I don't know why, but I was absolutely convinced that Bureaucrat and the Lawyer would have been to Pappa Rich at QV. It's close to work, they both like Malaysian Food, it's fairly cheap, of course they would have been by now? Apparently not though, as when we were trying to think of a place Bureaucrat could indulge in the laksa she was craving this was the first place she thought of. I was kind of curious myself, as for no very good reason it had never really found itself on my radar of places to try either.
First of all, I quite like what they have done with the place. It reminded me of a cafe in upmarket Kuala Lumpur food court, say somewhere in KLCC. A little bit crowded, but obviously aiming for a more upmarket experience than some - maybe less student and more office worker oriented. Popular too as we were only to get almost the last remaining seats inside and then only by sharing a table. What is extremely dangerous though is the ordering system. You get a pad to fill out your order on and then press the little button on the table for a waiter/waitress. So tempting to just keep on ringing that button (No honestly, we didn't push the button, there must be a malfunction somewhere.).
I was somewhat perplexed by Bureaucrat's decision not to order a laksa - the reason she had given for wanting to go to a Malaysian cafe - and instead order an Ipoh Kway Teoh Soup with poached chicken. Ipoh is kind of famous (in Malaysia anyway) for its noodles, something special to do with the water as I understand it gives them a unique and highly appreciated quality. While I didn't get to sample PappaRich's version of Ipoh noodles I did however get to sample some of Bureaucrat's poached chicken which she was very impressed with, and I can confirm it was nicely tender and silky.
The Lawyer opted for the seafood (I think) wat tan hor, a fried noodle dish served in a thick egg sauce. It isn't always the most attractive looking of dishes but it is smooth and rich and comforting. While again I didn't get to share any he did seem to enjoy it.
But given we weren't all in a really touchy feely sharing mood the only dish I can really comment on was my nasi lemak with curry chicken and sambal prawns. Nasi lemak is one of my comfort foods, the rich fragrant rice, the crunchy little fish and peanuts, the fire of the sambal. It's one of these things which when you describe what is in it doesn't sound like it should work but somehow the sum of the whole is much greater than that of the individual parts. The version here was kind of...mediocre. The rice wasn't very fragrant, the prawns neither juicy or especially fresh, the flavours of the curry sauce and sambal not very interesting and kind of confused. Was it terrible, no. But I think there are much better versions around town if you know where to look.
I think it's easy to summarise our visit here, at least from my perspective. Nice place, ok service, but while the food is ok I think there is better value Malaysian to be had nearby.
Food - 6.5
Ambience - 8
Service - 7
Price - 6
Qv Square, 210 Lonsdale Street
Tel: (03) 9654 2682