The number of Malaysian restaurants in Brisbane pales in comparison to the seeming abundance of Thai and Vietnamese ones. It belies the fact that Malaysia offers up some of the best food South East Asia has to offer. That said, the number of places celebrating this increasingly sought-after cuisine is slowly but steadily on the rise.

A healthy sprinkling of Malaysian Restaurants Brisbane can be found outside the CBD area. A prime example is Satay Ria of Cannon Hill – last year’s winner of the Savour Australia Restaurant and Catering Award for Best Malaysian Restaurant (Brisbane and the Darling Downs). Quite an accomplishment, given they have only been open since September 2011.

You may not expect to find a family restaurant in the Cannon Hill Shopping Plaza. Don’t worry; it is not in the food court; Satay Ria fills a self-contained space on the centre’s perimeter. Besides, the convenient location makes parking a breeze.

Despite the arguably less than glamorous surroundings, Satay Ria itself looks pretty sharp. The glass-fronted eatery has walls painted bold red, dark wooden chairs, crisp white table cloths, lantern-esque light fittings and ceiling fans with woven detailing. Though Satay Ria does malaysian takeaway, and even office and home catering, the atmosphere encourages dining in (and many do – so book ahead on weekends). There is something comfortingly familiar about it – like a jazzier version of your beloved local Chinese.

The menu divides dishes according to its main ingredient (ie ‘Prawns’) and though the sheer variety of plates on offer should foster a bit of adventurism, it is tempting to order everything from the ‘Special Malaysian’ section. It’s hard to go past Hainan chicken rice, Nasi Lemak Campur (fragrant coconut rice with a portion of chicken curry, served with sliced egg, achar salad, peanuts and sambal bilis), or roti curry. The latter is made with your choice of beef, lamb or chicken, and the accompanying roti canai are deliciously flaky.

Satay food chicken or beef skewers make a tasty entree, and the Kuih Ketayap (shredded coconut wrapped in pandan flavour pancake) would make a fitting end to the meal if you have room. Fully licensed, there is a modest but more than adequate selection of beers, wines and spirits. Or, you can always eschew alcohol in favour of a longan juice.

Why chillies are hot?

They contain a chemical called capsaicin which is an irritant to humans (and most animals). The burning sensation you get in your mouth is actually your body’s reaction to this chemical. The more capsaicin a variety of chilli contains, the hotter it tastes. Also chillies help to drive metabolism according to scientist. Well a good excuse to have hot tasty chilli styled food today!

malaysian chinese food

Steamed Live Whole Fish with Assam Sauce

What is Sambal Sauce?

Sambal is a chili-based sauce that is usually used as a condiment. Typically made from a variety of chili peppers, it is sometimes a substitute for fresh chilis and can be extremely spicy for the uninitiated. Sambal Oelek is more of Indonesian and Malaysian origin. Oelek means “grinding”, and as that might indicate, it is just ground chilis with little flavor added. Use Sambal Oelek when you want to add heat without impacting the flavor of the dish. It’s not really used so much as a condiment as it is used for cooking.

Restaurant fortitude Valley

Malaysian Curry King Prawns

Do you know why Curry Laksa is so red?

Curry Laksa is a coconut based curry tasty rich concentrated curry broth, steaming hot, noodles with garnishes thrown in. Meat, typically chicken as a non-vegetable added kick. Eating this dish in the tropics (like Malaysia or Singapore) where the humidity is high, and you sit and eat, and feel like you are in a sauna, is the real experience of eating this dish. But the rich colour does not come from colouring but rather a fusion of different spices and added tomatoes puree.

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