HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >

Malaysian Restaurant in Montreal?

Eleniel May 2, 2009 08:04 AM

Since moving to Montreal 3 yrs ago from Malaysia. I have yet to hear or know about any Malaysian restaurants in Montreal. I read that Nantha Kumar opened up a new place but then the post was in 2007. And his food/menu look confused with too much Thai and Indian, it hardly qualifies as Malaysian.

Anyone knows if there are any Malaysian good eats in Montreal? I don't want to travel 6 hrs to get to a Malaysian restaurant in Toronto. Will someone PLEASE open an authentic Malaysian restaurant in Montreal. It's about time Montrealers taste food like Char Kuey Teow, Penang Prawn Mee, Curry Mee, Assam Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Fish Head Curry, Mamak Mee Goreng and Nyonya treasures like Perut Ikan, Joo Hoo Char, Kapitan Chicken Curry, Inche Cabin Chicken, Fish Maw Soup, the different Kerabu salads and I could go on and on and on.

I'll even pitch in the kitchen if need be, dammit.

- A very deprived Malaysian foodie.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. kpzoo RE: Eleniel May 2, 2009 08:38 AM

    I agree. Had incredible Malaysian food last year at Banana Leaf in Vancouver and have been craving their caramelized black cod ever since. So you're not alone!

    4 Replies
    1. re: kpzoo
      Eleniel RE: kpzoo May 2, 2009 09:52 PM

      I am sure it tastes great, what spices were used in it? Is Banana Leaf a Malaysian restaurant with an Indian influence? My favorite Indian food when I go back to Malaysia is eating curried rice on a banana leaf with an assortment of sides....deep fried spiced fish..Mmmm...

      1. re: Eleniel
        kpzoo RE: Eleniel May 3, 2009 10:40 AM

        Hiya, I don't know the cuisine well enough to know whether there was any Indian influence, but you can see the whole menu here: http://bananaleaf-vancouver.com/
        The black cod dish is described as: "Alaskan black cod steak topped with "Malaysian black sweet sauce" (Kicap Manis) with caramelized ginger, garlic & shallot, enriched by Chinese wine." It was so good we went back and had it twice!

        I didn't have enough patience to wait for the Nonya Flash (sigh) site to load so I don't know if it has anything remotely similar on the menu.

        1. re: kpzoo
          Eleniel RE: kpzoo May 3, 2009 02:18 PM

          Oh my...why oh why can't a place like that exist in Montreal. I was almost in tears when I see the word "Gulai".

          Definite a must try if I visit Vancouver!

      2. re: kpzoo
        Andria RE: kpzoo May 19, 2009 06:03 PM

        Ooooh... Banana Leaf! I love that place! Their Black Peppercorn Garlic Sauce Crab is incredibly tasty. I visit every time I go to Vancouver.

      3. s
        sockhead RE: Eleniel May 2, 2009 09:30 AM

        I'd love to know too! My dad is Malaysian-Chinese, and I visited family in KL last year. Food was great!

        1 Reply
        1. re: sockhead
          Eleniel RE: sockhead May 2, 2009 09:51 PM

          I know, Malaysia is a treasure trove of good food! :)

        2. hungryann RE: Eleniel May 2, 2009 07:00 PM

          I don't think there is a big enough Malay community to support it but personally I am all for it. I crave Char Kway Teow and Laksa since my 2007 trip there. It was a foodie's paradise!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Eleniel
            hungryann RE: Eleniel May 3, 2009 02:26 PM

            Sorry, I thought it could be used as an adjective, similar to "the Malay language".

          2. m
            moh RE: Eleniel May 2, 2009 07:04 PM

            Well, there is Nonya:


            They are officially an Indonesian restaurant, but they have a few of the dishes you are interested in, as you can see from their website. I have not yet been, but some friends went recently and really enjoyed it.

            Your other option: Cookbook of the Month on the Home Cooking is Cradle of Flavour: Home cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Start making it on your own and join in. I've seen a lot of the ingredients in various Montreal stores, and will be searching out a few soon.

            4 Replies
            1. re: moh
              Eleniel RE: moh May 2, 2009 09:50 PM

              I do make my own Malaysian favorites but sadly, they are not dishes I would make often because they can be tedious in its preparation. It is true that I can get most ingredients in Montreal but there was a shortage of Belachan the past year. I remedied that by buying a few blocks when I was back visiting in Msia.

              I have not tried Nonya yet, I have been meaning to. I am sure they have some offerings that will cure some of my Malaysian cravings since Indonesia and Malaysia uses pretty much the same spices in their cooking. Have you been to Nonya?

              1. re: Eleniel
                Plateaumaman RE: Eleniel May 3, 2009 11:27 AM

                Nonya is a good Indonesian restaurant so you'll find some of your favourite dishes there. It's not cheap though and I am still driven to make my own roti canai at home. I've found the best variety of Malaysian restaurants not to be in Toronto at all but a 6.5-7 hour drive away in New York City. There are a lot of wonderful places there. There just isn't a big enough Malaysian community here to start a restaurant, I guess. I know sometimes Indonesian students will offer cooking services/traiteur - perhaps some Malaysian students do the same? And there is no harm in going to Cash 'n' Curry on Duluth and speaking to Nantha .. his food is Malaysian, might as well try it.

                1. re: Plateaumaman
                  Eleniel RE: Plateaumaman May 3, 2009 02:20 PM

                  I tried making my own roti canai once. While it looks pretty authentic when I took a picture of it but it wasn't fluffy. I can't do the whole "canai" action that makes roti canai crispy and fluffy. It tastes okay but the bread was heavy, at least 5 times heavier than it should be ...sigh! But I haven't given up yet. :)

                  I'll definitely try Nonya and check out Nantha soon. I need to get a fix!

                  1. re: Eleniel
                    Plateaumaman RE: Eleniel May 3, 2009 06:22 PM

                    Don't forget to try some of the tom yum soups in Vietnamese or Thai places. Lots of galangal and lemon grass in those to soothe the soul. And you can ask for added coconut milk, makes it more laksa-esque. You can also buy the paste for home cooking .. it's pretty addictive.

            2. p
              phoitack RE: Eleniel May 19, 2009 11:36 AM

              I am a Malaysian who just arrived in Montreal two weeks ago and I am looking for a Malaysian restaurant. Could not find any until Google led me to this chat site. THanks for the Nonya reference. I'll try it out sometime. BTW, is there a Malaysian Association in Montreal? I am a McGil Post-Doc. Sent an email to the Malaysian Singaporean Student Association here but the email bounced! Let me know if anyone here knows.



              1. c
                celfie RE: Eleniel May 19, 2009 08:04 PM

                I saw a malaysian restaurant in st henri the other day on my way to home depot. I wasnt driving or paying attention, but rest assured, it is there

                2 Replies
                1. re: celfie
                  westaust RE: celfie May 19, 2009 08:08 PM

                  saw it as well the other day, on st-antoine between rose de lima and home depot, but sorry don't recall the name or the exact location

                  1. re: westaust
                    SnackHappy RE: westaust May 20, 2009 05:12 AM

                    It's not Malaysian, it's Cantonese and it's not that good. The sign says Malaysian and Szechuan, but that must be leftover from some former owners, because the place is just standard Montreal Cantonese.


                2. w
                  wapiti RE: Eleniel May 20, 2009 08:52 AM

                  Cash & Cari sometimes offers a Malaysian dish or two, but I'd call first to check. Sadly, the Mee Goreng wasn't happening upon last visit in March.
                  68, ave. Duluth E., 514 284-4696.

                  1. keelo RE: Eleniel Jun 10, 2009 10:03 PM

                    Malaysia Boleh! There is nothing in Montreal that is anything similar to anything you'll find in Malaysia. Indigenous Malay or even Chinese-Malaysian, I have to wait every other year when I travel to KL to enjoy all my favorites!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: keelo
                      bomobob RE: keelo Jun 11, 2009 05:54 AM

                      I agree. It's one of the world's great cuisines, and it's sadly absent in Montreal. Nothing even comes close. Nonya...maybe a little, but I'm not a big fan. Homemade is the only way to go. Singapour tries to lean that way a bit, but in the end it's much more Chinese than anything really Malay.

                      1. re: bomobob
                        hungryann RE: bomobob Jun 11, 2009 07:55 AM

                        Wow, a blast from the past. I had forgooten about Singapour. I actually thought it had closed down ages ago; but, yes, it is more chinese.

                    2. PogoPoutine RE: Eleniel Jun 11, 2009 09:57 AM

                      If you would settle for a two-hour drive, I enjoyed Chahaya Malaysia in Ottawa http://www.chow.com/places/37228 when I used to live near its old location, and it still seems to have good reviews.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: PogoPoutine
                        bomobob RE: PogoPoutine Jun 12, 2009 07:04 AM

                        YES!!! I entirely forgot.

                        I've eaten at this place a couple of times, and while it's a bit out of central Ottawa, the food is fantastic. And much closer than Toronto's Mata-Hari.

                      2. karlcow RE: Eleniel Jul 26, 2013 04:02 PM

                        A couple of years ago, Pho Saigon VIP has changed their menu. I wonder if the cook is from Malaysia or Singapore, because now the menu includes some dishes from there.

                        Unfortunately still no good Malaysian restaurant in Montreal. My two favorite items being: roti canai and assam laksa (from Penang).

                        The photo is my last assam laksa in a small street restaurant in Singapore in May 2013.

                        1. l
                          lagatta RE: Eleniel Jul 26, 2013 06:03 PM

                          I know that while there are similarities among the ingredients and flavour profiles, Indo food is not the same as Malaysian. I will point out Mia, tapas indonésiens, 350 rue de Castelnau E. in Villeray just north of the Jean-Talon Market.

                          And I miss Nantha! Yes, it was perhaps too much pan-Asian fusion, but it was very good.

                          1. s
                            Siumaieater RE: Eleniel Jul 27, 2013 08:20 AM

                            The closest you will find is Satay Brothers, albeit more on the singaporean side of things. The business is based on the food of the owners' singaporean mother. You will find fantastic Laksa Lemak and satay at their summer location (atwater market). Make sure to get some of their homemade sambal oelek on the side. It has that pungent shrimp smell you would find in a malaystyle sambal. Their dessert, kueh (or kuih) is also very good. However, the restaurant truly shines after the summer, when they are open in their indoor restaurant and have a more complete/changing menu, with daily specialties that change. The thing is, they don't have wok capacity in their summer location and their mee goreng is to die for.

                            Show Hidden Posts