Over the years I’ve waxed lyrical about my love of Malaysian food. One of my favourite dishes (Malaysian or otherwise) is Char Kway Teow and if you’ve been reading along for any length of time, it makes regular appearances in TIFFIN. Another fave is the curry and flat bread meal known as Roti Canai. Indeed one of my earliest posts is named ‘In Search of the Elusive Roti Canai’. Roti Canai is a curry with only a few small pieces of meat because the emphasis is on the roti and sauce combination rather than the meat. The roti is actually a flaky, layered flat bread rather than the flat, unleavened roti we think of when we order Indian. I’m therefore delighted to be bringing you a couple of Malaysian lunch sized adventures.
I’m fairly sure that Ipoh Laksa is the same business that used to be in Chinatown and was called ‘Singapore Lah Chicken Rice’. Great name for a business, pity it didn’t last. Now with a catchier name and new digs, I’ve wanted to go to Ipoh Laksa for so long but it’s not very handy to anything, located in a bit of a no man’s land stretch at the Gabba. One Saturday though, we were out and about and travelling right past so took the long overdue opportunity to visit. After a look at the menu to pretend there was any other choice, Char Kway Teow ($14.50) and Roti Canai ($13.50) were the order of the day. The Char Kway Teow was perfect with fat, flat rice noodles nicely charred from the wok. With plenty of prawns, chicken and pork nestled in amongst the smoky noodles, the dish was enormous. It should have been the only dish we ordered but the die had already cast. The Roti Canai was dark and spicy and also a generous portion though with nowhere near enough bread for me. Enjoyable enough but the Char Kway Teow reigned supreme in kitchen stadium this time around. Really, there was too much food for lunch and we couldn’t do it justice.
The owner couldn’t have been friendlier, or happier to have us as customers on a Saturday lunch time. Apart from another duo who arrived whilst we were eating, we were the only other customers. There were lots of other great looking options on the Ipoh Laksa menu including a great sounding Rendang. When we’ve driven past in the evening, things are much busier so if you have the time, I’d suggest lunch but go as a group.
Fun Fact: Ipoh is a state in Malaysia.
738 main St
Kangaroo Point Qld 4169
A few weeks ago I had a rare hour in the middle of my working week to leave my building and venture across to Emporium. It’s looking fairly sad these days a many shops have moved into Gasworks and James St but this has opened up opportunities for new players. Wandering along, I spied Roti Chenai Malaysian and a quick peruse of the menu offered up my old friend Roti Canai. Yes, I know it’s confusing having a restaurant called Roti Chenai and a dish called Roti Canai but they are in fact one and the same so it really doesn’t matter too much how you pronounce it. It’s all about the eating. Of course, I had to order it (obvs), this time as a takeaway. I had the option of 2 pieces of roti + a small serve of chicken, lamb or dahl curry. After a very short wait, which was the time it took to make the bread, I had my curry and roti wrapped in many layers of foil to keep it warm on the short walk back to work. My, it was good. The sauce was thin and well spiced with the tiniest tingle on the tongue and lips and the generous serve of roti was enough to gobble some as soon as I unpeeled the foil with plenty remaining to mop up the sauce.
It was so good that last week, when a friend suggested lunch on the spur of the moment, we found ourselves back at Roti Chenai, dining in. Again I went for the lamb and she opted for the dahl. It was a repeat performance of my takeaway lunch with the added bonus of a larger bowl of sauce. Of course, there are other dishes including a selection of Southern Indian (Tamil) dishes but why tinker with success? I have to try to stay away from Emporium as the lure of a $10 Roti Canai at the drop of the hat is strong and though it’s delicious, it does nothing for the waistline or budget.
Fun Fact: The owners of Roti Chenai also own a sister restaurant in Wellington, NZ with the same name.
Shop 52 Emporium
1000 Ann St
Fortitude Valley Qld 4006