11 Jul 2016
When you need a hit of comfort food, Malay Chinese Takeaway is a super quick fix and cheap eats option.
I’m a little late to this party. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to make my maiden voyage here. It’s only been in the CBD for 20 years. All I can say is: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Those who know me are well aware I’m forever chasing the flavours of my Singaporean upbringing. There are lots of places that sound promising in theory, but very few ever stack up when it comes to reproducing the flavours of South East Asia.
Facing my aversion of midweek city dwelling, I dragged my sister to this small, street facing shop on Hunter Street. Getting there at 11.45am it seems, was just in the nick of time. This not-so-secret is well out. We wrangled the very last table in the house as queues started to form just as we put our orders in.
The menu here looks like all my favourite dishes on one compact list. However, it’s the laksa that we’ve come for today. There’s 11 versions on offer, each offering a variation of main ingredient, such as prawns, seafood, chicken, chicken drumsticks, tofu or a combination.
The bowls are quite large so you’d better bring an appetite. The soup comes out as an intense coconut soup with a rich consistency jam packed with flavour. It’s not super spicy, but has the right amount of sweetness, a little tang, plenty of spices come though and there’s a good amount of salt and fish sauce. Silence comes over our table when the soup arrives and focus shifts towards the giant bowl in front of us. It takes a little concentration trying to keep all that sauce from splattering all over your clothing, the table and your neighbours whilst you slurp up the sauce drenched noodles. I’d say try not to wear anything white or even light coloured. They do have bibs available at the counter for 50 cents – a worthwhile investment.
The look and feel of the place takes me straight back to hawker stalls in Singapore. Flouro lighting, unstable tables that make horrible sounds when you drag them across the tiled floor and plastic chairs that are comfortable enough for as long as it takes to finish a bowl of soup. Places like these are about one thing only – the food. Get in, eat, get out.
Don’t expect an exchange of pleasantries or small talk in a place like this. Know what you want before you get to the front of the queue and have your cash ready. Otherwise: NO SOUP FOR YOU! It’s nothing to do with being unfriendly – it’s just efficient. And the food is worth it and very reasonably priced with laksa’s costing between $10-14 and noodle dishes up to $14.50.
Go before 11.30am or after 1.00pm if you’re not a patient person. Otherwise stand in the queue and be prepared to take your lunch away as getting a seat is as likely as NSW winning at the State of Origin. It happens, but it’s rare.
Either way, if you love an authentic tasting plate of Malaysian food, just go here. And I’m going to call it: It’s my absolute favourite laksa in Sydney.
The short and sweet:
THE GOOD BITS: Really authentic Malaysian laksa at a very reasonable price.
THE NOT SO GOOD BITS: Queuing and finding a seat can be painful. Small price to pay for awesome food.
STANDOUT DISH: Laksa. Any kind.
COST PER HEAD: $11.70 for the chicken & prawn laksa.
Location: Shop 1, 50-58 Hunter Street, Sydney