By Sherman Chan,
Special to The Post
I have been eagerly anticipating the Hainanese Chicken, Roti and Laksa at Malay Curry House, but the first two times we tried to eat there, the restaurant was randomly closed. Thankfully, third time is a charm. The restaurant wasn't very busy and according to recent reviews, it didn't sound promising, but our group of four decided to try Malay Curry House with an open mind.
We started with two orders of the Roti Canai, which arrived curiously on two separate plates at two separate times. The exterior was a nicely browned and yielded to a soft and chewy interior. Without the curry dip, the roti was already sweet and slightly greasy. The dip itself added palm sugar and some spice. We also ordered at half dozen each of the Chicken and Lamb Satay, which came with a sweet peanut sauce. As much as the portion size was fair and the overall appearance was pleasing, there was something amiss with the texture of the meat. Due to the use of baking soda, the meat took on a strange bouncy texture, similar to what we would see in Cantonese cuisine.
Next, we tried the Curry Seafood Laksa with a mix of yellow noodles and rice vermicelli. This dish was decent, with al dente noodles and correctly cooked fish and shrimp. The broth was quite flavourful with coconut milk and mild spiciness, but the flavours lacked in body. It wasn’t quite as aromatic as I like, nor was it very rich. Perhaps more coconut milk would have helped. We also tried the Curry Beef Brisket, which was not very impressive. It tasted like all of the ingredients were cooked separately, which meant that the flavours were weak and not cohesive. All we could taste was sugar, ginger and garlic with no discernible spices. In fact, the potatoes were undercooked and bland.
Now for the main event, the half Hainanese Chicken with a side order of Chicken Oil Rice. Although the portion size was troubling, the execution made up for it. The dark meat was juicy and tender with nicely textured skin. The rice was nutty, salty, chewy and oily – all in a good way.
Overall, it was an up and down experience at Malay Curry House, where some items were better than others.
MALAY CURRY HOUSE
3608 Kingsway | 604-438-4288
• Hainanese Chicken is decent
• Unlike others, we got good service
• Some artistic interpretations of some items
• Portion size for the chicken is a bit small