Malaysian cuisine combines the many herbs and spices of the region with the warmth and relaxed nature of the people, and Sydney’s got some absolutely outstanding Malaysian restaurants.
Whether you’re thinking of Nasi Lemak, Roti, or any variation of the Laksa, Malaysian cuisine continues to impress Sydneysiders with many eateries drumming up a loyal following of customers who swear by their local. But for those of you who haven’t found the one for you just yet, take a look through the list below and begin deciding which one you will try first.
Mamak began with three friends trying to reclaim their more youthful days when they spent their time in Kuala Lumpur eating freshly made Roti Canai, sipping on frothy Teh Tarik and snacking on smoky Satay skewers. But with no such offering in Sydney at the time, they travelled to Malaysia in order to hone their skills and knowledge and bring to Australia the food they craved. Over ten years later, Mamak continues to delight and thrill its loyal following with its assortment of shared mains, sweet and savoury roti, and Nasi Lemak.
📍 15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket
📍Shop P9, 1-5 Railway Street, Chatswood
📍Shop 6.02 Parramatta Square, 10 Darcy Street, Parramatta
2. Ho Jiak
No matter which of the three Ho Jiak eateries you choose to try (read, you should try all three), you are going to be delighted by the smells, the flavours and the slight twist on authentic recipes where Penang street food meets Nyonya feasts, just like grandma used to make. Go to town on the BBQ corner of the menu at Strathfield or taste a bit of everything with the Tasting Menu at Haymarket. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
📍436 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
📍 92 Hay Street, Haymarket
📍 125 York Street, Sydney
3. Malay Chinese Takeaway
For over 20 years the laksa recipe at Malay Chinese Takeaway (eat-in is also available) has not changed. And how do you know when the laksa is the dish to try? Well, take one look around at all the business workers suited up with a bib to catch all the red splashes from dropped noodles and thick slurps.
📍 205 Liverpool Road, Ashfield
4. Jimmy’s Recipe
Though Jimmy’s Recipe can be found in a food court, that doesn’t mean that the food is lacking in any quality, especially when you consider the price point. With meals in the $11-$14 range, Jimmy’s Recipe makes for a great and affordable option.
📍 Level 2 Shop 2-04/1 Macquarie Place, Sydney
Celebrating ten years in Australia this year, PappaRich has been on a mission to be recognised as the global brand name of Malaysian cuisine. And it seems like their mission has so far been successful with now six locations across Sydney offering their modernised take on traditional Malaysian coffee-shop fare and serving everything from the fiery sambal of the Nasi Lemak to the silky smooth Curry Laksa broth and more than 50 drinks on the menu.
📍 See website for all PappaRich NSW locations
6. Laksa King
Does Laksa King make the best laksa in Sydney? If it doesn’t come out on top, then it must be down to personal preferences because the broth here at Laksa King, though slightly different in flavour, is on par with that of the Malay Chinese Takeaway legendary offering.
Lunchtime gets crowded and noisy so if you want a table, get in as early as you can but don’t expect to be able to hear very well over the sounds from the kitchen, the other tables, and the slurps. Well worth it, though.
📍 43 Erskine Street, Sydney
7. Albee’s Kitchen
Whether you head out west to Campsie or across to the eastern suburbs for your Malaysian fix, Albee’s Kitchen does justice to their no-nonsense take on authentic Malaysian cuisine. The menu itself is quite extensive and great for those looking to broaden their experience, but the classics are where it’s at. The chicken curry puffs, pictured at the top of the snacks page on the menu, are a must as well as their version of the beef rendang, a spicy beef dish made deliciously fragrant with a generous helping of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
Again, arrive early or prepare behind the long line of regulars.
📍 279 Beamish Street, Campsie
📍 470 Anzac Parade, Kingsford