Restoran Malaysia by Steph Chiu
Exploring Malaysian Cuisine at Restoran Malaysia (Richmond Hill)
By Steph Chiu
Satay skewers, mangoes, and an endless selection of curries are often what comes to mind when I wthink of Malaysian cuisine. To be honest, I cannot normally tolerate spicy foods, but I make an exception when it comes to great Malaysian food, especially at my favourite Malay restaurant: Restoran Malaysia.
Although farther than the normal restaurants I frequent, Restoran Malaysia is worth the drive. Located in Richmond Hill near Bayview Avenue and Major Mackenzie Drive, it is quite spacious inside but it fills up quickly and they don’t always take reservations. Note that they are closed on Mondays; don’t make the mistake I made once in making the trek there, only to be greeted by a locked door!
I went with my family in a party of 3 for dinner and we ordered a bunch of dishes to share, as is quite common in Asian cuisine, and especially because it is so hard to choose just one dish to have! Our server was not very helpful in describing the various curries, but I overheard the server at the next table, who was great in giving recommendations on popular dishes and explaining the different curries. Luckily I had already done my research so I knew what curry we wanted to try.
We chose the Beef Rendang ($13), a highly popular variety of curry. The rendang was simply amazing. I usually order the regular yellow curry here at lunch as it is the perfect size and comes with Roti, but it pales in comparison to the rendang, which features a truly complex blend of spices in its preparation that is both intense and flavourful. The bowl looks small, but it was definitely more than enough for one, or even two people if you don’t have a big appetite.
Fun fact: 35,000 people who participated in a 2011 online poll by CNN International awarded Rendang the top spot on the World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods (Readers’ Pick) List.
The rendang didn’t come with a side, so we ordered two pieces of their Roti ($2 each) to go with it. I have yet to find another place with Roti as fresh and perfectly made as they do it here, so no matter which curry you pick I definitely recommend you go with Roti instead of rice or even noodles as a side!
We also got a Singapore Chicken Rice ($9) and Black Peppered Beef Kuay Teow ($12). We eat Singapore Chicken Rice often and this place makes it as good as any other place, although the curry definitely outshines it. The Kuay Teow is too spicy for me, but it is one of my father’s favourite dishes and he swears by the Kuay Teow at Restoran Malaysia.
We ordered one dessert to share as we already couldn’t finish our mains. We got the Kuih Ketayap, a.k.a. Coconut Crepe ($6). The green color might scare you, but it is actually natural coloring that comes from the pandan that’s infused into the crepes. Inside was a sweet coconut filling and on top was a dusting of palm sugar. Although a little on the small side, I personally enjoyed it –it had just the right amount of sweetness (which for me is not very much), and I loved how delicate and soft the crepe was.
If you love curry, I really hope that you get a chance to come try Restoran Malaysia. Even if you don’t and/or can’t stand anything spicy, there are so many other options to choose from that are all authentic Malaysian dishes. Although we didn’t get any of their appetizers on this visit, I would definitely recommend the satay skewers. Happy dining!