This past saturday some friends and I (about 9 total) had dinner at the Malaysia restaurant at 6163 Wilcrest (just south of Harwin). This place prepares VERY delicious Malaysian as well as Indonesian food. The decor was plain, the prices were cheap, and the food was great. In short - the perfect CHOWHOUND haunt!
The menu states that it is home of "world famous" Hainanese Chicken, but to be honest it was one of the most plain dishes we ate. It was basically a steamed chicken with rice. If you like chicken, I think you would be better off ordering the Ayam Goreng Kalasan chicken, an Indonesian fried chicken dish. It was VERY good with an unusual flavor which struck me as sweetish with anise or five spice flavor.
The two appetizers we had were really fantastic. The first was the Nasi Lemak, basically a mound of silky, creamy coconut milk rice surrounded by a red sauce and an assortment of "stuff" (chicken and beef curry, eggs, veggies, and tiny tiny whole dried fish). This was creamy, flavorful and delicious. We also tried the Gado Gado Jakarta, a stir fried vegetable salad served with a creamy peanut sauce (similar to spring roll sauce served at Vietnameese restaurants). The rest of the table seemed to prefer the Gado Gado, but I really liked the Nasi Lemak, for its flavor and "unusualness."
We also shared several main courses, most of which were delicious, some of which were very unusual. My personal favorite was the beef Rendang, a fiery Indonesian dish with chunks of beef cooked in and served with a very potent hot chili/curry type sauce. This dish was full of flavor, and the beef was very tender, but do NOT order it unless you can handle pretty spicy food. The Belacan Fish was one of the more unusual Malaysian dishes. A medium size whole fish covered with pungent shrimp paste and cooked wrapped in a banana leaf, I found the dish to be very tasty, with medium spice/heat. It was difficult to pick through the small bones. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the Spicy Toasted Jumbo Shrimp. This was like a fried shrimp dish, except the shrimp were fried with the shell on! The flavor was garlicky and pleasant (not overly spicy), but much of the flavor was lost if you just peeled the shrimp and ate them, as opposed to gnawing them a bit first. The salted fish with bean sprouts was mostly sprouts with only a few small chunks of salted fish sprinkled on top. The stir fried sprouts were actually very delicious, but the chunks of salted fish were WAY too strong for most of us. VERY fishy, VERY, VERY salty. Finally, the Fook Kien Stir Fried Noodle were stir fried chow fun type rice noodles, with some vegetables and light seasoning and sauce. I really enjoyed this dish, but I'm a big fan of the chow fun rice noodles.
Our server ended our meal with a warm sweet rice soup dessert which I enjoyed, but which several of us (including my wife) found a bit too funky to be enjoyed (I had hers). All in all, this was a really great place with a very wide and interesting menu. We greatly enjoyed most of what we tried, and I plan to return soon as there were several interesting items for which we just didn't have room!
If anyone else has eaten here or tries this place in the near future, please post and let me know what you think...