Saturday, February 27, 2016

Café Malacca 馬來一菜館 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

Two of my former bosses played a big role in introducing me to the art of Singaporean cuisine and that was when I first opened my mind to the appreciation of spicy food. A lot of years have passed me by and I remained a true fan of Singaporean food although good Singaporean restaurants have always been of short supply in Hong Kong. For the best Singaporean (or Malaysian) dishes in town, I often choose Satay Inn and sometimes Sabah but ever since Café Malacca (馬來一菜館) opened in Hotel Jen last year, I have always been curious about this place. So I know it's just a matter of time before my patience runs out to make my long anticipated trip to Sai Wan. 

I swear at least half of the Singaporean community in Hong Kong were here so this place must be very good, right? Well, at least I could expect some really authentic Singaporean food I am sure.

No Singaporean meal is ever complete without the fried carrot cake ($68) and that's how it all started. I thought the texture was OK and it tasted pretty authentic to me but it was nowhere near the ones served at Satay Inn.

Penang Char Kway Teow ($92) was next and I have to say, it's probably the best dish of the afternoon. But again in my opinion, nothing comparing to Satay Inn's version.

I was taking the time to enjoy a cup of Teh tarik (literally "pulled tea") before the rest of the dishes arrive. 

Chicken Satay ($98) with tiny pieces of chicken fillet hanging onto each skewer was yet another disappointing dish for us. There wasn't much flavor coming from the chicken and even the aromatic peanut sauce couldn't cover that up.

And finally, Mee Goreng ($92) with spicy Indian style yellow noodles, prawns, bean curd, shredded lettuce and crispy fried shallots, wrapped up this lunch that really did not live up to the hype at all. 

I was expecting a lot more than that. We came all the way to Shek Tong Tsui expecting very delicious Singaporean and Malaysian food but came away largely disappointed. From now on, other than Satay Inn, I am not trusting anyone (when it comes to Singaporean food).

Food Rating: 4.5/10
Price: $$$
Address: Level 2, Hotel Jen Hong Kong, 508 Queen's Road West, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: HKU
Tel: +852 2213-6613

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