I was disappointed by Malaymama. It probably didn't help that it set itself a pretty high standard, claiming it was "the best Malaysian food in Hong Kong". I can't agree. I don't have that much experience of Malaysian food in Hong Kong but Sabah certainly impressed me significantly more.
E.L. and I went to Malaymama for a bowl of laksa, having been inspired wandering past the cafe's less-than-modest sign earlier that day. The ingredients - the chicken strips, the tofu puffs and the prawns - were fresh tasting but the spicy coconut-based soup and egg noodles were a bit disappointing. For HKD 49, it wasn't bad value but I reckon there are better cheap options in Sheung Wan.
Sometimes you need to be reminded that there is more to dining in Hong Kong than the many restaurants in SoHo and Central. A trip to my friend C's favourite Malaysian restaurant in Wan Chai did just that. The food was delicious, simple and fresh... and unbelievably good value for money.
The restaurant itself doesn't look that much from the outside (nor to be honest from the inside) but there was a queue of people waiting for a table which in my books is generally a good sign. Although it didn't take that long to get a table, it was a pretty humid evening and the idea of standing outside the restaurant wasn't that appealing. Helpfully, however, they allowed us to wait for our table in the Irish pub round the corner and called us when it was ready.
The menu is pretty extensive and the prices very reasonable so the boys took it upon themselves to order as many of the listed items as they could. We started with Gado Gado which is technically an Indonesian, rather than Malaysian, dish made of steamed vegetables (and in this case, a high proportion of raw cucumber) with a peanut dressing. Unsurprisingly such a healthy dish was not ordered by one of the boys! They ordered as a starter a mound of deep-fried calamari which came with a sweet chili dipping sauce - the calamari were brilliantly crispy. One of the things that impressed me was the effort made in terms of presentation. To be honest the photo to the right is not a prime example but they had made quite a bit of effort on the presentation front, despite the fact that the plates were so reasonably priced.
I'm a massive fan of Malaysia's Roti bread and the Roti Canai was particularly good with a crispy, flaky outside and a soft, doughy inside. Unfortunately for me the seriously unhealthy style of bread is somewhat addictive but I did manage to leave enough room for the other excellent dishes we chose. The Beef Korma and Chicken Makhni were particularly good, as were the Sauteed French Beans with Shrimp Paste and Beef. Indeed, I enjoyed each dish and due to our over-excitable ordering, the flow of dishes seemed quite endless!
Sabah is not somewhere to go for a special meal but it is a great location for a mid-week dinner (as long as you remember to bring a jumper - talk about over-zealous air con!). The dishes were flavoursome and each one was tasty and distinct, if not especially healthy. With an average price per dish of about HK$75, the meal was excellent value for money. I will definitely be going back.
Sabah Malaysian Cuisine G/F 98-102 Jaffe Road Wan Chai Tel: 2143 6626