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Ayam Chef

When I make my fortune, I am going to buy a luxurious studio apartment in either South Yarra or Southbank and live the high life. The apartment will have 5 star hotel-worthy facilities, million dollar views, and be within walking distance of dozens of good places to eat. In the meantime, I’ll just settle for sleuthing out nice restaurants, and Ayam Chef makes a good point for Southbank. When I think about Southbank, Malaysian food does not tend to follow. After all, what does the folksy street food of South East Asia have to do with an illustrious suburb in Melbourne? As it turns out, Ayam Chef fits right in with its bright and modern interior, fitted out with lots…

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Penang Laksa House

Penang Laksa House and I got off on the wrong foot. Why? Because it sits on the grave of one of my favourite places for yum cha and Cantonese dinners – The Treasure. Still, it’s there, so I may as well make the most of it and give it a go. The feedback may be lukewarm but stranger things have happened. Though the outside is more or less the same, I could barely recognise the interior. The menu however is a bit too familiar for comfort. Despite there being classic Malaysian hawker dishes available, there is also a disconcerting amount of Cantonese dishes, and worse still, westernise Asian. It doesn’t come cheap either; at $26 for a prawn omelette, it’s…

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Allow me to be a bit gross for a moment. Although my wisdom teeth came out without a hitch, I am left with stitches in the bottom half of my mouth, and an empty tooth socket in the top half. Though I only got the right side taken out and will have to go back later down the track to get the left ones taken out, I do get to enjoy the perks of having solids just a day after my operation. I found out soon enough however that rice gets stuck in tooth sockets awfully easily, and this meal at Malaymas cemented that unfortunate fact.

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Quail is one of those delicious but under-utilised meats. Thankfully places like Mabrown exists. Instead of being the same-same and specialising in fried chicken, this place is treated as a fried quail pit stop by most punters. But they do actually do other dishes as well, though you wouldn’t be able to tell it from most diners’ tables. The food here carries a south-east Asian influence, and that’s what I’m here to check out today, along with the fried quail of course.

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Laksa Bar

Laksa Bar has been around for a while, and had even stirred up a bit of a hype in the first months of opening. However, I’ve never been crazy for laksa like I’ve been for other noodle soups (such as ramen and pho), which is fair enough, because unlike pizza, bad laksa is just bad. I’ve had one too many greasy, bland noodle soups to try my hand at another potentially mediocre laksa, but sometimes the stars line up with the tastebuds, and I find myself willing to give this relationship another go.

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Mr Loys Puff

When I travelled to Malaysia and Singapore two summers back, I spent every available moment stuffing my face with the delicacies on offer. Whilst it didn’t take too long for my stomach to rebel against the never-ending litany of food, I had enough time to eat up all of my favourites – Hainanese chicken rice, fried kweh teow, roti soaked in curry sauce, steaming hot bowls of laksa. But what left me with the deepest impression was a heavenly curry puff I had from a street side vender, the flaky pastry stuffed full of spiced lamb chunks and fluffy potato. I’ve yet to find an equivalent in Melbourne, but Mr Loys Puff seemed as good of a place to start…

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