Kampung Malay is testament to the successful formula that Jason Tan and partner Kate Ferber have used in their existing restaurants. It is the same in all three of Tan’s restaurants: a combination of Malaysian/Chinese food, consistency of product, friendly service and BYO ($1 per head) which make this an extremely affordable dining experience. As a result, Kampung Malay has reaped the benefit of loyal clientele who regularly enjoy the $9.95 lunch specials or dine there any night of the week for the price of a takeaway.
After migrating from Kuala Lumpur in 1984, Jason found his niche adapting Malaysian dishes to better suit the Australian palate. His food shows the influence of many other Asian cuisines, is more subdued and not as spicy as that of his homeland, but tasty nonetheless. He provides something for everyone on this menu, so families dine in a comfortable environment without straying too far from their comfort zone.
We cannot begin a meal without the Roti Chanai, a flaky short pastry-type bread bundled onto a plate, which you tear off and dip into the flavour-filled curry sauce. From there, choices vary, with everyone having their own favourite main course: Sizzling duck, Chicken satay, Honey king prawns or Yon ya chicken. All meals are priced under $20 and generous in size. Lunch brings a different clientele including many retirees who enjoy a leisurely lunch.
On our visit, we were fascinated by the peg system used by wait staff to communicate orders to the kitchen. It’s a need-to-know Braille system, which helps make service efficient and friendly, despite the rush of orders.
Kampung Malay fills a niche on the Gold Coast for Asian cuisine at a family price.
Shop 1-3 Robina Quays Shopping Centre, 361 Robina Parkway, Robina Ph: 07 5689 1077
Shop 16 & 17, 2 Bell Central, Mudgeeraba Ph 07 5569 0085
Shop 6 & 7 Bronberg Plaza, Slatyer Ave., Bundall Ph 07 5539 2899