When you find a rare treasure, you laugh gleefully at your luck. You also keep it hidden until you can no longer contain yourself and finally share it with other beings (cruel human nature!).
Malacca Straits is one of those places you’ll never get sick of and never be let down by. It’s a beautiful little eatery tucked away within secluded Mountain St in Broadway. It’s very easy to miss it so look out for the large opening within the strip of Indian and Asian restaurants.
Malacca’s ambience is inviting with its open-plan setting, red and purple hues and kooky paintings and art pieces adorning the walls. Food plates are cheap and generous and the enormity of choice you’ll have here means you won’t exhaust the menu after one or two visits. New specials pop up everyday which means new, unique flavours to discover (the last time I went, the special was Tofu with a Pumpkin Sauce).
Service is usually prompt, even when busy, and the freshness of the food will surely satisfy your Southeast Asian food cravings. The Pad Thai ($9.50) is a winner here; with thick rice stick noodles and a mild spice kick from the special sauce without the greasy overtones that Pad Thai usually recalls. There’s a good range of vegetarian options as well as authentic curries, hawker-style noodles, stir-fry dishes and laksas well under $20 for lunch or dinner.
Their Roti Canai ($10) is fluffy and buttery, complemented with a sweat-inducing curry dip and homemade sambal sauce. The dish is accompanied by a Beef Rendang with a depth of flavour only a good balance of spices can ensure.
Recently, a friend ordered their Assam Udang ($16.80) which included a generous portion of prawns and had the sweet/salty/sour balance from the tanginess of the tamarind sauce and sweetness from the pineapple.
All is well and good with the menu choices but my pick is the Hainanese Chicken Rice ($9.50) which is definitely on my ‘Last Meal on Earth’ list. The simplicity of this traditional dish warms my heart and makes me a happy little plum every time I order it. The steamed chicken is tender and juicy but the rice is clearly the superstar – unbelievably fragrant with its subtle ginger and garlic combination. It’s accompanied by a strangely addictive chilli paste (even I could withstand the heat!) and a thick kecap manis. I have discovered that the best way to eat it is to combine the sauces, the chicken and the rice in one big spoonful. Yum.
Malacca Straits on Broadway, 66 Mountain St Broadway (through the Quadrant Building), (02) 8021 7069.