Thai food is everywhere in Auckland and Vietnamese is spreading like wildfire. Meanwhile, Malaysian sits on the backbenches with just a few cult heroes serving it as it should be. It's an underrated and under-appreciated cuisine here in New Zealand and that's a bloody shame.
Jacky Lam, originally from Melaka and from the family behind KK Malaysian in Epsom, saw fit to open Malay Parlour, a hole-in-the-wall joint smack in the middle of Ponsonby Road. The place is fairly small and best suited for takeaway — the minimalist fit-out includes a handful of tables, a drinks fridge and a menu with 20-something items to choose from.
If you're in for a quick lunch do not go past one of the roti wraps ($7.80 small, $11 large). Our favourite featured Malay spiced marinated chicken, homemade satay sauce in a flaky roti canai roll. For something more substantial, the red curry chicken ($15) is worth a try. The tender boneless chicken, punchy red curry and sweetness of the coconut cream combine just as they should (although could do with a little more chilli).
On the side grab some handmade dumplings. These beautiful little morsels will tick all the right boxes for dumpling enthusiasts. Elsewhere you'll find culture clash items like curly fries, kumara chips with burnt onion cream cheese mayo and your everyday roast vegetables.
With the man behind KK in charge, we have high hopes for Malay Parlour. Lam clearly knows a thing or two about good Malaysian food, and thanks to his input and innovations like roti wraps, Malay Parlour could, in time, be elevated to the semi-cult status of KK.