As much as I love PappaRich in Chatswood, sometimes I just can’t be bothered lining up with the crowd and waiting for a table. That’s why I was excited to see a new Malaysian restaurant, Chef Rasa Sayang, open up near the corner of Archer and Victoria Streets in Chatswood. It’s just yet another option in that part of Chatswood, without having to trek to the other side of the station for my other Malaysian favourite, Mamak.
K and I visited for a quick lunch one afternoon. There’s no real table service here, you order from the guy at the counter, take your order number, and find a table to sit down at. Unfortunately on the day that we went, they had already sold out of a few menu items that I had my eye on – items like onde-onde sell out quickly, so get in before noon if you want some!
K and I ordered a drink each. Drinks aren’t listed on the menu, so you will need to ask the guy at the counter what they have available that day, as it does change all the time. We ordered a Soy Milk and a Lychee Drink, other options included herbal tea, grass jelly drink, etc.
The drinks come served in a disposable cup, sealed on top like bubble tea drinks. They’re extremely large servings as well – the cups are deceptively squat, but wide. One drink would actually suffice for two people! My Lychee drink was excellent, with hints of coconut milk and chunks of chewy lychee sweetening the drink. K’s soy milk was smooth and creamy – clearly freshly made that day.
K always measures how good a Malaysian restaurant is by the quality of their Cha Kway Teow, and Chef Rasa Sayang delivers with a smoky charred flavour-packed cha kway teow with lots of “wok hei”. It goes perfectly with the Malaysian-style pickled green chilli (the condiments are per a “serve yourself” basis at the counter), and is packed full of delicious prawns, chicken, and other meaty ingredients. Impressively, the bean shoots still have some fresh snap and crunch to them – I hate it when restaurants overcook bean sprouts until they’re soggy!
I have really liked Loh Bak every time that I’ve ordered it from other Malaysian restaurants, so decided to give Chef Rasa Sayang’s version a go. It came out looking very different to the spring roll-shaped loh bak that I’m used to. Instead, this was a larger roll (twice the size of a sushi hand roll) that was then sliced up. This actually worked in its favour, as it meant that you got more of the delicious spicy meat mix, while having just enough crispy bean curd skin wrapper to add some crunch and texture. This was delicious – I would order it again.
The last dish we ordered was the Pan Fried Radish Cake. Malaysian-style radish cake is still very strange to me, as I’m used to the grilled flat white radish cake that you order at Cantonese yum cha. I really enjoyed this though – the bean shoots, eggs, and dried shallots acted as a really simple and fresh base for the fried cubes of radish cake. Unfortunately, the radish cake wasn’t as crispy on the outside as I would have liked, but it still had a really nice flavour to it.
K and I really enjoyed the meal that we had at Chef Rasa Sayang – it’s a slightly cheaper alternative to nearby PappaRich with a much shorter queue. The downside is that the menu is much shorter, and you won’t find any Indian-influenced Malaysian food on the menu – there’s no rotis or curries for example. If you’re happy with a shorter menu though, this is the place to get a great hit of Malaysian!