Malaya Corner is one of the first restaurants we dined in Brisbane – this was because our flight got in late at night, and it was the only restaurant in the neighbourhood that was still serving food. But what tasty food! Second to none! We were hungry and ordered prawn sambal – the sauce with large fresh prawns was just perfect.
Long beans with belachan (shrimp paste) was next – another very tasty dish, just the right blend of sour and spice to tickle the taste buds and the long beans were not overcooked - fresh and crunchy. The fried fish in sambal (chili made from a mixture of chilli peppers and garlic, ginger and shallots) was also good.
We have been to Kinn Thai (Kinn means eat in Thai) several times and have never been disappointed. Situated in the Westfield Shopping Complex, the ambience is good – a small garden fronts the restaurant and a pool and fountain behind the garden cools your eyes, especially on a sunny day as you await your meal. They are always busy (so best to book your table ahead, and to call in if you are going to be late. We almost lost our table the last time we were there as we were 15 minutes late ). Service, however, is fast. Our favourite dishes are the Chicken Satay (pieces of chicken skewered on bamboo sticks and cooked over a charcoal fire and served with sweet peanut sauce), Golden Tofu, Deep fried Barramundi and Prawn Sambal.
We have had dinner at Singapore Corner several times – again this is a restaurant that never fails to satisfy. Our favourite dishes are the fish in Nonya curry (pieces of fish cooked in coconut milk and spices) – just the perfect mix of sweet and spicy to titillate the taste buds, sambal prawns – generous servings of large fresh prawns and Kangkong Belachan (water spinach in shrimp paste) – for many years my culinary critic daughter has graded restaurants based on how good their Kangkong Belachan dish is and Singapore Corner has always made it up to the top few. The trick is not to overcook the spinach so that it is still crunchy to the bite and not to stinge on the shrimp paste. Our favourite dishes at Very Thai are their Seafood/Prawns Thai style noodle soup and Stir fry Noodles with Seafood.
One of the best Indian food outlets in Brisbane has to be the Mamak Tandoori restaurant at Camp Hill. This restaurant has its roots in Penang (a foodie island paradise) and its chef had his early training in South India. The dishes are a trifle hot but the blend of spices is authentic and perfect. The first time we went we were on a vegetarian fast; the fried okra, dhal makhani (lentils, spices, ginger and butter) and malai kofta (vegetable cutlet balls cooked with cream, herbs and cashew mint sauce) were perfect.
We went back on the weekend to taste their Mutton murtabak (panfried bread stuffed with meat, eggs and spices) – just mouth-wateringly wonderful from the moment the dish is brought out from the kitchen and the smell assails your olfactory nerves. Arun, our son, ordered Nasi Lemak (fragrant rice cooked with coconut milk and served with hot sambal, peanuts, fried anchovies and your choice of meat – not good for weight watchers but the occasional indulgence is what makes life worth living!).
Angie ordered Thosai (fermented batter crepe) – I gave it a 6/10 – being a thosai connoisseur, I prefer my thosai batter to be fermented more to increase the degree of sourness. Besides the degree of sourness, the other important trick in preparing thosai is to ensure that it has the right degree of crispiness without being overdone and becoming crumbly. I gave the dips that came with the thosai – the sambar (lentil stew) and coconut chutney (spicy coconut dry sauce) a 7/10.