Outcome: Unanimous Verdict
Ratio Decidendi: Authentic Malaysian – come for the curry laksa, and make sure you come early or you might find yourself on the end of a long queue.
Scope of discovery: Chicken Laksa ($9.70), Har Mee ($10.50), Char Kway Teow ($10.50), Combination Hor Fun ($10.50), Hainanese Chicken Rice ($9.70)
Case Note: The big and bold flavours of the laksa – formed from a rich curry base balanced with a generous hit of creamy santan (coconut milk) – separates Malay Chinese from the other pretenders in the city. Insider tip: ask for mixed noodles (mai fun & hokkien noodles) – to get a bonus texture element from the extra ‘bite’ in the hokkien noodles.
Malay Chinese has also regained the title of ‘Best Har Mee (Prawn Mee)’ since the closure of Singapore Shiok (Eating World food court). While not as epically intense as Singapore Shiok’s rendition, the broth here is certainly prawn-ey enough to keep the locals (read: internationals) happy. A good option if you visit on a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday and want to avoid the calorie guilt trip that comes standard with every bowl of laksa – Hey look! There’s even a bit of veg! 😉
Obiter dicta: The authenticity of the folks who run this place means most dishes are going to be decent. You’ll find though that most Malaysians come here specifically for the laksa and while they may have to line up next to the bain-marie to order, that’s about as close as they’ll come to any of its contents.