Malaysian cuisine is extremely varied, reflecting the many races and cultures of the country.
We recently had a Malaysian Indian lunch at Rasa Sayang Cafe at Spencer Village in Thornlie. It was at least 35 degrees but that didn't stop us from eating spicy, heaty food. In an un-air-conditioned cafe at that! Even though it was past normal lunchtime (2.30pm), the place was teeming with customers having their mamak fix.
We ordered a plate of biryani rice with chili chicken, mixed veggies and dhal from the bain marie, egg paratha with lambshank curry and iced milk tea. The mee goreng mamak (mamak fried noodles) is so popular there was none left by the time we got there.
Regardless, what we had was satisfying (LARGE portion of rice and dishes) and tasty. There is a table full of complimentary condiments including mango chutney, fried yoghurt chillies, and papadums. The fried yoghurt chillies are a must try- salty, crunchy and just a touch of spicy fire. The food is very down-to-earth and the South Indian flavours are different to what most Indian restaurants in Perth offer. Our meal amounted to less than AUD30.
For dinner, we explored another type of Malaysian cuisine. D'nyonya on Albany Highway, Victoria Park specialises in food from the Peranakan culture, sprung from the intermarriage of Chinese immigrants to the settlements in the Straits of Malacca and local Malays. The men are referred to as ‘Baba’ and the women ‘Nyonya.’
Our meal consisted of colourful drinks (ice lemon tea, bandung, iced lychee, and teh tarik) and fried rice, mee goreng and curry laksa. We have been to D’nyonya multiple times since its opening a few years ago (it was called Rasa Nyonya Penang Restaurant then) and quite enjoy the food there. Small bone to pick would be the lack of chicken or meat in the fried rice/noodles dishes (most have seafood). So if you are ravenous for meat, order rice and separate dishes. We recommend the salted egg chicken and black pepper beef (both also noted to be chef’s recommendations on the menu).
We heard that D’nyonya has opened a branch on Hay Street, just east of the city centre (where Oleh Oleh Café used to be).
The dessert of the day was enjoyed in the air-conditioned living room of some good friends. In keeping with the Malaysian food theme of the day, it was boxes of exquisite XO frozen durian from the Oriental Cash and Carry in Canning Vale.
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