Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia Food Trail
1. Roti Canai at Mamak
Chatswood Central, Shop 9, 1-5 Railway St, Chatswood NSW 2067
Chatswood is home to flaky golden roti from the highly popular Mamak for Malaysians looking for some comfort food to remind them of their homeland. Roti canai ($9) — the original roti, is light and wafer crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and served with two curry dips and a spicy sambal sauce. Be sure to try and watch the cook making them to order over the large hot grill, constantly stretching and folding the dough in preparation to achieve the many layers. Finally served steaming hot ready to soak in a spicy dipping curry to excite the tastebuds. Roti is always best made fresh and this place does it justice.
2. Ais Kacang at Amah by Ho Jiak
Chatswood Interchange, Shop K1-K2, Level 3, 436 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067
For a fun Malaysian dessert that’s big enough to share you can’t go past an Ais Kacang ($12) at Amah by Ho Jiak. Freshly shaved ice covers a sea of kidney beans, palm seeds and grass jelly and then topped with creamed corn, peanuts, Carnation creamy evaporated milk, rose syrup, gula melaka and green melon syrup. What a colourful sight of flavours. Slowly mix the ingredients together and eat it quickly before the ice melts away. I’d say it’s a bit of an acquired taste but it’s grown on me over the years since my dad is Malaysian and always got me to try it when I was growing up. You’ll find many variations of ingredients depending on where you go so finding an ais kacang that suits your taste will be a journey of discovery.
3. Hainanese Chicken Rice at Ya Malaysia
Chatswood Interchange, Shop 78, 436 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067
Hainanese Chicken Rice ($15.90) at Ya Malaysia is a classic Malaysian dish to enjoy solo with poached chicken, flavoured rice, fresh cucumber slices, chilli sauce and a small bowl of clear soup. It all works harmoniously together and the chicken thigh is served boneless here. Love the flavour pop of adding some of the ginger spring onion sauce with some chilli sauce on a piece of chicken followed by some rice is the way to go. The soft silky chicken skin adds extra flavour and juiciness to the dish. I’ve enjoyed this dish in Malaysia as well where it was served with some blanched bean sprouts on the side.
4. Crispy Fried Chicken at Rumah Makan Petok Petok
Mandarin Centre, Shop 202, 65 Albert Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067
Located in the Mandarin Centre I checked out Rumah Makan Petok Petok for some Crispy Fried Chicken ($12.50) served Indonesian style. The chicken skin was thin and crispy and the homemade chill sambal will knock your tastebuds out of the park. The plentiful supply of kremes crispy batter granules go well with the large bowl size of steamed rice and chilli sambal to help extend the dish as a complete meal. Fresh iceberg lettuce and cucumber slices are on hand to cleanse the palate. Indonesians sure know how to make a yummy fried chicken.
5. Penang Char Kway Teow at Kreta Ayer
Chatswood Chase, 345 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
If there’s one Singaporean and Malaysian dish I’ve had more often than not, it’s the traditional hawker style CKT. You’ll find the Penang Char Kway Teow ($17.90) at Kreta Ayer located in Chatswood Chase. I’m always keen for a good wok hei in this dish to help create some smoky flavours. This flat rice noodle dish came with prawns, Chinese lap cheong (sausage), sliced fishcake, egg, bean sprouts and had a mild curry spice flavour. If you’re lucky you might find some golden crisp croutons of pork lard in a CKT and traditionally it comes with blood cockles as I’ve had in Malaysia but that seems very hard if not impossible to find in Sydney, although they do tend to use clams instead. For some extra flavour I’d suggest chilli sauce on the side to enjoy with the dish.
Written by Simon Food Favourites
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