Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tales from the high chair (aka Random Restaurant Review) - Malaysian Chapter, Belconnen

I don't usually do restaurant reviews as I'm not much of a foodie--but the thought has crossed my mind that it'd be useful to have guide to baby-friendly restaurants in Canberra. And by baby-friendly, I generally mean that the restaurant provides a high chair. So here's Malaysian Chapter, a restaurant that serves Malaysian hawker-style food in Canberra.

We found this restaurant by accident late on a Friday afternoon, so it was empty when we walked in. First impressions--clean and serviceable decor with some pretty lights at the serving bar and nice little statues at the waiting area.

Another cute idea--each table number is named after a place in Malaysia.

We ordered from the lunch special menu; Char Kway Teow for K and Nasi Lemak with chicken for me. We also ordered a Roti Canai for an entree, because it's hard to pass up Roti Canai!

The Roti was tasty and buttery with the signature flakiness on the surface layer and the 'peeliness' in the inner layers (please excuse my terminology--I told you I wasn't a foodie!). I'm used to seeing it folded rather than as a round, so I would have preferred thinner, lighter layers. The lentil dip that came with it wasn't particularly strongly flavoured, but I'm all about the roti, so didn't mind.

I only sampled the Char Kway Teow, so can tell you that the chicken was juicy and tender. K's assessment (him being the CKT expert) was that it was 'quite nice' and that the serving was very generous. He says he probably wouldn't order it again in favour of trying other things on the menu.

My Nasi Lemak. I felt I was back in Malaysia while eating it. Loved the presentation and the sambal anchovies were a highlight. The anchovies were lovely and crispy and the sambal flavoursome and spicy. I would totally order a sambal dish from them again. The chicken rendang tasted a bit like satay to me**, though the texture was lovely, and the rice was slightly flavoured with coconut(?). Again, a generous and filling serving.

**Update: It turns out the chicken 'rendang' really was a satay! I really should pay attention to the menu. The choice was beef rendang or chicken satay with this dish.

As for the service, it was friendly, polite and attentive. The waiter was happy that we had been to Malaysia before. I was pleased that they offered a high chair without needing to ask for one, and the high chair they provided was cushy, looked very comfortable and was really clean. 

Bjai was fascinated with the ceiling fans and enjoyed some roti as well. The place is air conditioned and we were served ice-cold water, so we were very comfortable while eating--which isn't usually the case when eating hawker food in Malaysia! Ahh, memories of sweating on the humid streets while eating a spicy sambal... 

Overall, it was a positive and pleasant experience, and we'd be interested in coming back for dinner to sample the chilli crab and some malaysian-style drinks. We only wish the hawker-style food came with hawker-style prices. The disadvantage of living in Australia, I guess!

Malaysian Chapter
U2/6-8 Weedon Close
6261 5670 (closed on Sundays)

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