Address: 815 Major Mackenzie Dr E, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 9X2
Phone: (905) 508-1432
Living literally five minutes away from the restaurant and also as a quite well known local restaurant, I have never tried it anytime in my life until my friends showed some interest and requested a gathering there. It is quite shameful actually. Because my family do not like eating anything aside from Chinese food, I never had the opportunity to eat other cuisines until I was in university or started working.
This is a typical family like restaurant, which offers quite a large variety of East Asian Cuisine. Their clientele is quite multi cultural too, bust mostly locals. I find familiar faces in the pool of clientele, but too loud, packed and far to say hi!
A warning, this restaurant is CASH ONLY! This policy is quite new and their servers remind us before seating us. It is quite a hassle sometimes and unfortunate because this policy really screams “do not eat here because I do not have cash with me”. I am pretty sure they do lose business from this. They did carry debit and credit card machines for the longest time but just in the past year, they cancelled it. The owner actually admitted how the high machine charges led to this decision.
Green Mango Salad ($8) consists of green mango, shallot, sweet pepper, chopped sun dried shrimp, topped with toasted peanut, served with a Thai vinaigrette. The salad was so sour and the green mango is not ripe enough. The mango matchsticks were hard to the bite.
Seafood Salad ($9) was made of shrimp, calamari, mussels, scallop, mixed with cucumber, onion, and lemon lemon grass served with a Thai vinaigrette. Seafood was crunchy but it was the frozen seafood mixture from the groceries, found in the freezer. Otherwise, the vegetables were freshly prepared. The salad was flavourful, a mixture of a sweet and sour blend. The lemon grass taste lingers in your mouth for quite some time. The seafood salad was more enjoyable and rewarding than the green mango salad.
The size of the salads were smaller than we expect. I do not think it was worth the money we paid for. It really was a one person portion, one bowl amount. If you are looking for an appetizer to share, there are much better options to order.
Pineapple Fried Rice / Nasi Goring Nenas ($11) has chicken, shrimp, pineapple, tomato, sweet peppers, topped with toasted cashews. I liked the dry texture, where the rice was not soggy and each piece of rice was coated evenly by oil. The ingredients maintained its juiciness. Therefore, not overcooked. The fried rice had a balance of sweet flavour, from the pineapples, and natural rice aroma. Overall, this dish had no surprise. It was quite standard and showed the chef’s ability to control the wok and fire.
Seafood Yellow Curry / Lautan Masak Lemak Kuning Siam ($18) was made with sweet peppers, baby corn, onion, basil, coconut, lemon grass, and turmeric. If you are sensitive to spicy foods, this yellow curry is probably your best bet because it was extremely mild to the palate. It was extremely flavourful. I can probably serve five bowls of rice with this. The coconut milk brought out the rich array of spices to this curry. The seafood maintained its natural flavours and soft crunchy texture.
Classic Indonesian Beef Rendang Minangkabau ($13) was made with galangal (ginger), grisek (toasted coconut), lemon grass, turmeric, shallot, and lemon leaf. This was one of our favourite entrees of the evening. The beef was softly braised and the strands could be easily peeled off the bone. The aroma of culinary herbs and ingredients seeped into the beef. Each bite was like rich blend of “fire and ice” because the lemon grass and lemon leaf gave off a cool effect while the turmeric, shallot, ginger added heat to it. This was another dish that can serve another five bowls of rice.
Singapore Chicken Rice ($9) had steamed chicken, served with rice cooked in chicken oil, with chili sauce and soup on the side. This was quite standard, as long as the chicken met its requirements. I liked how they picked the bones out of the chicken. Every bite was meaty and saved us a lot of effort. The chicken was fresh, juicy and retained a lot of its natural chicken flavours. The oil from the chicken skin was used to mix the rice, therefore, every bite of the rice strengthens your impression of the chicken further. The soup was really water they used to braise the chicken. If you find the aroma of the chicken meat itself a bit bland, eat it with the rice and dunk it into the soup, the flavours are enhanced. The dish was simple, but it kept its natural shine and essence.
Pad Thai ($10), a stir fried rice noodle, with shrimp, chicken, sweet pepper, bean sprout, egg with a tangy sweet sauce, and topped with toasted chopped peanut. Pad thai can be found in almost restaurant. I personally do not think this noodle dish was different from others, except being a bit less soggy and is more dry than others I have tried. This dish is absolutely the safest to order, especially if you are not looking for surprises nor great expectations. The pad thai was good, had a sweet and sour taste to it, with a crunch to it from the assistance of the toppings.
Beef Murtabak ($6.50) is a stuffed roti with chopped meat, spices, onion and eggs. I always had the Chinese version of this pancake like dish, where all the ingredients were mixed into the batter and pan seared on both sides. Most of the time, I used roti as a “bread”, where I dipped it in a sauce or held Peking duck. Therefore, this stuffed roti dish was quite new to me. I thought the outcome was a tad dry, no juice at all. The filling was like stir fried ground beef and was slightly bland. Overall, it was a disappointment to me.
I do enjoy heavily spiced dishes occasionally. I will visit Restaran Malaysia occasionally because it is close to where I live and for some good cultural fix. Next time, I want to try more of their curries and entrees. I recommend the dishes that you cannot make at home or is more complicated to gather the ingredients for because those are usually their authentic Malaysian cuisine. Lastly, do try their appetizer platter because it is based on their street food and I thought it tasted awesome and is a quick fix for a light afternoon snack. But one thing I am not pleased with is their cash only policy, quite a hassle.