gravy in consistency than soupy but it also doesn't seem to be too oily which is good.

The Roti canai & curry chicken ($7.90) comes with a side soup which could have been perhaps hotter. The roti is served flat and not puffed up like the freshly made to order ones you get at Mamak. They’re quite tasty but also on the oily side to touch. The curry comes with pieces of chicken and potato I think and pretty tasty but a little hard to dip your flat roti in and perhaps could be better served in a traditional flat metal tray. The Hainanese chicken rice ($8.50) is thankfully deboned which gets a big tick in my books. The young service staff lady suggests ordering the thigh as the breast is usually drier. It’s decently moist and comes with the usual cucumber and tomato sides although the rice was maybe a little on the dry side. The side soup is a little luke warm but I like the accompanying chilli and shallot/ginger paste although some more fresh ginger would have been welcomed. The Char Kway Teow ($8.90) doesn’t have any traditional blood cockles in it which I long to find in Sydney one day. The dish sadly lacked a decent char factor like Malay-Chinese, Yummy Cuisine and Sayong but included good quality prawns. I’d love to see some sliced Chinese sausage and fishcake added and extra chilli which was fairly subtle if at all present compared to others I’ve tried.

The only other popular Malaysian place I know of for lunch in North Sydney is To’s Malaysian Gourmet which has similar priced dishes with the addition of a bain-marie for quick take-away meals — I’ll have to revisit to compare.

PROS: Friendly and efficient service, Seating available but limited when busy, Complimentary prawn crackers for customers, Decent quality prawns used which were deveined properly, Chicken rice served boneless, Reasonably priced
CONS: Tables were left uncleared and could be cleaned much quicker, Side soup was a bit luke warm, Char Tway Teow wasn’t particularly smoky in taste and needed more charring, Roti a bit oily and not as good as Mamak’s fluffy version
MUST TRY: Other dishes on the menu next time like Har Mee, Assam Laksa and Beef Rendang
WORTH TRYING: Chicken Rice

Prawn crackers complimentary

Prawn laksa ($8.90)

Roti canai & curry chicken ($7.90)

Hainanese chicken rice ($8.50)

Char Kway Teow ($8.90)


Lineup for May's Laksa House

Service counter and customers waiting for their orders

Reserved seating area for May's Laksa House customers

Food court seating

Traditional Asian drinks storage — wherever there's a spare spot


77 Berry Street entrance to Berry Square

Spring Street entrance to Berry Square

This is 2 Berry Street — don't go here which is where one of the Google Maps had it located at :-(

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May's Laksa House on Urbanspoon


thang @ noodlies said...

looks good and heaps busy. i can eat hai nam chicken all day, everyday!

Richard Elliot said...

This is the only food court place in North Sydney that I've actually visited!

I went for a laksa and thought it wasn't the best one out there. However, friends seem to like the other dishes they have on offer and I wouldn't be adverse to going back there if I am ever in North Sydney for lunch during the week again.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Mmmm, I think I'm loving Malaysian food a lil too much these days.

That roti looks a lot like the ones I eat at home, out of the freezer...

Hungry Female said...

Char Kuey Teow is my personal benchmark for ticking off a place for Malaysian authenticity! Sounds like this didn't quite meet the mark for you. Sometimes I wonder if places should just specialise in their best dish (e.g. the Chicken Rice) like they do here in Malaysia. Despite me being in KL, your photos from Sydney have got me drooling..! HF

susan said...

the hainan chicken looks so tasty and great that you can specify which piece of meat you want.

Dumpling Girl said...

I hate it when the GPS gets it wrong, it happen to me too last time I was in North Sydney.

Dolly said...

wow prawn crakcers just lying there.. thats geneorus!

Julie said...

Will report back to you about the other food :D. In terms of laksa I prefer the one around the corner from May's which is in a food court. But nothing stills stands out from Malay-chinese

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi thang, it's one of the those comfort food dishes that seems to be popular with so many people.

hi richard, i still prefer Malay-Chinese for laksa. i guess if i worked in North Sydney it would be one of those places you'd have to rely on for Malaysian except for To's. The city has many more options.

hi tina, i think i'm a bit too passionate about it too hehe you could be right about the roti. seemed to be a bit flat to be home made.

hi hungry female, the char kway teow definitely needed a bit more charring for a start to be considered a good one. i think it would be great if places specialised in a certain dish like in Malaysia.

hi susan, usually at most places you can specify either thigh or breast of the chicken. thigh usually has bones unless they debone which is quite rare in sydney. breast has no bones but usually more dry unless they do it really well which is also hard to find.

hi dumpling girl, it's the map interpretation of Level 2 making it Number 2 i think on some maps people have created.

hi dolly, i wish other places gave free crackers, and they were good too :-)

hi julie, thanks for the laksa tip. yeha, it's hard to beat Malay-Chinese for laksa. just seems to be their speciality dish.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favourite places to eat in North Sydney and I actually like their Har Mee as it's so tasty. Their laksa is a bit of hit and miss (sometimes good, other days not so good) and my colleagues have been raving about their Hainamese Chicken Rice.

Simon Leong said...

hi anonymous, i'll have to try their har mee next time. i've had better chicken rice though in the city but i guess the offerings in north sydney are a lot more limited to where you can go :-)

Eve said...

Mmmm....will go try this when I find myself in North Sydney. Oh if you like laksa, here's something you might want to try...prima taste laksa la mian. I just found this myself and find it seriously good for 'instant noodles'. I found this in the Asian supermarket at 580 George St. It is quite yummy!

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