Restoran Malaysia in Richmond Hill
Last Friday, my husband and I decided we wanted to eat dinner at Restoran Malaysia in Richmond Hill. When I told my mother we were going for Malaysian, she asked me to specify what kind of food it was.
“Erm, it’s a little like Indian, but then some dishes are a little Chinese, maybe a little Thai, but different…”
Her question and my lack of expertise in Malaysian cuisine (hey – they don’t feature it on MasterChef) had me quickly looking it up on the Internet with hopes of wowing my husband that evening at dinner.
Well, unsurprisingly, I was right! Malaysian cuisine is actually influenced by various other cuisines from all around the world, and mostly by their surrounding countries such as China, Thailand and India. So with that in mind, I was really excited to re-experience Malaysian food at Restoran Malaysia and try to figure out which cuisine influenced each dish.
Because Restoran Malaysia doesn’t take reservations, we tried to give ourselves ample time to get there, wait for seating (they are always busy on a Friday or Saturday evening), browse the menu and order.
It was just us two so we only waited 15 minutes before we were seated but if you’re going with a large group, you should give yourself plenty of time to wait. I had figured out exactly what I wanted to try from before but we also had some help from our knowledgeable waitress. The menu gives you a quick breakdown of what meat or vegetables are in your food but it’s best to ask for clarity before ordering. We’re glad we did!
Restoran Malaysia is known city-wide for 2 things: good food and questionable service. Thankfully, we had pretty good service overall but be prepared :p
If you’ve never been to Restoran Malaysia before, the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful interior. Warm mahogany and cool art adorn the walls, and a fruit juice bar where you’ll find Tah Tarik (Malaysian pulled tea) plus other spcialty drinks (Mango Lychee Freezy is another must-try).
We started off with the ever-popular Thai appy Chicken Satays ($12) which is essentially skewers of barbecued meat served with peanut sauce and cucumber cubes. I’m not a huge fan of peanut sauce or chutney (other than peanut butter) but I can tell you right now that you must try their peanut sauce. It is a bit sweet but it complements the chicken so well and is a staple condiment to satay anywhere you go.
An order of Chicken Murtabak ($6.50) followed shortly after. Murtabak is a traditional Malaysian street food, and it is basically roti stuffed with meat, spices, onions and eggs. I couldn’t help but compare it to the Sri Lankan dish Kothu Roti but this was a little heavier and less spicy. We happily dipped ours in the peanut sauce but it’s fine to eat on its own as well. Street food from any country is usually a fan favourite as it’s flavourful food on the cheap.
Already full, I regretted ordering two main dishes but when the waitress brought our food out, my appetite returned. The pictures don’t do it justice but Malaysian food is easily one of the most visually appealing cuisines out there; colourful and vibrant. We ordered Mamak Mee Goring ($10) which is fried miki (or egg) noodles, eggs, shrimp, chicken and various veggies. This dish reminded me of Thai food but is actually a popular Indian Muslim dish and is another widely known comfort/street food. What makes it different traditionally, is the addition of tomato paste/ketchup which gives it more of a tart taste. This may or may not throw you off and if you don’t go in with the knowledge that it’s not your typical asian noodle dish, you may not be a fan.
And finally, my favourite dish: Masak Masam Manis/Pineapple Sweet and Sour with Chicken ($14). Hands down, this is better than any sweet and sour chicken I’ve had before. It was widely recommended and it’s an absolute must when you go. It’s sweeter than sour with just a hint of pineapple and adorned in cashews.
I convinced my husband that for the this article on Restoran Malaysia, I had to have dessert. We went with Mango Rice Pudding ($6). It’s mango served with coconut-milk over steamed rice. As expected, the two key ingredients mango and coconut went really well together. The coconut-milk rice is subtly sweet but the mango takes this dessert easily to the top. A perfect way to end a perfect meal!
All in all, Restoran Malaysia is a true gem. It’s known both in mainstream circles and halal ones. I was impressed with the service, the ambiance, atmosphere and of course, the food! Though it is slightly tipped on the cost scale, the portions are hefty and you’ll definitely have some for leftovers the next day.
Hafsa is the voice of Hijabi Homegirl – a blog dedicated to sharing the experiences of a modern-day, small-town hijabi living in the big city. She is a PR professional with a passion for social media. Guilty pleasures include eating macarons and Instagramming OOTDs. Follow her adventures on Twitter.
Meat Source: CMC Meats for both Chicken and Beef, hand slaughtered.
815 Major Mackenzie Dr E , Richmond Hill