Restaurants

The Best Malaysian Restaurants In Sydney

By Urban List Writers

In the same way that Sydney's epic food scene is a reflection of our multicultural population, Malaysian cuisine is made up of flavours spanning its history and region, with so many influences shining through in the ingredients and techniques we've come to expect.

Nasi lemak, roti canai, and refreshing cendol await—these are the best Malaysian restaurants in Sydney.

Sydney Kopitiam Cafe

Ultimo

Referring to the tiny coffee shops and snack houses scattered around Malaysia and surrounds, Sydney Kopitiam Cafe serves wholesome, fragrant dishes that take you right to the streets of KL. The beef rendang is one of the best in the city, and the seafood laksa is a must-order for some spice—but be prepared to wait for a table, and remember to bring cash.

The Malaya

CBD

Probably Sydney’s most scenic spot for Malaysian food, The Malaya has been serving the goods since 1963—an incredible achievement and testament to their food. Now, this staple (which relocated to King Street Wharf in 2001) serves a huge array of seafood with Malaysian and mixed-influence Nyonya flavours, with highlights like otak otak (barbecued blue eye cod mince with chilli, coconut milk and spices wrapped in a banana leaf), roti canai with your choice of sauce, and fragrant kapitan curry.

Temasek

Parramatta

If you know, you know. Family business Temasek has been slinging laksas, nasi goreng and refreshing cendol to Western Sydney locals since 1992, and has built a super loyal following. The Hainan chicken rice with the usual broth, rice and dips is a favourite, and the roti comes golden and piled high.

Malay Chinese

Ashfield and Circular Quay (opening soon)

First opening its doors in 1987, Malay Chinese is an enduring favourite for all the Malaysian classics. They do a huge range of laksas including beef, king prawn and bean curd, as well as an epic smoky char kway teow. You can catch them in Ashfield for now, but Malay Chinese will also be opening in the soon-to-launch Sydney Place precinct due in March 2023.

Ho Jiak

Various Locations

Chef/owner of Ho Jiak Junda Khoo took the Malaysian flavours he knew and loved, and elevated them a little at the Ho Jiak venues. Each location’s menu differs slightly, but expect the likes of chilli lobster, belacan-coated water spinach, and a char kway teo that people cross town for. We also need to shout out their sister venue Amah in Chatswood, which takes the formula and makes it a little more home-style (don’t skip the fish ball soup).

Albee’s Kitchen

Campsie and Kingsford

Both Albee’s Kitchen locations offer huge menus, but we recommend diving in to their hand-made noodles, like the classic Malaysian pan mee noodle soup with hand-torn noodles in a salty anchovy broth with pork mince, veggies, black fungus, crispy anchovies, and chilli sauce. If you’re new to Malaysian food and eat with your eyes, the entire menu has a picture accompanying each item.

Mamak

Haymarket, Chatswood and Parramatta

A roti and satay house that started as a stall at the Chinatown Night Markets, Mamak brings big flavours to all of its locations across Sydney. You can get your fix of savoury or sweet roti (the roti kaya is like nothing else), and main dishes including rice and noodles, curries and stir-fries, and real-deal teh tarik. 

Penang Cuisine

Epping

Another spot that would fit right in on the streets of Malaysia, Penang Cuisine has been kicking for some time. Don’t miss their selection of Malaysian desserts, especially the ice kacang with red beans, grass jelly, palm seeds, rose water, fresh coconut milk and condensed milk.

Istana

Thornleigh

A stalwart of Sydney’s Malaysian dining scene, Istana is the sort of place where you’re treated like a regular on your first visit. The menu is pretty huge, so stick to your favourites or go for signature dishes like the Istana king prawns fried on the half-shell with garlic, ginger, spices and fresh curry leaves, or the hawker-style oyster omelette.

PappaRich

Various locations

Designed to feel like a modern take on the traditional Malaysian coffee shop, PappaRich serves all the classic dishes you might expect alongside a menu with more than 50 drinks (including tek tarik, of course). There are 10 PappaRich locations across Sydney, so you’re never far from a fried chicken nasi goreng.

Alice’s Makan

CBD

You will have to brave a Town Hall food court for this experience—but trust us, it’s worth it. Alice’s Makan does all the Malaysian lunchtime classics like nasi lemak, Hainanese chicken rice and laksa, and everything’s a massive portion.

Image credit: Ho Jiak Town Hall, Ho Jiak Haymarket, The Malaya, Mamak, PappaRich

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