Sep 8, 2012

Malay Chinese Takeaway, Sydney CBD.

It took us two attempts, but Mr SSG and I finally got our Malaysian fix at the famous Malay Chinese restaurant on Hunter Street in the CBD.  Malay Chinese is a huge hit with local city workers and tourists alike.  It seems to be everyone's go to place for a quick and modestly priced hot lunch.

With lunch being the operative word.  We first tried our luck on a Thursday evening.  I was so relieved to see empty tables inside that I refused to understand what the waitress was trying to tell me.  They were actually closed and we'd have to return tomorrow.

Which we did.  Bright eyed and bushy tailed.  The menu at Malay Chinese sticks to their tried and tested combination of noodles and favourites from Chinese and Malay cuisine.  To some, most of the menu could be considered padding because what everyone comes here for is laksa.

Most dishes are in the $10 price range.  Service is at the counter, fast and snappy.  Despite the name, you can eat in but the competition for seats at the benches and tables is intense.  There's also not much arm room if you're a person who likes room around their chopsticks and soup bowl (that would be me) but most customers appeared to be practiced at eating tidily in such confined conditions.  For the record, I was the only person with a packet of wipes and tissues on the table beside my meal.

King Prawn Laksa - $11.50

I ordered the King Prawn Laksa, with (wait for it) extra vegetables.  Oh it was good.  The broth managed to be spicy and rich without a large slick of oil.  I could have eaten it on its own to be honest.  The chicken was tender and skinless breast.  There was also a generous number of juicy prawns.  I didn't need any extra sambal or seasoning with my laksa.  Finishing my bowl left my face a little flushed and my taste buds very satisfied.  Which is not a bad way to be after a meal.

This is the start of the lunchtime rush.  We got in just before midday and were lucky to find a pair of stools at the side bar.  All the tables were full and there was a steady stream of people moving fairly briskly across the counter.  By the time we finished our meal, the line was out the door and onto the pavement.

Combination Hor Fun - large serve $9.50.
Mr SSG ordered the Combination Hor Fun just because.  He usually orders the laksa but threw caution to the wind (quite literally, it was blowing a storm in Sydney on Friday) and deviated from his usual.  Again, it was a dish packed with chicken and seafood.  The sauce was rich and just the way I like it.  It can be a bit bland at some short order places but Malay Chinese really know how it should be done.

It's not a restaurant at which you linger after being well fed.  Instead, you leave promptly - energised by a meal of Malaysian Chinese soul food.  For me, laksa is Malaysian penicillin in the way Jewish people would regard chicken soup.

Malay Chinese Takeaway on Urbanspoon


  1. We used to go there back in uni as it was the only place in Sydney that serves a good assam laksa! Seeing all your photos brings back happy memories - do the businessmen there still wear a bib over their shirts to prevent laksa splatters?

  2. One of my fav places for Malaysian food fix. I used to work at MP so, it was easy to duck down. Now that my workplace has moved further, Sat is the only day which is fine since Har Mee is on special.

  3. Yum, it looks so good! :) I'm going to need to start noting down all of the places you review for my next Sydney trip! :)

  4. omnomnom!! That looks so good!!

  5. Thanks for the review! I have friends coming over from KL next month, would love to bring them here for a comparison with food from home ;D

  6. If you love your spice, there's nothing better in Sydney than the Asian cuisine. That's the one thing that really brightens up my day, especially in the weird wet weather.

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