The Malaya | Darling Harbour

The 2017 Sydney Festival is currently on and with so much to do and eat, you need to make sure to plan our January to fit them all in! This year the event organisers have brought something special to Sydney, the "Beach at the Cutaway" which we can't wait to visit this coming weekend. Think of a large plastic ball pit with over a million balls simulating a pool or a beach feel. With a festival so big and exciting, you bet there's going to be special menu's designed for the event.

Everyone we know has heard of The Malaya down in King Street. It's a beautiful southeast asian restaurant with waterfront views. You can see cruises docking or leaving the wharf on a long afternoon or watch the sunset in the evening... and with the privilege of daylight savings (sucks to be WA) we can't think of a better way to enjoy a warm summer's night. Add a little spice to the mix with the rich and aromatic curries from The Malaya to really make it a night worth remembering. 

We were invited by Zomato to sample The Malaya's Sydney Festival menu. I've been telling my colleagues and they have made reservations. The menu is great for value at $55 per person, it's the perfect excuse for a date night. This is what you get: 

Chicken San Choy Bow
The Malaya served up the mince on a separate plate to the lettuce and there was surplus mince as well! The lettuce was fresh and the mince was full of flavour and spice (and everything nice). However one is enough to satisfy you and they can be really messy to eat!

Salt and Pepper Prawns
 Lightly battered prawns, tossed in fresh chili, salt, cracked black pepper and shallots. The batter was heavily seasoned - this may sound like an off putting experience, it really is not. The prawns were cooked perfectly, so the crunch still remained and the batter had little to no oily residue, so no grasping for water required. This item alone is worth visiting the Malaya.

Kapitan Prawns
Funnily enough we had never tried Kapitan sauce until 2 weeks ago. So we had a very good understanding of what to expect. The previous encounter had us thinking it was similar to a red curry but having now tried what a real Kapitan sauce should taste like, far from it. The stand out in this dish was definitely the sauce, we were scooping up sauce and rice as we couldn't get enough of it. The paste used to make the sauce was for sale at the counter and we were very tempted to buy a jar!
Aside from the sauce, the dish was complimented well with the lightly battered king prawns. This was the best curry dish served on the night and our second favourite pick.

Coconut Beef Rendang
Served is the Indonesian style beef curry rendang with an aromatic dry coconut base. It was quite rich and bold flavours were evident. The beef was slow cooked to leave nothing but soft chunky pieces that fall apart by the slightest of touches, just begging to be eaten. It was probably one of the better beef rendang dishes we have tried, but it's never really been a favourite of ours.

Szechuan Eggplant 
The waiter came to the table and placed a serving of eggplant, then continued to tell us that this eggplant was so popular that it had people coming back just to re-order. This got our attention and raised our expectations! When the dish arrived at the table, we weren't too sure what it was exactly. I remember thinking "looks like something had been burnt and then soaked in oil". The pieces of eggplant were largely cut and coated with Szechuan sauce which closely resembled a meat dish!
The verdict however.. well looking around the table to see that many people's eyes were popping out of their faces was definitely a good sign. The first bite and wow it was unbelievable. Nothing like we have ever tasted before, it is amazing how eggplant can taste so good. The eggplant was cooked leaving only an extremely crunchy coating with a soft and delectable flesh on the inside.

Just wow.

The menu also comes with a glass of wine, so you can dine and wine the night away. Be sure to check out the cocktail menu for even more great choices. You may even see an Australian classic on the menu... no Katut!

If you don't get a chance to visit during Sydney Festival (7 January - 29 January) to taste their menu, make sure you visit just for their Szechuan eggplant!!!

The Malaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato