18 April 2012

Nonya: Malaysian, Haymarket, Sydney (11 Apr 2012)

Shop 88, Level 5 (1st Floor), 1 Dixon Street, Sydney NSW 2000
http://www.nonya.net.au (under construction)

Prone to kitchen problems

My first attempt to visit Nonya was met with closed doors due to a sudden kitchen renovation mysteriously just after they’d opened which ended going downstairs to More More Cha. This time when arriving I was told by the menu spruiker downstairs that the kitchen was experiencing kitchen gas problems so there was only three dishes available on the $9.80 menu. I guess it’s better than nothing but it means I didn’t get to try their Char Kway Teow I was hoping for this time. There’s a fair amount of seating but like More More Cha the space looks like it used to be some kind of bar or club so the dining space is a bit scattered around. Service seemed friendly enough and quite young. My pet hate with the place was the placement of the very annoying trolley in the dining area used for cleaning up dishes. You’d expect this in a food court but if Nonya are trying to be a nicer style restaurant then the noise from cleaning the dishes can be unsettling and cheapens the atmosphere.

At first sight the Chicken Curry Nasi Lemak ($9.80) could have been a bit more generous in portions but flavours were surprisingly better than expected. The Hainanese Chicken ($9.80) was tender and moist as hoped, fairly generous in portion and served boneless. It was served with a good assortment of condiments although the rice was a bit on the dry side and there was no side soup which usually comes with such a dish. I’d be happy to order again. For dessert the Ice Kachang ($5 small) was very good. It had a decent amount of flavour from the palm sugar and rose water and was quite easy to mix in bowl. I’m always a fan of palm seeds in the ingredients. The Cendol ($5) was OK but was a bit too heavy on the creamy coconut milk for my liking and would have preferred a bit more palm sugar syrup in it but it had the right ingredients.

PROS: Reasonably priced $9.80 menu of the usual classics (when the kitchen is working), Fair amount of seating, Service was fairly efficient and friendly enough
CONS: A noisy dish clean up trolley was located in the dining area, Website still under construction
MUST TRY: Hainanese Chicken Rice, Ice Kachang, Revisiting to try other dishes

Chicken Curry Nasi Lemak ($9.80)

Hainanese Chicken ($9.80) — unfortunately not served with side soup

Ice Kachang ($5 small)

Cendol ($5)

$9.80 menu specials

Table order

Seating and decor

Annoying trolley dish clean up area located in dining area near seats which is noisy and unsettling - not very restaurant like more like a food court

A view towards Mamak where you can keep an eye on their lineup

Inside entrance complete with multi-coloured lighting near the ceiling

All Day $9.80 menu deal

The word 'Entrance' stands out more than 'Nonya' which is a bit strange — makes me think the name of the restaurant is Entrance


SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) said...

I've heard such mixed reviews about Nonya! I can't decide whether I'm going to try it or not. Too bad about the gas problems in the kitchen, but it seems like you made the best of it!

Simon Leong said...

hi sarah, i heard mixed reviews too before I went but i thought i'd check it out to make my own conclusion. i'm sure there's dishes that they don't do as well as other places so i'm glad i had some dishes that were good. and being a Malaysian restaurant i always want to check them out at least once to compare to others.

Richard Elliot said...

It seems to be taking a while for this restaurant to find it's feet. When I was there the credit card machine wasn't working and I felt like Mr Invisible to the staff.

Hopefully their gas is working again now.

I prefered Mamak and Mamak Village over Nonya, but then I'm not Malaysian food expert!

Simon Leong said...

hi richard, they definitely seem to have a lot of start up problems.

Anonymous said...

looks yummy thou!

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