Little Malaysia is another restaurant that we visited during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. It's been serving food for about 20 years and are still going strong. The formula... unfussy and consistent Malaysian food and flavours.
Your spicy fix in Melbourne
26 Liverpool St,
Melbourne 3000 VIC
Tel: +613 9662 1678
Daily 12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-10:30pm
What's with the broccoli in the gravy?
AUS$15 - AUS$25
"You've come during the lunch rush," said the cheerful owner. She waved us to a table with lots of light, "so I can't talk but please enjoy the food." Little Malaysia is small, cosy and pretty packed for lunch. You can't tell much from the street, just a door and one long window which doesn't show much since the eatery curves downwards. It's very much like the small Chinese eateries I used to eat in Chinatown London. No fuss, bustling and good food. Most of the people eating here are local Aussies.
Australia we discovered, does know a thing or two about Malaysian food by virtue of being closer to Southeast Asia and the insane influx of Malaysian students into their cities. Restaurants such as Little Malaysia have been operating successfully for many years. And though other countries know satay, rendang and perhaps even nasi lemak, in Australia, it's the laksa they can't get enough of.
The seafood laksa here is tasty enough with big prawns and chunky squid. The gravy is fragrant without being too spicy. The only jarring thing was to find broccoli in my laksa- strange but doesn't distract you too much.
The main star of their menu though is the roti canai. It's crispy and a little fluffy and you get two with each order. If I had a hankering for roti canai in Melbourne, this place will certainly sate it. It's also very light so you can actually share this as a starter and get stuck into the more hefty dishes. There's also roti telur and murtabak on the menu.
Satays here are chunky and well marinated. Nasi lemak here is pretty good too with decent sambal (so they don't skimp on spices) although it's Nyonya-style and comes with acar.
For dessert, we went for the banana fritters. It was a whopper, drenched with syrup and comes with a side of ice cream. Other things that are recommended here is the hokkien noodles, the char kuey teow and they also had a sign that advertised special chilli crabs on that day. Well we just have to try that another time.
You can try little banquets which is like a set menu that gives you a good taste of the food on offer. Chef's Banquet goes for about AUS$33 for minimum two people which gives you 5 different dishes. Roti canai set meal that comes with 2 rotis and a curry goes for AUS$12.80