27 January 2012

More More Cha: Malaysian, Darling Harbour (25 Jan 2012)

1 Dixon Street, Darling Harbour NSW 2000
http://www.moremorecha.com.au (doesn't seem active)

Clams finally found in Sydney

I've certainly had my fair share of Char Kway Teow in Sydney but one thing has always eluded the dish and that's the absence of clams — until now. After reading posts by Ramen Raff and The Heart of Food on Nonya by Ginger & Spice my intentions were to visit but soon found out they'd closed their doors for further kitchen renovations after only just opening which seemed a bit weird. So failing a visit I noticed More More Cha downstairs — now that's pretty close for competition. Apparently same owners as Mamak Village in Glebe. I was a little worried seeing so many menu signs outside advertising the place which for me can also be Signs of Desperation. There was plenty of seating, 90% of the customers were Asian, it was new for me, it was raining and I needed to eat so I ventured in with my work colleague to check it out. At first the menu prices looked expensive for a casual lunch but thankfully we spotted the 3 lunch time specials of $9.90 and add a Teh Tarik (hot or cold) for $1 instead of $3.50.

Of particular interest was the Penang Koay Tewo Kerang ($9.90 lunch special, normally $14.90), swapped for the More More Noodle which was unavailable, which listed as including clams — WOOHOO! I actually had to double check with our friendly service lady Saptu if it did actually include clams and she confirmed. When it arrived there was visible clams in the dish although we suspected they were canned ones rather than fresh which is a pity because they're not as juicy and plump. The dish looked a little luke warm when it arrived as if it had been sitting somewhere for a while before being served so I'm not sure what happened to it. We saw another dish come out which was steaming hot. There was some decent char factor and it had three decent sized deveined prawns, more would have been good though. Overall maybe a little dryish but it had potential to be better. The Penang Hokkien Har Mee ($9.90 lunch special, normally $12.90) was the other dish chosen. The serving was a bit on the small side and the broth a bit light on taste. Nothing like the flavour punching version from Singapore Shiok!* across the road, although you have to contend with the food court seating. It could have done with some extra kangkong instead of the single piece provided and perhaps slices of fish cake but the prawns were a decent size. Definitely not the best I've had but also not the worst.

Other places tried for Char Kway Teow:
25 Jan 2012 - More More Cha (includes clams)
2 June 2010 - Wong Kee Fast Food
20 Jan 2010 - Yummy Cuisine
19 Oct 2009 - Sayong Curry & Laksa Malaysian Cuisine
2 Sept 2009 - Chili Hub
16 Aug 2009 - Albee's Kitchen
13 Aug 2009 - Jaya Malaysian
29 April 2009 - Malay-Chinese Takeaway
17 Nov 2008 - Little Singapore Restaurant
19 Oct 2008 - KL Kopitiam Malaysian Cuisine

Other places tried for Har Mee:
25 Jan 2012 - More More Char
6 Oct 2010 - Singapore Shiok!*
24 Sept 2009 - Laksa House
16 Sept 2009 - Laksa King
12 Aug 2009 - Jaya Malaysian
23 April 2009 - Lee's Malaysian
24 March 2009 - Malay-Chinese
19 Oct 2008 - KL Kopitiam Malaysian Cuisine

PROS: Decent amount of seating and nicer than a food court, Service seemed friendly but still finding their feet, Lots of classic Malaysian dishes on the menu, Clams in Char Kway Teow
CONS: Seems expensive except for lunch specials, Not too sure about the decor of the hanging glass balls from the ceiling, Can't really sit outside when raining
MUST TRY: Returning to try a few other dishes like the roti and butter prawns

Table cutlery and spare share bowl

Teh Tarik, Hot (left) and Cold (right) (Normally $3.50 or $1 with purchase of lunch special)

Penang Koay Teow Kerang ($9.90 lunch special, normally $14.90)

Clams found in the Char Tway Teow albeit canned ones though

Great to finally see clams listed on the menu albeit probably canned ones. Would have been good if it also included Chinese sausage perhaps.

Penang Hokkien Har Mee ($9.90 lunch special, normally $12.90)

Bowl size for Har Mee a bit on the small side

Menu cover

Lunch special menu

Appetizer, soup and roti menu

Rice, Noodle, Curry, Vegetable menu

Seafood and Ayam menu

Tempted to try #25 Butter Prawn to compare to Omah's

Rice, Beverages and Dessert menu

Sister restaurant Mamak Village in Glebe

Outside seating

Inside seating

I'd hate to be the one in charge of dusting and cleaning these chairs

Video of chef making roti — quite impressive skills

Reflective ceiling mirrors and hanging balls — perhaps it might look better at night?

Individual toilet cubicles for men and women — I like!

Outside street entrance

Nonya Malaysian Cuisine closed for renovations — located on level 1 above More More Cha

View Larger Map
More More Cha on Urbanspoon


joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

I saw a lot of people try this place out; probably the same ones who couldn't be bothered standing in the Mamak queue. :-)

Eccles said...

Thanks for the review! We just came out of Singapore Shiok and saw More More Cha the other day and though, "Hmm, wonder whether Simon has reviewed this place yet" before we try. The serving size looks very Malaysia, pity its not reflected a little bit more in the price.

penny aka jeroxie said...

This place is mediocre. Pity and what's up with the decor. I am too much of an Asian to embrace this place. Was going to try the har mee but went for nasi lemak instead. Underwhelming.

Laura said...

I'll tryit out in winter, i'll order the noodle soup!

Simon Leong said...

hi joey, i wouldn't be surprised if they're getting a lot of overflowing customers from Mamak. who really wants to wait for their food these days, especially when you're hungry.

hi eccles, i think the pricing will be their downfall, especially for the work lunch time crowd. hopefully they'll be able to add more lunch time specials

hi penny, their decor definitely needs an makeover. it looks like they've just taken over the premises but haven't really made it their own space yet. i think it used to be some sort of club? i think i'll try their roti next time but my expectations won't be high.

hi laura, keep me posted once you try.

alvin@myasiantable.com said...

Very disappointed with the food. WE ordered kueh pie tee ( a traditional Nonya snack made with yam bean, carrot, tofu, round beans, prawns/crabmeat served in a crisp pastry cup garnish with coriander n fried onions with a chilli-lime dip). The kueh pie tee pastry shell was oily to the touch and u can see oil dripping on the plate. The fillings is just stir-fried minced meat and the dipping sauce from a bottle. The hae Mee broth was insipid with one stem of kangkong in it...guys, kangkong is cheap in summer. Assam fish was equally disapponting, the fish was deep fried????? and no Vietnamese mint in sight!Its really sad that there are cooks or chefs out there that are not doing any justice to Malaysian streets food and Nonya cuisine especially to those food lovers who are new to Malaysian cuisine.On the pricey side.

Simon Leong said...

hi alvin, it sounds like they aren't quite hitting the mark to be better than the ever increasing Malaysian market slowing rising in Sydney. If they don't dig deep to improve the dishes and bring the prices down they probably won't be able to compete with the other cheaper Malaysian restaurants.

Gracie CHT said...

I went to both More More Cha and Nonya ... More More Cha extremely expensive for their portions ... Nonya seems to be better in this though!!

But actually I think More More Cha is going more for a themed restaurant? Its actually from the HK movie "Summer Holiday" with Sammi and Richie!! :)

Simon Leong said...

hi gracie, i'll definitely have to check out the KH movie reference

Richard Elliot said...

I visited Nonya by Ginger and Spice today and thought it was very disappointing. Nothing really stand out about the food. I've probably booked a better CKT at home and that really isn't saying much!!!

On my one visit to Mamak Village in Glebe I liked the place, so would be interested to try More More Cha sometime.

Simon Leong said...

hi richard, i'm still tempted to try Nonya but my expectations aren't too high now. Dom tried the Char Kway Teow at Petaling and loved it so that's now higher on my wishlist — i came with clams.

Anonymous said...

Portions are small and pricey but on a balmy night the outdoor seating can be pleasant. Dont see this MMC lasting long at these prices and with the surrounding competition.

Simon Leong said...

hi Anonymous, you're right about a balmy night although air con might be even cooler and less mosquitoes if around. their prices are definitely much higher compared to nearby competition. the food and service would have to be outstanding to justify

Anonymous said...

i've heard some mixed reviews sbout More More Cha of their prices and and portions , perhaps will give a go myself. Have seen other bloggers returned back to Nonya , looks like they're doing very well.

Gracie CHT said...

Walked past the other day ... looks like they have closed >.<

Simon Leong said...

hi gracie, thanks for the heads up. i'll have to check.

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