Sydney has become quite infatuated with Malaysian food over the last year, but The Malaya down on King Street Wharf has been serving up this flavoursome cuisine to Sydneysiders for around 50 years now. My first visit to The Malaya was last year for a work Christmas lunch where we had the banquet menu and I had been pleasantly surprised by their tasty chilli bean sprouts and garlic chives dish.
Tonight, I returned to preview their Good Food Month offering which is part of the Food Art & Films by the Wharf. At this event, diners at participating restaurants along King Street Wharf will be rewarded with a free beverage and a complimentary movie tickets to use at the free outdoor cinema outside Cargo Bar during the month of October. From Monday-Saturday for lunch during October, The Malaya is dishing up a two course meal for $45 per person (min 2 people-max 8 people) which includes: salt and pepper prawns, kapitan chicken, coconut beef rendang and my favourite chilli bean sprouts and garlic chives served with steamed rice.
We start off with the Salt and Pepper Prawns, which are encased in a rather thick batter and seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, chilli and shallots. The prawns themselves are succulent, but I find that the flavouring got too salty after eating a couple of them.
Salt and pepper prawns
Next up was the Chilli Bean Sprouts with Garlic Chives which lived up to my memory of it from last year. It is a fresh, simple dish of vegies including snow peas but they stir fry it in an addictive garlic soy sauce and chilli, which is also soaked up by the shredded Chinese mushroom pieces tossed into the mix.
Chilli bean sprouts with garlic chives
We moved onto the mains with the Kapitan Chicken curry which featured lightly battered pieces of chicken in a Panang Style curry made with fresh chilli and coconut milk. This was very tasty; the curry was quite moreish and although it doesn’t usually come with roti, our hosts had insisted that we get some to mop up all the delicious sauce.
Kapitan chicken with roti
The other curry of the night was the Beef Rendang, which is an Indonesian style curry made with a dry coconut base. It was quite fragrant and had a much thicker consistency than the Kapitan Chicken. While the meat fell apart easily enough, it was a bit drier than I preferred.
The Malaya is definitely the upmarket answer to all the cheap and cheerful Malaysian restaurants around town these days, with a stunning view of King Street Wharf and the prices to match the classy decor. I’m a fan of the Food Arts and Films by the Wharf idea, to attract more people to this scenic part of Sydney and make the most of the fantastic views by hosting food themed outdoor movie sessions to celebrate Good Food Month on the Promenade outside Cargo Bar. It’s a good excuse to try out the restaurants at King Street Wharf and be rewarded for it with freebies to foodie movies like No Reservations, Ratatouille and Julie and Julia screening on various Thursdays/Fridays in October.
Food, Art & Films by The Wharf will be held from 1-31 October. Visit the King Street Wharf website for more information.
39 Lime Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9279 1170