04 December 2011

Chennai ~ Malaysian - King Street Newtown [CLOSED]

We've always reckoned that opening a Malaysian street food joint in King Street Newtown would be a dang smart move. Finally somebody's done it, yay! [CLOSED JULY 2012 - SHAME, THIS PLACE ALMOST WORKED BUT NOT QUITE...]

Chennai opened a few weeks ago up the Northern end of King Street. We walk past here almost every night on our way to Chinatown and always see a decent crowd, including plenty of Malaysian folks from all three main ethnicities (we're pretty sure we heard the dude say it's halal to a diner in a hijab, but you may wish to double check).

The guys running Chenai are wonderful folks. The dude running the floor on our visits is a very pleasant fellow, he makes us want to come back again and again. As nice as they are it seems they've had some teething problems, for example they've been closed for lunch a couple of times when we've dropped by. Hopefully everything will iron out, we get the feeling it will. Chennai is a very welcome addition to our neighbourhood and we wish them all the best.

While Chennai pulls a good crowd at night, it's the much cheaper lunch menu that lured us in...

Teh Ais & Teh O Ais Lemu - ice milk tea and ice lemon tea - $3.50 or $2 with any meal.

Mee goreng mamak - $7 (lunchtime special). Not too oily, yum! The thin yellow noodles had good slurpability, a couple of little prawns (hey, it's only $7!) and a ton of crunchy fried shallots on top.

Roti Chennai - $5.50. Great roti and dipping sauces. The chilli sambal was quite sweet, like it was mixed with tomato sauce and sugar. Could be how the chef likes it, a little too sweet for us.

Nasi Lemak - $7 (lunchtime special). Same sweet sambal, a sweet ikan bilis mix, and the same curry sauce as the roti this time with chicken leg included.

Chicken laska - $7 (lunchtime special).

Nasi goreng - $7 (lunchtime special).

Chennai Malaysian Restaurant is at 22/24 King St, Newtown - www.tastechennai.com.au. We'll be back for more...

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  1. We came here for lunch last week and overall, a pretty good experience. Thumbs up for the mee goreng and roti canai. There were a few kinks but nothing major (we initially received a prawn mee goreng though we'd requested for a chicken version) and to their credit, they were apologetic and delivered the correct dish quickly. FYI, the waiter also confirmed that the food is halal. Will probably be back to try the other offerings.

  2. I went on Saturday & Sunday for the roti chennai - it is the best I have had in Sydney - better than Mammak!

  3. What's a "hajib"?!

  4. Re. your tweet: "Just got China visas for our three week trip to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhao, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. Jumping for joy!"

    Oh....I'm so, so envious!!! Just you wait. When you get a bun in the oven and a $800K mortgage (better still paying off a divorce + alimony) we'll see how often you go on your Asia safaris.

    Ya better take as good photos as your last trip to Tokyo. We all want to see what mischief you guys get up to. Damn I'm envious !!!

  5. Been here a couple of times on your recommendation, thanks. Fantastic roti. They should be busier!


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).