I’m somewhat of a novice when it comes to Malaysian cuisine. As a result, I was thrilled to find out that Hong Kong has several Malaysian restaurants, with authentic dishes catering to homesick Southeast Asians. I’ve quickly come to love laksa, kaya toast, and hainan chicken while exploring this diverse cuisine.
Perhaps the best Malaysian meal I’ve had in Hong Kong was at Sabah Restaurant in Wan Chai. Coincidentally, Sabah happened to be the first Malaysian restaurant I visited and offered a memorable introduction to some classic Malaysian dishes. With a long queue outside, I knew it had to be good.
With the weather being so hot outside, I ordered an iced pulled tea ($30 HKD) to cool off. Pulled tea is very similar to Hong Kong-style milk tea, but differs in how it is made. After the tea is brewed, the tea maker pours it back and forth, which mixes and adds frothiness to the tea. You can see pulled tea being made in this video. Sabah’s version was light and not too sweet–very refreshing on a hot and humid day.
For our entrees, my friends and I started with the nasi goreng. Considered the national dish of Indonesia and very popular in all of Southeast Asia, nasi goreng is basically a spiced fried rice, served with a perfectly fried egg on top. I thought the dish was tasty, but not outstanding. It reminded me of an upscale version of Panda Express fried rice, if that offers any insight.
Next, we ordered the stir fried morning glory. Normally I don’t gush over greens, but Sabah’s was excellent. Lightly coated in fish sauce and shrimp paste, and sprinkled with dried shrimp on top, the morning glory were crisp and not at all greasy. Each bite was packed with flavor.
The star of the meal, however, was the beef rendang. Tender, lean chunks of beef are slowly stewed in coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and tons of other spices, to create a rich sauce that is even more heavenly when scooped up with some roti bread. Though it’s not the most visually pleasing dish, a simple presentation belies complex flavors.
For an authentic and delicious taste of Malaysia, follow the queues and check out Sabah Restaurant.
G/F., Shop 4-5., 98-102 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai
852 2143 6626