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Malaysian Curry at South Asia Malaysian Cuisine

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I thought I'd take my mom out for Malaysian for lunch after BokChoi's post about Lucky Curry. My mom is from Penang. We got to Metro square and then my mom remembers she has already eaten there before and said it wasn't very good so we decided to go elsewhere. My mom recommended a new Malaysian restaurant she had been to once last week. Its on Midland, north of Finch (Just North of Szechuan Legend/Fantasy eatery). its a brand new plaza and not much shops are open except this and I believe a Vietnamese restaurant.

I won't give much of a "review" because I am bad at comparing different places so I'll just post a few lousy cell phone pics and some very general thoughts.

Front of restaurant, view from inside.
http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/2135...
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/925/...

Lunch special menu: (most dishes 5.99, 6.99, 7.99)
http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/4784...
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/4827...
http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/7852...
http://img2.imageshack.us/img2/5792/i...
http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/517/...

Curry laksa with seafood: http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/6316... ( we wanted asam laksa, the sour one, but ordered the wrong dish by accident

)

Curry beef brisket with roti: http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/9610/i...

Taste: Both dishes tasted very good. Roti was a bit chewy (good) and not very oily. Both dishes tasted very good. Roti was a bit chewy (good), not very oily.

-One thing I'd note is that the squid in the curry was so tender that it really surprised me, it looks like the standard "criss-cross cut" squid you always see.

- Not much heat, both dishes very mild.

- My mom mentioned she had Nasi Goreng (fried rice) last time which was VERY good.

I will be back at lunch tomorrow with my girlfriend to try more dishes (Bak Ku Teh and Hainanese Chicken rice are on my mind right now, and the satay for sure).

This post is inspired by BokChoi and I will still try the Lucky Curry place one day!

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  1. Overall, I believe your dining experience at this new restaurant was a pleasant one. However, this is also the SAME RESTAURANT that fellow cher ' Wetnose' called a 'fraud' and the food 'rubbish'!! Interesting isn't it?!

    23 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Interesting, I just searched that thread and had no idea this restaurant had been around for so long! I thought it was a brand new restaurant.

      Anyways, I guess that just means I should read this board more closely as I'm sure there are lots of other things I've been missing. For the record, when I feel like Malaysian I usually either head to gourmet garden or the stall in First Markham Place. I remember a visit to Toronto years ago, before I moved here, where my parents took me to a Malaysian "restaurant" which was actually a guys house where he served food without a license. Of course it was very illegal but an interesting experience! I don't remember wherei t was, somewhere downtown, second story house... do any of you know what I'm talking about? There were 2 or 3 tables set up in the living room and one room was converted into a karaoke room.

      1. re: szw

        Please tell us what you or your mom think about the chicken rice as 'wetnose' gives it a 1/10. Not sure what 'wetnose' thinks about the one at Lion City as he/she just disappeared afterward...so my question is never answered...

        1. re: skylineR33

          Hi skylineR33, is this Lion City 獅城? If so, I have tried their 海南雞飯 dish; it was very good. I'm not sure how authentic it is, as they don't just serve Malaysian food, but Thai as well. The 海南雞飯 is excellent, and only $7.00. Service is glacial though.

          I'm not really a master of this style of cuisine, so perhaps someone else would be more able to answer.

          1. re: skylineR33

            Hay skylineR33. Where is Lion City?!
            BTW, went to 'Good Taste Shanghai Cuisine' at Commerce Gate tonight. It was packed, with lines forming outside!. Even so, food was pretty good. Will give it another try during a weekday when its not that busy. Hope to see their FULL potential then!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Hi Charles_Yu,

              If skylineR33 and I are thinking of the same place, it's at:

              1177 Central Parkway West
              Mississauga, ON L5C 4P3

              1. re: tjr

                Wow! Too far for me just to try out their chicken rice! Gasoline alone will cost more than the dish!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  I've been in search for good Hainan Chicken rice here. My complaint about Lion City is that the quality of the chicken itself is not very flavourful. If they could switch to using better quality chicken (like the "yellow fat" free range ones), it would definitely be my place of choice.

                  Nevertheless, I still try to eat there every time I go to Mississauga.

                2. re: tjr

                  Yes, this is the one I talk about. The chef is a woman from Singapore. They have tried to open up a second branch at First Markham Place 7-8 years ago, at Ngau Kee's location (Ngau Kee has closed and replaced by a new one around one month ago). But the food at the FMP location was not as good because the chef cannot maintain 2 locations at the same time.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    So the FMP food court stall closed down? Is that the one that had nice CKT? Hmm.. I might have to find an excuse to go out to Mississauga again... my last experience there years ago was forgettable.

                    1. re: vincechan

                      Hi vincechan, no, the one in the food court is not closed down. I don't think it has any relationship with Lion City of Mississauga.

                      The location I am talking about is at the outside of First Markham Place, on the same side as V2 wonton noodle. it was once a branch of Lion City, but was closed down a few years ago.

                3. re: Charles Yu

                  Hey Charles, is this the same "Good Taste" that I reviewed here?

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/563589

                  It was pretty bad the one time I went, but perhaps they've turned things around (or else we had completely different dishes). Do you let us know what you have that's worthy, since good authentic Shanghainese places are still hard to come by.

                  I've also learned by experience that a "busy" chinese resto in GTA doesn't always equate to great food. :)

                  1. re: Royaljelly

                    Hi Royaljelly, I have tried Good Taste a few times. I have not tried all their dishes but the ordinary one like Wok-fried eel pieces, Lion Head, dan dan noodle, Vegetarian Goose (素鵝), etc are quite good and recommended. The Shanghai soup dumpling (Xiao Long Bao) is also very good, lots of broth inside, except one time the Xiao Long Bao has almost no broth inside.

                    But stay away from drunken chicken.

                4. re: skylineR33

                  Went back today...had:

                  Pork Satay
                  Hainanese Chicken Rice
                  Okra in sambal
                  mee goreng

                  over impression of this trip was very lukewarm. Sambal was not nearly strong/spicy enough and the flavour was really lacking. If it were based on these dishes I would not return to the restaurant as it was OK but nothing special, and better Malaysian can be had elsewhere.

                  1. re: szw

                    Thanks for the review szw. Sorry to hear the second trip didn't live up to the first experience though. It would have been a great place to try. I guess it was inconsistent, eh? Let us know if you find something better, or have a chance to try Lucky Curry House and do a comparison. Lucky is great mainly because of the fabulous price of $6 a curry, and the close proximity to T&T that I frequent quite regularly. Give it a try sometime if you're in the area.

                5. re: szw

                  My gf and her family used to go there szw. She says its was one of the only places where you could get proper asam laksa.

                  1. re: szw

                    Is there a name for the stall at First Markham? Is it outside or in the food court?

                    If this is your other default, then for me this would be the third place to go for Malaysian (in the whole city) after Matahari and Gourmet Garden. Restauran malasia is too far for me.

                    1. re: neighborguy

                      The stall in First Markham is in the food court & is call Malay Thai.My fav. dish there is the Law Mee. Most authetic in the GTA. :-)

                      1. re: jesroyal

                        I have been reading with interest with regard to SAM . When this restaurant first opened many years ago this was indeed one of the better authetic Malaysian rest. in the GTA. Their Hainanese Chicken Rice was equal to those in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh & Peang in malaysia & in S'pore. Each &every component fr. the rice , chicken, soup & the chilli sauce were authetic & good. But sad to say original ownership changed & it has been downhill since.
                        Have not been there for sometime but went back last month just before they moved to the new location hoping that the food would be authetic but was disappointed again . Have to agreed with Wetnose review on SAM.
                        Food is very personalised esp. if one is trying a new one for the first time & that will be the taste that they will compare it with when they tried another rest. Funny eg. a friend of mine said he just tried malaysian food for the first time at Golden Elephant Rest.& he enjoyed & love the food.I then took him to Gourmet Garden & his opinion was that Gourmet Garden was not original & not as good as Golden Elephant. For those who know Malaysian food & have tried both rest. Golden is far far worse than SAM & Gourmet Garden is still one of the better malaysia rest. in the GTA

                        1. re: jesroyal

                          This is the one on the left side when facing the stage. There is another malaysian stall on the right side beside the korean stall, that one I would avoid.

                    2. re: Charles Yu

                      Heh, unfortunately you'd have to add me to the "fraud" side of the argument. I don't dispute whether it tastes good or not (as everyone has their own preference). However, I will definitely say the restaurant isn't authentic to the region's cuisine.

                      1. re: Wandering Foodie

                        "fraud" would be a bit too harsh. I'll just say it's not good south-east asian fare. Let's face it, there are good and bad cooks from south-east asia.. doesn't mean if you come from there, that it's authentic.... very much subjected to personal preference. South-East asian cuisine does have a strong impact on the taste buds, so there are those who crave more.. while others may accept a milder version.

                        Then there's the business aspect of what / who you're targeting as an audience.. how hot the chili.. spicy level etc...

                        Though SAM has seen its fair share of fans... it's also got a healthy number of naysayers (myself included). At best, this is a 50/50 place... and I remained unconvinced.. Gourmet Garden is still my regular fix place.. but I hope to learn more about other south-east asian cuisine in Toronto from ChowHound

                        1. re: vincechan

                          I went to SAM a week or so ago and posted on the last Malaysian thread. I was alone and only tried the chicken rice. I wouldn't say it was 1/10 because it isn't dreadful, it just isn't what you usually find in S'pore. I think perhaps they are adjusting either to their own tastes or those of some of their regulars who are used to the heavier, less subtle flavors usually served in chinese restaurants and food courts all over the GTA. I will at least give a nod to the marinated cucumbers (2 thin slivers) that was served with the chicken rice ... that is as authentic a S'pore side dish as it gets with Chicken Rice and theirs isn't bad. Mind you, marinating cucumbers in a soy based marinade shouldn't be too hard, I am was just happy to see it there. The chili and and ginger condiments are not up to par either so really with the flavour of the rice and the wrong condiments the dish was a bit of a bust right from the first bite. But like I said, it's not inedible, it's just not S'pore style chicken rice. Having looked around at the other dishes I would say that the portions are a little small for the price but smaller portions are the norm in S'pore and most of asia. The CKT didn't look very good and I have given up on trying it anywhere because I just get disappointed. I saw Singapore Style Vermicelli on the menu which is a real clue that the menu isn't authentic because it isn't a S'pore dish. But the curries looked promising so I will go back to give those a try. What I will say is that hawker stalls in S'pore all specialize in one or two dishes and restaurants here try to offer a full menu so every dish won't be a winner. I hope there is one winner at SAM but I am not holding my breath.

                          1. re: theel

                            Kudos for exposing the Singapore Vermicelli myth! LOL

                            If pushed for a Singapore noodle dish.. I typically turn to Hokkien Mee... since this thread is getting a lot of Malaysian / Singaporean cuisine enthusiasts... any suggestions on Singaporean style Hokkien Mee? Not the dark Malaysian style... the lighter color one quick braised in stock.. could be with 2 noodle variety. Any hopes of finding this dish in Toronto? I'm not over-the-hill happy with the version they serve @ Gourmet Garden.