By Ginger & Spice
Malaysian Cuisine Restaurant
Update: As of March 2012, I've been told that Nonya has developed a name change, removing "Ginger & Spice" as they are no longer affiliated and will probably change menu.
This means the below review may or may not be relevant to the restaurant's newly acquired menu after March 2012.
Malaysian cuisine seems to be hitting up Sydney's Chinatown district as of late and this includes the newly opened Nonya located within the corners of Dixon & Goulburn Street on the first floor of the shopping plaza.
The doors officially opened on the January 16th which was the evening that we decided to try Nonya. I was quite looking forward to their opening because I happen to be a regular of their first restaurant, Ginger & Spice in Neutral Bay for many years so we know the taste and quality of the food very well.
Of course, patience is a virtue when it comes to peak hours of the dinner trade. Being the first weeks, the lengthly waiting times for a table will be expected. Especially at the time I dined, Nonya had the alluring $5 Opening Special (promotion is now ceased) on all meals on the menu. No doubt anyone would be tempted to try out their "sumptuous" meals themselves!
After a 25 minute wait, we hopped along up the staircase that takes you to the restaurant; it's all sleek in sheer red and black wooden chairs and tables that overlook the historic Dixon street with a balcony for on-lookers to perch on as traffic goes by. The open kitchen and bar is busily preparing themselves with several dishes of different meats, grill and noodles and a lot of wok action happening.
With a group of five seated, we were quick to take in our orders of various favourite Malaysian meals such as the Nasi Lemak which is the proclaimed traditional Malaysian dish. Also the Hainanese Chicken and even the Otak-Otak that we always enjoy at Nonya's bigger brother Ginger & Spice.
Then the Nasi Lemak - the typical rice dish with an egg on top which I like to stir in and enjoy along with the beef rendang which is often soft and tender after being stewing away in the kitchen for so many hours beforehand.
Then the Assam & chicken satay skewers came into view; the Assam served piping hot onto the table. The citrus broth of the Assam is so addictive for me as it's another example of something which I could easily have alone with a bowl of steamed rice and be happy with. The seafood is varied and a few pineapple chunks float around the bowl, soaking in the soup flavour.
Lastly, we finished this feast with the lovely signature Singapore chilli prawns and kecap manis, a calamari dish of sweet and sticky kecap manis sauce thats been briskly tossed in to create a crunchy outer skin that'll stick to your teeth but yields a softer calamari flesh inside.