Guys, my second post for the Malaysia Kitchen Bloggers summit is up here! Please take the time to visit the site and “like” my post (the “like” button is at the bottom of the page!). And for those who haven’t voted for the first review, please please please visit the first review here to vote for it 🙂 The top three bloggers with the most votes win a trip to Malaysia so I would be forever grateful if you could spare a minute to vote for me! 🙂
For my second Malaysia Kitchen review, I thought that I’d try a local that I’d driven past many times when living in the area. A small shopfront along busy Blackburn Rd means that it’s easy to miss, Lim’s Nyonya Hut is an unassuming Malaysian treasure in the south-eastern suburbs.
With a dining area smaller than my living room, the tables are artfully arranged to allow diners to navigate the floor with relative ease, and during the daylight hours the small restaurant is flooded with natural light which creates a lovely and spacious feel. Decorated with cultural bits such as a traditional costume and plates, it feels very much like you could be in someone’s home and waiting to share a meal with them.
The menu is one of those laminated cardboard jobs so it appears to be fixed, but that doesn’t mean you suffer for lack of choice. Covering the standard expectations such as char kuey teow, mee goreng and laksas, there are quite a few things here to try.
We were fortunate enough to attend on a day when they had popiahs on offer, so my mother and I ordered one each to give them a go. Whilst appearing similar to a Vietnamese rice paper role, it definitely took us by surprise – the wrapper is incredibly thin yet does a commendable job containing the grated turnip, jicama, veggies and meat. Already wrapped in with a sweet and salty sauce, it was a great way to lead into my second ever Malaysian dining experience!
My mother felt completely out of her depth with this menu as she had never had Malaysian food before, so she turned to the one dish on the menu that she recognized by name – Singapore style noodles. While this is a dish that she orders quite frequently at our favourite local Chinese restaurant, what arrived at the table took us both by complete surprise. The fresh lettuce and bean shoots were additions that we’d never encountered before in this dish, but didn’t really add or detract from it overall as there was so little of it. The sauce was definitely spicier than we were used to but still quite tasty (albiet somewhat on the salty side) and we managed to get through half the plate!
The only complaint that either of us had with this dish was that the menu had said “prawns“, yet when it arrived we were dismayed to find only a single lonely prawn hidden underneath the noodles 🙁
I was quite keen to try the mi goreng myself as I had only ever had the packet variety of this dish (as I’m sure many Uni students around the country are familiar with), and what arrived at the table was a delightful surprise. Beautiful plump noodles coated in a fragrant and spicy sauce, it was a wonderful mish-mash of vegetable and chicken. While it was absolutely nothing like the Indomie Mi Goreng that I’m familiar with, I’m happy to say that I am a convert to the real stuff now!
The last main that we ordered simply for the sake of the experience was the assam laksa. Unfortunately, I regretted this decision as soon as the dish arrived at the table. While the broth tasted lovely, the smell of fish was so incredibly overwhelming that my mother developed a headache from it.
Now, my mother and I are both utterly mad for all seafood – whether it be fish, squid, shellfish or crustacean – we are happy to have it all. However, in all my years of cooking with seafood and enjoying it out, I’ve never had a dish before me with so pungent a smell that I just couldn’t bear it.
And considering the fact that we love a spicy Korean dish which has stock made from simmered fish head and bones, that’s definitely saying something…
However, in order to make sure that the meal ended on a positive note, we decided to try a few Malaysian sweets as we were quite curious to see what they would be like. Asian cuisine as a general rule doesn’t have much in the way of desserts, so I was keen to give these a try. The front wall of the restaurant even bears these adorable little signs with ticks and crosses to show you what desserts are available on any given day.
While the board declared that the ondeh ondeh were off the menu, the waitress assured me that they were indeed available so I happily made these my first choice. While I’d never seen them before, I had seen them for sale at my local Asian grocer and always wondered what they were!
Turns out that this was one of my best ideas of the afternoon. Adorable little pandan-flavoured mochi balls – they are rolled in coconut and filled with melted palm sugar which explodes in your mouth with sweet caramell-y goodness. In fact, these were so loved that we ordered another serve of these to take home with us!
We also ordered the Indonesian layer cake and the penang lapis as these were also sweets that we had seen around and always been curious about.
The Indonesian layer cake was an absolute sight to behold. While from afar it appears as an unassuming slice of stripey brown cake, it is incredibly soft and moist. Not too sweet, it went down quite quickly till we were left with one final bite that neither of us ended up in case the other wanted it (mind you, we only realized this after we had left!)
The penang lapis was tasty but just a bit strange to our tastebuds. It didn’t appear to have any real flavour to it other than general sweetness, and while the vivid colours were beautiful, there was something about the texture that didn’t sit right with us. It wasn’t exactly creamy, wasn’t fluffy, wasn’t sticky but a combination of all three of these. While we couldn’t figure out what it had been made with, I later discovered that it was a steamed rice flour cake which suddenly made sense as far as the texture was concerned.
All in all, I can recommend Lim’s Nyonya Hut as being a great cheap eat in Glen Waverley, and was quite happy to have had my second Malaysia Kitchen dining experience here!