Seek out this hidden gem for Malaysian treats like Hainanese chicken
Malacca Straits isn’t easy to find, but look for the signboard on the street and duck into the sunny residential courtyard that hides this popular restaurant. The menu includes a selection of Thai dishes like green curry chicken ($13) and pad thai prawns ($11.50), but you’re better off sticking with their Malaysian specialties, like the delicately steamed Hainanese chicken ($9.50). Ayam goreng ($9.50) is fried chicken, Malay-style, marinated and deep fried on the bone, served with chicken rice, chilli sauce, salad and soup. If you’re the type of person who likes to pick at lots of different things, get the nasi lemak ($10), a compartmentalised metal plate of coconut rice, cucumber, hard boiled egg, roasted peanuts, deep fried anchovies and your choice of chicken curry, beef rendang or fried chicken. Laksa ($8.50-$11.50) is one of the signature dishes here, but it’s worth timing your visit for a Friday or Saturday when the assam laksa ($11.80) is available, a coconut milk-free zone that is instead heavy on tamararind, mackerel, pineapple, chilli and mint. Save room for dessert. At only $5 each, you don’t even have to share your kuih ketayap, a pandan crepe rolled up with toasted shredded coconut and palm sugar, or the sticky rice with fresh mango and vanilla ice cream.