Celebrating Malaysian Hawker Food in Perth

These last few weeks, I’ve been working with Malaysian Kitchen – a global initiative of the Malaysian Government celebrating Malaysian cuisine around the world.

For my blog, I wanted to feature some classic and typical Malaysian dishes, in particular the “cheap and cheerful” dishes sold at hawker food stalls.

I don’t claim to be an expert, however after a bit of asking around and research… this is what I ate over a few weeks!

Malaysian Cuisine

First up, I had a classic Malaysian breakfast – kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and teh tarik.

Kaya is a sweet coconut egg jam that is spread on toast.

The soft-boiled egg, as I discovered, is quite a favourite amongst Malaysians. When I asked people about it, most of them come over with this starry, distant look in their eyes and they tell me that it was their favourite as a kid.

Teh Tarik is a strong, sweet tea (a mixture of black tea and sweetened condensed milk) that has been poured in a special way as to mix and froth the drink.

I was also keen to try roti canai, another popular Malaysia breakfast, but there’s only so much I can eat in one sitting.

Malaysian Cuisine

This is Nasi Lemak, a fragrant coconut milk rice served with chilli anchovy sambal. I was told by some, that this is the “National Dish of Malaysia”.

In this serve, I also ordered it with fried chicken, which is not very typical, but they were really tasty!

I was recommended this place by several people, and am more than happy to share the address. They also do a very yummy Chicken Feet Dry Noodles.

The Rice Noodle House
4/114 Barbican St
Shelley, 6148
(08) 9259 5532

Malaysian Cuisine

Penang Assam Laksa is a noodle dish with a hot, spicy and sour soup. There is seafood, mint, pineapple, fish broth and other goodies all mixed together. It is an explosion of flavours and I really love it!

I actually took this picture a few months ago, and I’m using it now, because the more recent time I went to eat this, I forgot to take my camera. Some blogger I am!

I totally recommend the place:

Espresso Seven Seas Cafe
Shop 7/3 Kearns Crescent
Applecross, 6153

Malaysian Cuisine

Fish Head Noodle Soup

I was told by several friends that I just *had* to try this dish – deep fried fish heads (and wings), eaten with a bowl of rice noodles and soup…. and it was indeed very good.

My friend brought me to this very popular shop, which was quite famous, just because of this dish.

It was nestled in the quite suburban streets, and it was FULL of people. There were probably 10 tables crammed together, with 4 people on each table, and every single person was eating this dish. There were fish head bones all over the tables, people were talking loudly, it was a great atmosphere!
Bateman Chinese Malaysian Restaurant
6/22 Parry Avenue
Bateman WA 6150
(08) 9332 0838

Malaysian Cuisine

Char kway teow is a fried flat noodle dish, cooked in a dark soy sauce, chili, various seafoods and meats, and bean sprouts. There are lots of variations.

When I worked in Singapore, I ate this dish twice a week. But where I ate it, there were bits of lard (yes crispy, solid bits of pig fat!) and cockles and definitely no green stuff in it! This particular serve was rather “healthy”.

Spencer Village Food Court
200 Spencer Rd,
Thornlie, WA, 6108

It was very interesting that almost  all the “recommended” hawker food places were south of the river!

There were a lot of other dishes that I wanted to try. And a lot of very popular Malaysian eateries that I wanted to go to… but I ran out of time.

So these are some other places in Perth that were recommended to me.

Hawker’s Cuisine
17/68 Roe St
Northbridge, 6003
(08) 9328 9668

Old Cathay
59 Albany Hwy
Victoria Park, 6100
(08) 9361 1881

Rasa Nyonya Penang Restaraunt
Shop 6&7 1019 Albany Highway
East Victoria Park, 6102
(08) 9470 3847

Bull Creek Hawker
118 Parry Ave
Bull Creek, 6149
(08) 9312 3888

113 Collins Rd Shop 51
Willetton, 6155
(08) 9354 4888

For my next post, I’ll be eating at a more “upmarket” dining establishment of Malaysian cuisine!

My 10 Trans-season Wardrobe Essentials

10 Midseason Essentials

Today I woke up, I looked at my wardrobe and I was bored of wearing bright colours. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe I had gone into bright colour overload.

Whatever it was, I wanted to curl up and wear all my favourite trans-season clothes, plus some non-bright blues and greens.

You can’t go wrong with these pieces –

1. Silver aviators (Raybans),
2. A white blazer (Dorothy Perkins),
3. Skinny black jeans (J Brand),
4. Green silk tank (Alice in the Eve),
5. Black and white stripe top (Michael Kors),
6. Chuck taylors (Converse),
7. Leopard print flats (Marc Jacobs),
8. Denim blue shirt (Elizabeth & James),
9. Mint nail polish (OPI), and
10. A chunky bracelet (Lanvin).

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

What is the sound of a tantrum, when there is no one to listen?

Liam at his gym class

This is my 2.5yo, Liam throwing a tantrum.

This is also Liam looking up at me to make sure that I was WATCHING HIM THROW A TANTRUM.

The truth is, I am so indifferent to tantrums in public, so much so, I think he looks quite cute. I suppose I can say that without any fuss at all, because 1) he’s my third and last baby, and 2) I’m completely OVER the whole tantrum thing. What-ever kid.

We were at our weekly gymnastics class, during the free play session…

Liam stepped off a pink car (as it was the end of his turn anyway) and a little girl took the pink car from him.

Liam decided he wanted the pink car back, so he pushed the girl away, and at the same time, the girl’s dad found a BLUE car and gave it to Liam.

But Liam refused to have the blue car, because he likes pink. The dad was like WTF, and I tried to explain that Liam prefers PINK things…

But at the same time I decided that Liam wasn’t having any car because he shoved the little girl…

And so here he is throwing himself on the ground, rolling and shouting,


The whole car exchange happened in 5 seconds…

And the tantrum lasted 15 minutes.

(Which isn’t that bad actually.)

(And I still love him to bits.)

San Churro, Northbridge WA

Two of my closest friends have opened a San Churro Chocolateria in Northbridge, Perth. It’s been a huge dream that’s finally come to fruition.

San Churro, Northbridge WA

It happens to be the LARGEST San Churros Store in Australia. It can hold up to 230 people, it has a back area with a gorgeous “secret garden” feel, and it will soon open out into the street/park with an alfresco area.

I am so happy and excited for them!

Karen Cheng in San Churro, Northbridge WA

Anyway, the other night, they had an exclusive grand opening for friends and family.

They treated everyone to gorge themselves with chocolate goodness.

San Churro, Northbridge WA

This is a churro – a Spanich doughnut. It’s made fresh, and dusted with cinnamon-sugar. You dip it in hot, melted chocolate. It’s veeeeery yummy.

San Churro, Northbridge WA

I tried the famous San Churro Hot Chocolate, poured over white chocolate ice cream. It’s ridiculously sweet, but so delicious and rich.

And I had it with a serve of Chocolate Tapas, a tasting plate of all the goodies on offer, including churros, truffles, brownies, chocolate biscuits, diping chocolate, ice cream and strawberries.

Needless to say, I was very full of chocolate.

The Chocolateria is in an amazing location in Perth – right in the heart of Northbridge – corner of James and Lake Street. And it is right next to the Northbridge Piazza, the grassy square where they show bean bag movies during summer (and winter).

They are now open for business, do pop by and say hi!

132 James Street
Northbridge, Western Australia
Australia 6003

Opening Hours
Mon – Thu 12pm-12am
Fri – Sat 12pm-2am
Sun 12pm-12am

Old Red Wine

The other day, we went to a friend’s place for a dinner party. Before dinner began, my friend revealed that TODAY was the perfect evening for him to open a bottle of wine that he had been keeping in his wine cellar for so long.

He was going to share it among the 6 guests. This meant that we would only get one small glass each – which suited me fine, since I can only tolerate very small amounts of alcohol.

Old Red Wine

There was lots of ooohing and ahhhing over the French wine bottle. It was so old that it had literally gathered dust. It’s not every day that you get to drink an 11 year old bottle of French wine (well not for me anyway).

When the wine bottle was opened, there was great relief when the cork came out cleanly. My friend explained that the bottle had been stored upside down, and the wine kept the cork moist –  so it would not crumble.

Old Red Wine

Dinner took some time to prepare, so we were all in quite a state of anticipation when we finally sat down to eat – and drink.

But then a funny thing happened. My wine loving friend ate two mouthfuls of the pasta, and a tiny sip of the wine, and then he said “Everyone stop drinking! This is not the right dish to go with this wine.”

At first, I thought he was joking, but then I realised he was absolutely serious. The pasta sauce was “too robust” for the wine’s “character”.

And since it was his wine, we all ate the rest of our meals with our wine glasses untouched.

Talk about fussy wine-drinkers!

About fifteen minutes after dinner, we allowed to resume appreciating the wine.

There was lots of discussion about how subtle the flavours were. How the wine had matured in “complex” ways.  And how French wines were far more sophisticated than Australian wines, which typically have “bolder” flavours.

Old Red Wine

I thought the wine was just okay, and to be honest, I really enjoy wine with stand-out flavours. You know, tough enough to take over your mouth and say “I’m here!!!”

So, I’m afraid that the wine was wasted on my “uneducated” taste.

(I can only hope that my friend does not read my blog!)