Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Malacca Straits on Broadway, Ultimo (NSW) by Benny

A business trip to the University of Technology, Sydney takes us to a suburb of Sydney that is largely unfamiliar – Chippendale. Turns out we are not too far from Sydney’s Chinatown, but in the best Eat and Be Merry tradition, we have high hopes of finding lesser known gems. Bilby Blue has been busy online and finds a likely prospect – Malacca Straits on Broadway.

We find Malacca Straits just inside a short arcade off Broadway leading to a modern open courtyard in the Quadrant Building. The restaurant is decorated with a hodge-podge of items seemingly gathered from antique/junk shops, maybe attempting to evoke the old-world charm of the Malaysian trading port of Malacca. It is not entirely successful.

More promising is the menu. Bilby has visited Malaysia many times and loves authentic Malaysian food. After a quick discussion we choose three dishes (Bilby is hungry): fish head curry (a traditional Malaysian favourite); Ayam Percik Keletan, (grilled chicken with salad); and a side dish of Kangkung Belacan (water spinach), accompanied by steamed rice.

Malacca Straits on Broadway, Sydney, kang kung
First to arrive is the kangkung: a larger than expected plate, stir fried with still-crunchy stems and a good amount of belachan spice and chilli. 

Malacca Straits on Broadway, Sydney, grilled chicken
This good start gets even better with the arrival of the grilled chicken: a large serving, tender and juicy, with standout flavours.

Malacca Straits on Broadway, Sydney, fish head curry
And then comes the fish head curry: an enormous bowl of luscious coconut curry sauce filled with large pieces of fish head and lots of tomato, beans, eggplant and okra. I expected the fish to be very tender and simply slide off the bone. Instead, the meat is chewy and holds just a bit too tenaciously to the bone, which makes for messy eating. The curry heat is a bit lower than Bilby expected, but the dish is still very good.

Quite quickly a problem becomes obvious – we have ordered far too much food and cannot finish any of the dishes. This explains what I had thought was an odd entry at the end of the menu: plastic take-away containers … 50 cents. As we pay the bill we are assured that “it tastes better the next day”.

Regrettably we will not get the chance to return on this trip – and then JetStar cancels our flight home … giving us another night in Sydney.

Forewarned for our second visit, we order conservatively (especially as we have already planned to indulge afterwards at Anita Gelato). The waiter recognises us and recommends the silken tofu with minced chicken – a Malacca Straits’ original – which we pair with salt and pepper soft-shell crab. Our now high expectations are well met.

Malacca Straits on Broadway, Sydney, silken tofu
The tofu, made in-house, is incredibly soft and silky smooth inside, covered with an unctuous clear gravy studded with minced chicken. A requested chilli dipping sauce brought its heat quotient up to a more authentic Malaysian level.

Malacca Straits on Broadway, Sydney, soft shell crab
The soft shell crab was thinly covered by a salt/spicy batter and fried to a perfect consistency.


We loved it
We loved it and will gladly return when we next visit Sydney.


Excellent, authentic Malaysian flavours in very large servings. Service could be more attentive, especially if you are seated at the far end of the restaurant.

Find it at

Malacca Straits on Broadway
66 Mountain Street (corner of Broadway)
Ultimo NSW 2007
Phone: (02) 8021 7069

Malacca Straits on Broadway Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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