When it comes to restaurants, there are few who can claim the hearts of diners for fifty years. Yet Wong Tai See, a migrant seaman from Hong Kong in the 1940’s opened The Malaya doors in 1963. King Street Wharf has been home to the Malaysian restaurant since the start of the millennium. Its famed laksa made with cow’s milk (back then coconut milk was unheard of) stays true to that recipe.
Closed for a short time the grand dame of the spice world re-emerges as beautiful and youthful as ever. In a clockwork orange makeover, diners are greeted to a visual feast of orange chairs and dark tables along with a new bar area to sip a cocktail and munch on spicy Ikan Billis, a fiery medley of dried anchovies, roast peanuts, belecan and laksa sambal.
The look might be different but the food and service is timeless. The chefs and bar staff have been treated to new fit outs of the latest culinary technology.
Prawns arrive split in their shells spiced with fresh chili, salt, cracked black pepper and shallots. Perfectly char grilled skewers of Atlantic salmon with a delicious mango chutney relish are followed by succulent spanner crab san choy bow. The only thing that could rival kapitan prawns, lightly battered in a Penang coconut curry sauce, is the mighty beef rendang curry. Simply add szechuan eggplant stir-fried dry style with shallots, cashew nuts and dry chilies and it’s hard to find room for a black rice pudding.
The pin up girl of Malaysian Cuisine maybe entering a new era, but it continues to deliver world class service rarely seen in Sydney.
39 Lime Street, King Street Wharf, Sydney NSW 2000
Lunch: Monday to Saturday from 12pm, Dinner: Monday to Sunday from 6pm