I found this restaurant on a list of Malaysian restaurants in Melbourne, and my family and I decided to try it on our first night in the city. My first impression of it was that it looked a lot like a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf outlet - I'm fairly certain that is what it might have been before, as the murals on the walls are exactly the kind you would find in a Coffee Bean outlet, only with the logos replaced with Madam Kay's Platz Cafe.
This strange quirk aside, the restaurant is a cosy place on Lonsdale Street near the Hotel Grand Chancellor, easily spotted by the large Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian national flag) in the front window.
The menu is typical Malaysian fare, with lunch diners having the option of nasi campur (rice with the choice of assorted meat or vegetables), while dinner is all ala carte. According to the cafe owner, their busiest hours are during lunch time, while dinner is more relaxed.
I ordered the Cantonese kuey teow, which is one of my favourite Malaysian dishes. I admit I wasn't expecting that much - during my year living in Adelaide, I didn't really find a dish that properly fit my ideal taste preferences. But after one spoonful of the rice noodles and eggy gravy, I was convinced. This was pretty authentic, everything from the texture of the kuey teow to the tasty gravy aftertaste. I happily cleaned up the entire plate.
The kuey teow goreng (fried rice noodles) that my mother ordered wasn't quite what she expected, as it was more of kuey teow goreng basah (a wet dish, instead of dry). She didn't mind though, as it tasted good, and there was a sizable portion of it. It was around this time that the restaurant owner came out to check on us, and we found out that he is originally from Penang (one of the Northern states in Malaysia). My mother used to live there growing up, and she realised that this was why the food here tasted sort of like what she was used to back then.
The menu listed the nasi goreng kampung (kampung style fried rice) as being really spicy, and they weren't kidding. My younger siblings ordered a dish each, and my sister ended up taking some of the Cantonese kuey teow gravy with her rice to cool it down a bit. If you love your rice packed with flavour and heat, this is a good choice.
My family and I were very glad that we stumbled across this restaurant; a taste of how the food back home usually comes to us. The chef behind the dishes is the son of the restaurant owner, and while we didn't meet him, he sure knows how to serve up authentic Malaysian cuisine. They also have a breakfast menu available that serves Western meals as well as the traditional nasi lemak (coconut rice). If you're into Malaysian flavours and tastes, or are a Malaysian looking for a taste of the homeland, give this place a try. The best part is that all the food here is halal.