Straits of Malacca

247 Chapel St, Prahran 3181
Date visited: 13th April 2012

Straits of Malacca is a new Malaysian restaurant that has just opened in February 2012.

Service was pretty slow on a Friday night.  We stood near the entrance and then near the cashier for a short while before anyone noticed and showed us seats.  We were given menus and water but no one came and took our orders for 15-20 minutes.  When the waiter finally did, he apologised.

The food came surprisingly quick in 10 minutes.

AS and I shared a Combination Hor Fun and Chicken Curry Laksa.

Combination Hor Fun $9.80
The char hor fun came with the traditional flat rice noodles and also rice vermicelli.  It was pretty average - the vermicelli was clumped, and there was a hint of the wok-hei (stir-fry) flavour that I love but not much, and taste-wise there just seemed to be that something lacking to make it great.

Curry Laksa $10.50
The curry laksa was quite nice, although I have to say I prefer the one at Kotaraya.  Again, it came with udon noodles as well as rice vermicelli.  The curry was mild and not very spicy at all.  Both dishes were huge - AS and I couldn't finish both, but we couldn't leave without trying their desserts :D

I have to admit the menus here are weird.  They give you the food and drink menu first, so if you don't ask, you wouldn't know they had a dessert menu as well.  We only knew because we saw the customers next to us ask for it.

Again, we sat there for 15 minutes trying to flag down a waiter.  

You are spoilt for choice dessert-wise - they have everything from traditional Malaysian desserts like bubur, Apam Balik, Malay kuih (cakes) to sundaes, crepes, gelatos and yoghurts :)

I actually wanted the Ice Kacang (shaved ice usually with red beans, palm seed, corn, grass jelly, agar agar, rose syrup, condensed milk, sarsi, and other various ingredients) that I saw listed under the drinks in the food menu.  This was odd, because it isn't a drink but a dessert.  What was on the dessert menu was the Ice Cendol (shaved ice with cendol aka green rice jellies, red beans, palm sugar, coconut milk and various ingredients) and not looking at the menus properly I ordered the Ice Cendol when I actually wanted the Ice Kacang.
Ice cendol $6.00
The shaved ice with palm sugar and coconut milk seemed to be a bit lacking in flavour and sweetness - perhaps too much milk and not enough palm sugar.  The cendol (green rice flour jelly) was a bit too chewy for my liking and the red beans not very sweet.

We also had the ketayap, which was crepe with sweet coconut filling served warm.  This was my favourite dish of the night.  The coconut filling was sweet and moist.  Although the crepe was slightly thick in some areas and lacked the pandan flavour that gives it that beautiful green colour, it was soft and moist.  I am almost mad at myself - we can get this in Malaysia for probably less than a quarter of the price here <sob and tear my hair out>, and it was never even one of my favourites in Malaysia, but sometimes that familiar taste of home is just something you need once in a while.
Ketayap $6.00

Overall, not bad, but not the best Malaysian food I've ever had.  Food came quickly and the waiters were polite and friendly, but it would be an extra plus if they could work on their speediness so that the customers didn't spend half the time waiting.

Straits of Malacca Malaysian (Prahran) on Urbanspoon
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  1. One of those ketayap/kuih dada in Malaysia costs only 40 CENTS (RM) as reported by your mother. A bigger one is 60 CENTS max. Only 20 cents AUD. I hear you can get them for 90cents in Singapore. You were soooo royally screwed....

    1. In other words, $0.10-0.20. It was worse than I feared... it really IS an ingenious idea to open a shop overseas selling "exotic" food...

    2. Yes, but wages in Melbourne is like $16 an hour, n Malaysia, it is $3 the whole day. So they need to make some income to stay afloat. Be fair, ok???

    3. 6packter, you probably didn't realise that $0.10-0.20 was for a ketayap in Malaysia at a hawker store, not a restaurant. Comments were only out of interest on the price in general we can get it back home compared to Melbourne, obviously not a restaurant to restaurant comparison. No one was trying to be unfair, okay???