Let’s be honest, Malaysian food a direct ride to flavour town. Once there, you’ll find fragrant curries, slurpalicious laksa, tasty beef rendang and flaky, buttery roti. What more could you want from a cuisine? The answer is nothing, our friends.
To help you dive head-first into Malaysian cuisine, we’ve tracked down the best Malaysian restaurants in Auckland.
KK Malaysian Cuisine
This Epsom joint has been around for yonks and is still as popular as ever. Sitting in its bright orange glory on Manukau Road, KK Malaysian is about as authentic as Malaysian food Auckland gets. We always find ourselves gravitating towards the famous ‘KK mummy chicken’ which brings the finest fried chicken coated in a sticky caramelised sauce and wok coated sesame seeds. However, when the weather is packing a sad, a steaming bowl of beef curry alongside a few spring rolls is compulsory.
Selera reels in the hoards with its mouth-watering fare time and time again—they’re total pros at what they do.When you’re at Selera, the seafood laksa is the way to go. The massive bowl is filled with a rich coconut cream thick soup and gets absorbed by the chewy noodles. The seafood has been cooked to perfection and remains juicy and plump. There’s no better way to finish your Selera experience other than ordering a plate of fried buns. Simple yet delicious, fried bao buns dipped in condensed milk and coconut kaya jam.
After winning over inner-city folk in Mamak’s original Chancery Square store, owner Jeffery Ng made the trip over the bridge and set up shop in Takapuna. Turns out that the Takapuna version of Mamak is equally as great, if not better than the original. Food-wise, everything is authentic and full of bold, fragrant flavours—just the way we like it. Mamak have become renowned for their mee goreng—the noodles are saucy and each strand has been properly marinated and cared for. The sambal chicken is also a staple at Mamak, the chicken is fried to be juicy and the crispy skin has absorbed the sweet and spicy sambal sauce, you can’t miss it.
Bunga Raya Restaurant
This New Lynn gem and family-owned Malaysian restaurant has become a heavy favourite amongst the Malaysian community in Auckland for its top-notch food, authenticity and aunty love. Bunga Raya is most popular for their Hainanese chicken on rice for good reasons. No chicken in town can compare to the juiciness of Bunga Raya. Another must is the fried squid or chicken in XO sauce. Ask the server what XO stands for and she’ll first tell you to call her aunty and then she’ll tell you it stands for extraordinary.
You haven’t ticked off Auckland’s best Malaysian until you’ve treated your taste buds at this K' Road gem. Uncle Man’s make their roti fresh before your very eyes, which you can then dunk into beef rendang with nasi lemak. Other standout dishes include the smoky char kuey teow—a must for noodle fans. FYI: Have you really had Malaysian food if you haven’t eaten your weight in deliciously flaky curry puffs… Because Uncle Man’s is just the place for that.
Mama Rich in Greenlane is owned by the same team who run Selera, so you can expect the same delish dishes plus a few interesting little numbers. There are dumplings, lobak rolls (pretty much a sausage), yummy rice dishes and a damn good laksa. Not to mention there is a whopping six different fried rice dishes for you to pick from. Think, Nyonya fried rice right through to pineapple fried rice—this may just be the perfect solution to a hangover.
Sri Pinang has been serving Aucklanders authentic Malaysian cuisine before laksa and mee goreng became the new talk of the town. Not only are they known for having the tastiest food but the service could not be friendlier. The nasi lemak is the star of Sri Pinang. The big plate is filled with a fluffy rice, your choice between chicken curry and beef rendang, side of chilli, crunchy peanuts and crispy fried anchovy which elevates your experience to a whole new level. If you still have room for dessert, the sago coconut pudding is an absolute delight.
Mutiara is a solid Ponsonby fave and never fails to deliver on a great Malaysian feed. We can’t go past ikan bakar, a spicy marinated fish fillet or whole fish grilled in banana leaves (yep banana) then topped with “wild fire sauce”—a dream for those who like their seafood with a kick. On the less fiery end of the scale, there’s mamak noodles, nasi goreng and lemak laksa. Oh, and it’s a prime BYO before heading into Ponsonby.
Ever since this global Malaysian sensation of a restaurant touched down in Auckland it has been the talk of the town. PappaRich specialises in Malaysian delights—nasi lemak, fried mee, wat tan hor and more than ten scrumptious roti dishes and it’s the go-to restaurant if you’re wanting something quick. While fried chicken skin might not scream “Malaysian”, it’s a must-have at PappaRich. Now with stores in the CBD and Sylvia Park, you can get your Malay fix throughout any day.
Last but certainly not least is Blossom Court in Panmure. We’re fans of both the name and the food—in particular their creamy butter prawns and the kum heong chicken. The Marmite chicken is also worth a try. We love to pick up our takeaways from here and eat them snug in front of the telly. The locals are all about the curry game here, thick n creamy with an abundance of roti. Just how we like it.
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Image credit: Kellie Blizard at PappaRich