Malaysian Chapter, Belconnen

16 Mar

Everything I hear about Belconnen’s Malaysian Chapter is good, so after a big Friday at Parties at the Shops, it seems like a no fuss option where we’ll get good, tasty food. And we’re right.

There’s nothing particularly appealing about the interior: the restaurant is carpeted, and there are few paintings on the wall, with some mounted framed chalkboards with specials and short quotes. We’re offered a choice of the only three empty tables, and pick one which needs a quick clean; this is done quickly and expertly.

I don't mind this - setting expectations early!

I don’t mind this – setting expectations early!

It takes us a little while to choose – the menu is lengthy, with a range of soups and salads, as well as Nasi Lemak, Curry, Sambal, stir fry and Hawker ‘corners’. The specials are explained to us and we can’t go past the Chicken 65 – what sounds to be a chicken in a delicious spice blend, with lemon squeezed on top.

Specials board on the wall

Specials board on the wall

Wine list

Wine list

The number of Canberra wines on the menu is low, with just one or two, including a Brindabella Hills Riesling as a pricier option. Some bottles are very cheap – in the low $20 range. We go with one of these.

Wine time

Wine time

We get a small complimentary serving of (rather spicy) chips to our table while we wait for the food – but just as our waiter puts them on the table, he drops them over the floor. He’s apologetic, and quickly cleans up, and fetches us a new basket.

Basket of chips take two

Basket of chips take two

The food does take a little bit of time, but we’re pleased with what we’re served – and it’s piping hot!

Tofu goreng with chilli and peanut sauces ($6.50)

Tofu goreng with chilli and peanut sauces ($6.50)

The tofu goreng is not as crispy as I would have liked, but the bean curd is deliciously silken and it’s a great starter.

Chicken 65 ($9.50)

Chicken 65 ($9.50)

Chicken 65 is our favourite dish of the night. The spice mix is right, the chicken is tender and juicy, and the squeeze of lemon really makes it. I could have eaten a few bowls of this. We’re later told it’s one of their most popular dishes, and they’re looking to include it on the menu permanently (yes please).

Chicken curry laksa ($16.50)

Chicken curry laksa ($16.50)

My laksa looks and is HOT – both in chilli and how quickly it’s been dished up. Unlike other dishes which pack a lot of chilli, I find this really easy to eat. The heat lights my mouth but just stays as a constant, rather than overpowering.

It’s got a lot of similarity to the laksa at Sanur’s (also in Belconnen). It’s a great laksa, but I think I slightly prefer the more creamy, nutty flavour at Sanur’s.

Rojak Buah Penang ($10.50)

Rojak Buah Penang ($10.50)

Boyfriend’s ordered a salad with fruits and cucumber – and again, a lot of chilli. His eyes water a little, but he easily finishes the dish. He’d also ordered a prawn-wonton soup ($8.50) but it doesn’t arrive. By the time we’re done with our mains, we’re glad it didn’t arrive as we’re extremely full!

We let our hosts know about the missing dish on leaving, and again they’re genuinely apologetic – they seem quite horrified, and are glad we mention it – a far cry from the shrugged shoulders or the blank ‘Oh, really?’ comments which seems to be the norm at other restaurants.

Our experience really highlights to me that, yes, mistakes happen – of course they will when you’re dealing with people and food – but they can be easily overlooked when the service is genuine and humble.

Date: Friday, 14 March 2014

Where: Weedon Close, Belconnen

Cost: $72 for two, including two starters, a salad, a main and a bottle of wine

Waitstaff pretentiousness: Very low

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Want more? Try the website here. Another cheap and cheerful restaurant on Weedon Close is Turkish Delight – a fave of ours.
Malaysian Chapter on Urbanspoon

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6 Responses to “Malaysian Chapter, Belconnen”

  1. Heike Herrling March 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    I love Malaysian food and it’s so hard to find good Malaysian food in Oz. I’m bummed I didn’t try this in Canberra. Was that a Barossa wine you ordered? Any good? I’m hitting the Barossa next week!!!

  2. Rosemarie John March 18, 2014 at 12:09 am #

    Oh my… This is sealing the deal on Belconnen!! A taste of home so nearby??? If they have Fried Kuey Teow on their menu, I will be so happy!!!

    • inthetaratory March 24, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

      They seem to! Very excited for you (and now I’ll have to make sure I try it!).

  3. Melanie December 23, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    Thanks for this review, Tara. Trying to find a place open this week for a long overdue catchup with a friend was hard and your post about this place prompted me to give them a try. The food was wonderful! Definitely on the list for a return visit in the new year.

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  2. Beijing House, Hawker | In The Taratory - April 16, 2014

    […] House reminds me a lot of Malaysian Chapter: no-frills decor doesn’t matter when there’s genuine service and great food, and […]

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