Malay-Chinese Takeaway, Sydney CBD

Chicken laksa $8.70

Chicken laksa $8.70

Malaysian food has come a long way and has firmly stamped its mark on Sydney’s dining scene. Fans of Malaysian food are addicted to its spicy curries, fiery sambals, smoky satays from the BBQ and a host of tasty fried noodles.

There are so many Malaysian restaurants in Sydney’s CBD that are packed with lunch goers on weekdays. Bib-doning executives in business suits tucking into a bowl of spicy laksa are a familiar a sight as well as the clanking noise of fiery woks tossing noodles in the kitchen.

We are in the city on a Saturday with some friends and thought it would be good to pay a visit to the famous Malay-Chinese Takeaway on Hunter street to avoid the weekday lunch crowd.

This family-0wned restaurant has been operating around the Sydney CBD for over twenty years where its first outlet opened at the lower level of the old Carlton Arcade back in 1987.

Laksa blackboard at Malay-Chinese Takeaway, Hunter street, Sydney

Laksa blackboard at Malay-Chinese Takeaway, Hunter street, Sydney

Most famous for its laksa among its legion of laksa fans, we are greeted by a large blackboard that spells out the different types of laksa on offer. From chicken, beef to vegetarian or a combination of seafood laksa, most people who frequent this restaurant know exactly which laksa they are craving for.

Combination Hor Fun $8.90

Combination hor fun $8.90

A Cantonese style combination hor fun arrives in its signature gooey egg sauce with prawns, squid and fishcakes over a huddle of wok-seared rice noodles. This interpretation is passable but could definitely do with a bit more “wok hei” (breath of the wok).

Chicken laksa $8.70

Chicken laksa $8.70

The famous chicken laksa is dished out from the kitchen like clock-work because it is easily the most popular item on the menu.

Rice vermicelli is mixed with slivers of chicken, fishcake, beansprouts and deep-fried tofu puffs in a bowl of spicy broth. The noodles are tasty with a few spoonful of the gritty broth that is not overly thick. Its flavour and viscosity are spot on with the right level of chilli, spices and coconut milk. Apart from my favourite laksa, this one is pretty darn good.

Char Kway Teow $9.50

Char Kway Teow $9.50

A char kway teow has a fair bit of heat with slices of lup cheong, crunchy beansprouts, fishcakes, prawns and nicely seared rice noodles. Apart from it needing a bit more “wok hei“, I dislike chicken slivers in my char kway teow which is definitely not a usual ingredient in this dish.

Satay Chicken $2.60 per skewer

Satay chicken $2.60 per skewer

The Satay chicken is deep-fried rather than charcoal grilled and the absence of smoky aromas of grilled meat which Malaysian satays are so famous for is obvious.

Dining room, Malay-Chinese Takeaway

Dining room, Malay-Chinese Takeaway

There is a fairly good crowd this Saturday and they consists mainly die-hard Malaysian food lovers.

Bibs can be purchased for 30 cents each

Bibs can be purchased for 30 cents each

I suspect bib sales on a Saturday would not be as high as during business lunch hour on weekdays.

Laksa lovers with their respective Lipton Ice Tea

Laksa lovers tucking in with their respective Lipton Ice Tea

Did I say the laksa is popular at this restaurant?

It seems like Lipton Ice Tea is also a popular method of cooling off after downing this bowl of spicy goodness, especially on a cold day.

Malay-Chinese Takeaway, Hunter street, Sydney

Malay-Chinese Takeaway, Hunter street, Sydney

So dear readers, do you have a favourite laksa in Sydney that you would recommend and share with us?

Malay-Chinese Takeaway
Shop 1, 50 – 58 Hunter street
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
(Closest intersection Bligh street and Castlereagh street)
Tel: + 61 2 9231 6788

Business hours: Monday – Friday 11am – 7pm, Saturday 11am – 5pm, Sunday closed.

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24 Responses to Malay-Chinese Takeaway, Sydney CBD

  1. I love Malaysian food, but its usually just the odd dish on a Thai or Chinese menu. Chicken Laksa is my favourite. GG

  2. Baby Sumo says:

    I love cockles in my curry laksa… luckily for us, we can get a very nice bowl here for RM4.50 😉

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Baby Sumo,

      I love cockles in my curry laksa too and my favourite in KL is a place called Wong Fook Kee along Tengkat Tong Shin. Bloody awesome and I always ask her to give me extra cockles too. At RM4.50, now you know why I can’t go past street food whenever I’m in KL.

  3. I’m definitely seeing so much more Malaysian food coming into the Sydney food scene lately which is great! I’m still quite a newbie but enjoyed my first visit to Mamak the other week – looking forward to trying out more! I don’t have a fave laksa place, but I’ve always enjoyed it… :)

  4. Ooh, we love laksa! We always make it from scratch, but I think we like it a bit thicker than the tradditional way. We put in chicken, prawns, crab balls, tofu puffs, bbq pork, and whatever else that takes our fancy. Yummo :)

  5. Dear Chopinand, such beautiful photos… I could just grab a pair of chopsticks and dive in! I love home made laksa! However, Sammy’s here in Canberra makes a good one!

  6. I’ve gone past this place so many times and wondered what it was like. Thanks for the review! :)

  7. Jeni says:

    Since Canberra has been mentioned, my favorite remains the Asian Noodle House in Dickson. You can get all the types listed above, plus duck. For me, the perfect laksa is their duck and prawn laksa.

    Enormous fresh crunchy prawns contrast with the soft dark duck meat, all sitting in a bowl of that wonderful soup. I can never manage more than a half serve, which makes the meal very economical.

  8. What a shame they deep fry their satay chicken :(

  9. Sissi says:

    Apart from satay chicken I haven’t tasted a lot of Malaysian cuisine, but from what I have read and heard about it, I feel I would love to visit this country. It seems that I only need to go to Australia and taste some wonderful Malaysian dishes 😉
    Thank you for one more excellent review and one more fantastic virtual feast.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Sissi,

      Some Malaysians restaurants in Sydney are pretty good and we certainly don’t need to go all the way to Asia to sample the food. You ought to make a visit soon!

  10. Trisha says:

    I always frequent the laksa place underneath QVB, but this is a great alternative! I always “treat” myself on Fridays, and this usually involves laksa. Mmmm…..

  11. Hannah says:

    It has been too, too long since I had a proper spicy, rich, creamy, piquant, drips-down-your-chin laksa. Swoon!

  12. Asmita says:

    I love Malaysian food. When I visit New York city, that’s all I eat the whole time. Unfortunately where we live, there aren’t any Malaysian restaurants. The chicken laksa looks incredible. That is my kind of food.

  13. Hotly Spiced says:

    I worked in the city for many years and never knew about this great place. I just love the look of the chicken laksa and the prices do seem very reasonable. I can understand how the hungry office workers would queue for this. Thanks for letting me know – I’ll look forward to giving it a try xx

  14. Great review. My current favourite laksa is the vegetarian laksa (without tofu) at Ipoh on York. But, every few months I find a new place to become laksa-obsessed with!

  15. Sophia says:

    WOW. I didn’t know Sydney is filled with Malaysian eateries. Wouldn’t I love a Malay takeaway as opposed to that disgusting American-Chinese food take-outs!

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Sophia,

      Geographically, we are pretty close to South East Asia so it’s not surprising that Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines are really popular and these restaurants dish out some pretty awesome food too!

  16. Ames says:

    Oh man, that laksa looks so good! And I love the bibs hehe

    We’ve been to Sydney numerous times but haven’t tried this place yet so will put it on the wishlist :).

    Thanks for sharing!

  17. My Malaysian friend went back a week ago to get married and now he’s sharing a lot of delicious Malaysian food. We don’t have Malaysian restaurants around here and I’m missing out this cuisine in my eat-out choices! Food definitely looks wonderful. The laksa looks beautiful with the beaming orange color (my tummy cannot handle spicy but I’m attracted…) and Char Kway Teow looks delicious here!

  18. Celia says:

    Was this the place that used to be at Wynyard? Amazing laksa from memory, and this one looks equally as good. Malaysian cuisine has a taste that gets under your skin and stays there – I will always default to it when given a choice!

  19. One of my favorite Southeast Asian noodle dish is the laksa!! I have tried a number of different versions in the SF bay area and in Singapore. There is a little hole-in-wall place in the Katong district in Singapore that still stands as my favorite laska place. I love a good Hokien Mee and Nasi Lemak too when I’m in Singapore. I miss those dishes so much! And I would love to try the Malaysia version when I get a chance to visit that country one day!

  20. Kimby says:

    Forgive me for jumping ahead a couple of posts, but your food photos and write-ups are making me hungry and it’s lunchtime! :) The deep fried banana fritters in your Yok Yor Thai Food Factory post were decadent looking. The rock formations at Dee Why Beach were intriguing (as was their Breakfast Bruschetta!) and the laksa’s in this post seem to be an undeniably favorite treat. I also like their satay — but they don’t look as delicious as yours! (You pack a lot into your posts and it’s like a vacation every time.) Thanks!

  21. tigerfish says:

    The variety of laksas is extensive though the key is the gravy that makes everything bind. Back in Singapore, there is just one type of laksa and usually with the option of with cockles or without :p

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