The Malaysian Chinese Restaurant on Jordan Road in Kowloon is an unpretentious little café serving an extensive East meets West menu ranging from Malaysian to Chinese to Western. The cooking style is definitely old school, with a focus on taste rather than presentation. And the colourful décor is right out of the 1970s.
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The Back Story
I spent a year studying Chinese in Hong Kong in the 1970s. And I stayed at the YMCA on Salisbury Road, which was a few kilometres down Nathan Road from Jordan Road, where the Malaysian Chinese Restaurant, is located.
I had an appointment in the vicinity a couple of days ago. And when I exited from the Jordan MTR Station, I spotted the restaurant from across the street.
“OMG! It’s still there,” I thought. “I’m gonna have to go there for something to eat after my appointment..”
The Malaysian Chinese Restaurant has an extensive menu ranging from Malaysian to Chinese to Western dishes. And you will find everything from noodles in soup and fried noodles to wok-fried dishes , rice plates, omelets, vegetarian dishes, chicken, pork chops, salads. steaks – the list goes on.
But don’t confuse this with a contemporary fusion menu. This is what I think of as an old school colonial menu, harking back to a bye-gone era when unpretentious family run eateries dominated the dining out scene in Hong Kong.
Despite the many options on the menu, it was the promise of Malaysian food that encouraged me to have an early dinner at the Malaysian Chinese Restaurant. Tp clarify, Malaysian eateries are few and far between in Hong Kong.
So I didn’t waste my time scouring the menu, anguishing over what to order. Rather, I decided quickly on the five-course Special Malaysian Meal at the top of the page entitled Malaysian Food. Why? Because that is what I usually ordered in days gone by. And it never disappointed.
Most importantly, that offered the chance to sample several dishes. And it was perfect if you were dining alone.
The set menu gave me a choice of sour and chilli soup and curry soup. So I opted for the curry soup. And it was really quite tasty.
Next came two dishes, the curry chicken and eggs with rice and a choice of beef or pork satay. And I opted for the pork, which was absolutely delicious. There is something about satay that is absolutely irresistible. And this version was about as good as it gets. Moreover, the pork was succulent and beautifully cooked.
While the chicken came swimming in a yummy gravy, it was full of bones. I know that’s traditional. So I shouldn’t complain. But I would have preferred the chicken without bones.
BTW, if you’re not familiar with Malaysian food, Malaysian curries – like other Southeast Asian and Japanese curries – tend to be lighter, sweeter, and less fiery than Indian or Pakistani curries. But they are pungent and delicious nonetheless!
The curry chicken was accompanied by a boiled egg. And the satay was accompanied by slices of cucumber.
The shrimps sambal arrived quite a bit later than the other dishes. And I started to wonder if they had forgotten it.
When it finally arrived, I was already full. So it was a blessing in disguise. I asked for a doggie bag and had leftovers for dinner the following night. And the mouthwatering dish went really well with white rice!
Ambiance and Service
The Malaysian Chinese Restaurant had a very retro vibe, which was in keeping with the retro menu. With the orange, green, and yellow colour scheme, it was colourful and cheerful. And it helped set the mood for my walk down Memory Lane. As for the service, it was typical of a small, family-run restaurant.
The Malaysian Chinese Restaurant appeared to be a family-run eatery, which makes it an important part of a dying breed in a city awash in fast-food chains and restaurants owned and operated by restaurant groups. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. And I would definitely dine there again should I ever fine myself back in the neighborhood. So I give it an enthusiastic thumb’s up!
Malaysian Chinese Restaurant – 12 Jordan Road, Jordan, Kowloon Peninsula, Hong Kong. Telephone: (852) 2367 3552.
The restaurant is a very short walk from the Jordan MTR Station on the Tsuen Wan Line.