Being a fan of Malaysian food, it’s a little unfortunate that there aren’t very many Malaysian restaurants downtown. Having heard great things about Restoran Malaysia in Richmond Hill, I finally made the trek up north to satisfy my craving.
Restoran Malaysia is located on the southeast corner of Bayview and Major Mackenzie. After walking through their doors, I was shocked at how large the space was. I’m not sure how busy it gets during their peak hours or weekends but I don’t think you’d have a problem getting a seat here.
The flavours of Malaysian food are heavily influenced by Chinese and Indian cuisines, both of which I really enjoy. Reading through the menu, you can definitely see their influences.
Restoran Malaysia has quite an extensive menu of non-alcoholic drinks with a large selection of juice and slushies. The guys went with the Malay Kopi Tariki – Malay coffee with condensed milk, evaporated milk and pulled to perfection ($5.50 hot/$6.50 cold), one hot and the other cold. The “pulled” to perfection that the menu advertises refers to the process of repeatedly pouring the drink back and forth between two containers which gives it a frothy top.
I preferred the cold version a little better since it was less sweet. To be honest, I’d prefer a Vietnamese coffee or HK style milk tea instead which would not only taste better but also cost me less than half the price…
My friend Jo went with the Mango Milkshake ($4). I didn’t try any but she commented that it was more like a slushie as opposed to a milkshake.
To start off the meal, we ordered the Roti Canai with Curry Chicken ($8.50). Other curry options include curry beef, mutton, vegetarian dhall sauce or condensed milk for something on the sweet side. The curry chicken wasn’t anything to write home about (it also came out a little lukewarm) but the roti…oh the ridiculously delicious roti!
If you’re going to order one thing from Restoran Malaysia, it’s gotta be the roti canai. The roti is light, fluffy, a little sweet and has a nice chewy texture to it. Don’t let it get cold though… I made the mistake of saving a little bit of mine for later and it just doesn’t taste the same cold. All the curries come with two pieces of roti. Since we had four people, we ordered two extra orders of roti for $2 each.
Next up was the Black Peppered Beef Kuay Teow – with beef tenderloin, egg, black pepper, bean sprouts and flat rice noodles ($10). The dish is pretty similar to the Chinese stir-fried thick rice noodle dish… not that I’m complaining. I just would’ve preferred a dish that was more Malay-influenced as opposed to Chinese since Malaysian food isn’t very plentiful downtown.
While the noodles were a touch oily, I thought it was a pretty solid noodle dish which had a generous amount of beef. Actually, the entire dish was shockingly large. This dish alone could’ve filled me and Mike up, no problem.
Another carb dish we ordered was the Nasi Goreng (aka Indonesian fried rice) –with chicken, shrimp, mixed vegetables, fried egg and shrimp chips ($10). Similar to the Kuay Teow noodles, this was an enormous portion which would easily feed me for days. In fact, it did…we had a lot of leftovers!
I’ve never had this fried rice dish before so I don’t really have a comparison. Nevertheless, I thought it was a pretty tasty fried rice dish which had a little bit of sweetness to it. The rice had vegetables of the frozen variety mixed into it and was all topped with a perfectly fried egg with a still-runny yolk.
The last entrée-type dish we ordered was the Beef Rendang Minangkabau – Galangal-grisek (toasted coconut), lemon grass, turmeric, shallot, lemon leaf ($13). If you’re not a fan of beef, you can order the rendang with chicken instead.
The one thing I know about rendang curry is that it’s supposed to be quite spicy. However, even for someone who doesn’t have a high spice tolerance, I didn’t find this to be spicy at all. For those who like it hot, Restoran Malaysia’s toned down spice levels won’t do it for you.
The rendang is a chunky curry and contained very intense flavours. I could tell the meat had been cooking for a while since the beef was incredibly tender. While I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the flavours, my friends really enjoyed it.
For some greens, we ordered the Belacan Green Beans – with shrimp ($10). Initially we wanted the Belacan Water Glory (Kangkung) but unfortunately they were all out. Anyway, the green beans were well sautéed with the beans still retaining their crunch. My only complaint was that it was a little too oily.
For dessert, we went with the Goring Pisang – fried banana fritters, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream ($6). You have the option of getting the fritters with mango or coconut ice cream instead for an extra $2.
In my opinion, I’d just forgo this dessert altogether. The fritters weren’t fried well as they weren’t really crispy. It just tasted like mush in my mouth. My favourite place for banana fritters has to be Hawker Bar. In hindsight, we should’ve just ordered the roti with condensed milk for dessert.
We ordered a second dessert, the Bubur Pulut Hitam – rice pudding made from black glutinous rice, sweetened with palm sugar and served with coconut cream ($5). It was a decent dessert but we found it just a little too sweet for our liking.
The meal started off strong but unfortunately didn’t end the same way as it doesn’t seem like their desserts are one of their strong points. Overall, I think it’s a great spot to eat if you live in the area but since I live downtown, I thought the only thing worth the drive was the roti canai.
At a glance:
• Located at Bayview and Major Mackenzie in Richmond Hill
• The roti canai is a must order
• Wasn’t a fan of the desserts
• Closed on Mondays
• Really large space – shouldn’t be a problem getting a table
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3.5 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars