Old Town Kopitiam Mamak (Closed)

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This is going to be a historical post since the two Old Town Kopitiam restaurants in Melbourne have now closed. Their China Town location is now a Hong Kong/Taiwanese Dessert House, and their QV location is now a PappaRich store. I believe PappaRich is a cafe/restaurant offshoot of PappaRoti, and they are also opening a store in Chadstone.

I wasn’t too fond of Old Town Kopitiam, I found the food to be a little lacking and average, but their drinks menu was quite interesting. I can see why these two stores have closed though, even the appeal of Mamak food in the QV store wasn’t enough to interest most people.

Most of the food was expensive for the serving size, I did enjoy their Char Koay Kak. I must say, it probably was one of the best dishes on the menu, and you couldn’t really find it anywhere else. The rest of the menu, apart from their Nasi Kandar was bland and at times strange.

For example, their Curry Laksa (Pictured above) was so strange and unpleasant to eat. The curry soup base had a really odd taste to it, it’s slightly spicy but there is no creaminess or much flavour to it.

For added taste they add in curry leaves, by the bucketload! Eating their food actually takes effort.

I know this may sound like a whining blog post, but on most occasions the above experiences was really what it was like eating there. There were a few plus sides as mentioned above, but overall is really was a disappointing Malaysian eatery. I haven’t tried PappaRich yet, but every time I want to go eat there, it’s full!

Old Town Kopitiam Mamak (QV Square) on Urbanspoon

Old Town Kopitiam (Now PappaRich)

210 Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 3000

Kotaraya – Elsternwick

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Kotaraya used to be our go-to Malaysian restaurant. We used to frequent their Elsternwick store, and then on occassion, their Clayton store maybe every few months but then we stopped going there. Not because it was bad or anything, the food stayed pretty consistent of the many years we ate there but only because it got too busy for our liking and you’d be hard pressed to find a table on a Sunday after 12pm.

So instead we opted for the many restaurants in Glen Waverley so you didn’t have to play the waiting game.  Earlier this year we noticed it wasn’t particularly busy so we jumped at the chance to revist Kotaraya.

Kotaraya has all the standard Malaysian dishes. Laksa, Nasi/Mee Goreng, Char Kway Teoh but also a selection of Thai and Chinese dishes too.

 

I always used to order their Char Hor Fun (Combination), and to be honest their Char Hor Fun has pratically stayed the same as I remembered it. It still has the same tasty egg sauce and the slightly wok stir-fried noodles. Of course the price has gone up, but that has been consistent with most restaurants so it isn’t a real negative.

Their Char Hor Fun as all the essentials, calamari , bok choy, and chicken and just enough sauce. You can’t go wrong with this dish.

Check out their menu on the official website and see what you like! There is something for everyone.

Kotaraya Multi Asian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Kotaraya – Elsternwick
237-239 Glenhuntly Road
Elsternwick 3185

Telephone: 9523 6720
Fax: 9523 1792

Opening hours
Open 7 days (Lunch & Dinner) Lunch 11.30am – 2.30pm
Dinner 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Closed: Saturday Lunch
Public Holidays: Open

Chillipadi – Waterfront City

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The Chillipadi name has been around for many years. It’s first store that I remember was, and still is, near Melbourne Central. It serves a mix of Malaysian/Chinese style food, with a taste of Thai as well. When we tried it out it seemed like the dishes were mostly catering to the Western food palate and so I never really bothered to venture there again.

The Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam stores are the newest entries to the Chillipadi brand, it predominantly serves Indian/Malay-Malaysian food and their versions of the popular Chinese-Malaysian cuisines too. What I like out their Mamak stores is that they serve tasty and spicy food, with all the favourites and rarities at decent prices.

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We recently stumbled upon their small store in Waterfront City, Docklands. Located opposite the still-not-opened Ferris Wheel. We hadn’t had a chance to go to their store in Flemington/Newmarket so this was our first taste of it. At their Waterfront City store they have a limited menu because of the size of the restaurant but nonetheless the staples are here.
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They have Nasi Kandar dishes which looked delicious.

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I tried their Curry Laksa, and I have got to say it was quite good. I actually prefer it to Laksa King’s or Chef Lagenda’s versions as their laksa contains more coconut cream, and for me, it’s way too creamy for my liking. Chillipadi’s Curry Laksa, balances the creamyness and spicyness quite well, making it an overall very satisfying dish. It’s definitely one I would go back for.

We also tried their Teh Tarik (Both Cold and Hot varieties) and it was also surprisingly good. If you have ever tried Old Town Kopitiam Mamak in QV, you’d notice the very big size difference when they are in fact similarly priced. Not only that but Old Town’s is incredibly sweet. Tek Tarik of course is a sweet tea drink but when you lose the whole tea flavour in favour of just sugar, it isn’t Teh Tarik.

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I’d definitely recommend this place for those who want to try something different from your usual Chinese-Malaysian dishes. Their Flemington store serves an even wider variety of foods that you probably won’t be able to try elsewhere.

Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam - Waterfront City on Urbanspoon
Chillipadi Waterfront City
Harbour Town Shopping Centre, Waterfront City
Star Crc
Docklands 3008 VIC

ABC Cafe

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Update: ABC Cafe has closed its doors and I believe a Vietnamese eatery will take its place.

ABC Cafe is situated in the heart of Glen Waverley, on the popular Kingsway street, right next to Petaling Street.

It isn’t a very big eatery, and it doesn’t serve that many people but if you want good Malaysian food for a decent price it’s here.

What differentiates ABC Cafe from the other Malaysian restaurants is that it serves Mee Rebus on the menu. Not very many eateries cook Mee Rebus. As I don’t think it’s as commonly known and I think the many Australian Australians’ just don’t know what it is so restaurants don’t bother serving it and just stick with the Char Kway Teows’, Nasi Gorengs’ etc.

What makes Mee Rebus so good, and ABC Cafe’s is the sauce. The sauce is everything, it is like a viscous soup, and with the noodles, tofu, bean sprouts, prawns and garnish. It just makes a perfect combination. I probably don’t know what an ‘authentic’ Malaysian Mee Rebus is, as I’ve only eaten it a couple of times when I went back but it sure tastes good and that should be all that matters really.

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Their Curry Laksa is also no too shabby, it packs the flavour, spiciness and slight creaminess that makes a Laksa appetising. Also, a great Laksa includes both the Hokkien Noodles and Bee Hoon Noodles which ABC Cafe do include.

Portion size is also quite decent, as is with the Mee Rebus.

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Their Ice Kacang is also a winner, although it doesn’t have peanuts in there. The flavour and syrups used are just what it should be, just a word of caution even on a cooler day it melts quickly. I think it’s due to their fine ice shavings as opposed to larger ice shavings which seem to stay cooler, longer, and hence hold its form.

I would put the ABC Cafe’s Ice Kacang above Petaling Street and The Grand Tofu’s offerings. It just happens to tick the most boxes when it comes to flavour and the ingredients they used. Definitely like what I had in Malaysia.

I’m pretty happy to dine at ABC Cafe, I’m just not quite sure why it’s not as popular as the other Malaysian restaurants in the same area as some of their dishes taste better then the others.

ABC Cafe

109 Kingsway

Glen Waverley, 3150

(03) 9561 6888

Chef Lagenda

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Chef Lagenda is a somewhat new restaurant that has popped up in Flemington, right next to the well known Laksa King. They predominantly serve Malaysian cuisine, just like Laksa King.

Inside the restaurant it has mainly low lighting, with minimal natural lighting. With a nice decor, rustic wooden tables and walls, combined with brick walls and rendered walls. An old building made modern but it hasn’t thrown away all it’s old charm. It’s definitely one of the better looking Malaysian restaurants I’ve been to. It’s slightly small on the ground level, but it seems like there was another floor when it gets busy.

Their selection of food is quite expansive, having the quite well known famous Malaysian dishes in Australia such as Nasi Lemak, Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng, Laksa and Char Kway Teow from the less well known ones like Fish Head Curry and desserts you can only find in Malaysia eateries such as Ice Kacang and Ice Cendol.

They have a big selection of each big category of rice, noodle soups and fried noodles, also having main dishes (larger servings) and appetizers.

I ordered the Char Kway Teow (extra spicy) as I wanted to compare it to the other Malaysian restaurants I’e been to. Service was quite good, orders taken promptly and our meals arrived quickly too.

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It looked quite appetising, and the serving portion was excellent too. It had a nice taste to it, and had all the requirements for a good Char Kway Teow, it wasn’t dry, not overly oily and had a good mix of bean sprouts, kueh teow, egg and Chinese sausage. However, it wasn’t spicy at all. Luckily they had fresh chopped chillies to spice it up a bit.

I think if it was spicy before having to add the chillies, it would have been the perfect dish as one of my favourite Char Kway Teow’s is from ABC Cafe in Glen Waverley usually is really tasty, maybe just a tad oily on occasion.

I don’t know if I’d drive all the way to Flemington, when Glen Waverley is much closer to me for this dish but for those up north it will satisfy your Malaysian cravings.

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I also tasted their Curry Laksa. It was actually quite nice, different to what I was used to but still tasty. It was creamier than other ones I’ve tasted, I presume they used coconut milk but it wasn’t overly creamy to put you off eating. It had a slight spicy tinge to it, which helped balance the dish. It would probably be one of the better Laksa’s I’ve eaten.

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I tried the Nasi Lemak, a very Malaysian dish. It usually contains anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, coconut rice and either a Beef Rendang or Curry Chicken. Then one I tasted was a Beef Rendang.

It was actually a decent dish, for those that prefer a sweeter curry sauce. It reminded me of a satay sauce but curry. Not necessarily bad, but having vacationed in Malaysia a couple months ago, it didn’t really feel authentic. The rice was also a bit too wet, but it’s a more what you prefer thing here. Overall, it was okay. I didn’t mind it and I wouldn’t mind trying their Curry Chicken option out too to see the difference.

We ordered the Ice Cendol and Ice Kacang to try.

Firstly, the Ice Cendol. For those that don’t know, it is a mix of coconut milk, palm sugar syrup, cendol (the green pandan jellies) and usually shaved ice.

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The serving size was smaller than I’m used to and for the price you would expect more. I guess taste is what matters, however, to my disappointment it didn’t taste that great either. It lacked the sweetness of the palm sugar syrup, and the coconut milk they used had a sharpness to it that made it a slightly odd experience. The cendol itself was great, it was smooth, a bit soft, a bit chewy and wasn’t sweet like some cendols’ are. However, the shaved ice was quite coarse and it shouldn’t be if you’re using shaved ice instead of ice cubes.

It was a decent attempt, but lacks the flavour to make it an authentic Malaysian Ice Cendol and for the price, it really isn’t worth it.

Now onto the Ice Kacang. Before we go any further, I didn’t eat all this alone. I had help!

For those that might not know, Ice Kacang can be quite a creative dessert, with many fruits, sweet syrups, nuts, jellies and usually condensed milk (sweet and evaporated) all mixed together to make a very appetising and well just a fun dessert to eat.

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Chef Lagenda’s Ice Kacang consisted of chopped roasted peanuts on top, with longan, a bit of sweet corn, red beans, cendol, black jelly and a yellow and white jelly too if I can recall, longan, and palm seed. With a red syrup and I think the condensed milk.

The serving size was decent, usually they are priced around $4.50 to $5 but this was $5.50, and might be a tad small when compared to those at the lower end of the scale.

Onto the taste. The shaved ice, again, was coarser then I’m used to but not too coarse to make it doesn’t detract from the taste. With all of the ingredients mixed together, it was quite nice, a bit less sweet to those other Ice Kacang’s I’ve eaten. For those looking to have a dessert that isn’t too sweet but still sweet enough to satisfy your sugar cravings. Here it is. Nonetheless, a good offering by Chef Lagenda.

I would still probably put The Grand Tofu (Glen Waverley) and ABC Cafe (Glen Waverley) as the better ones, because they are cheaper, have larger portions and are just well, tastier.

I had a decent experience dining at Chef Lagenda, it had a pleasant atmosphere, with nicely cooked meals that I didn’t have any major problems with. I would definitely go there again to taste their other dishes on offer but it isn’t a ‘have to go there again really soon’ kinda thing.

Chef Lagenda on Urbanspoon
Chef Lagenda
16 Pin Oak Cres
Flemington, 3031
Victoria
(03) 9376 2668