Malaysian Restaurant in Parramatta, Australia: Temasek Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Temasek HeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
Open: Lunch and dinner Tue - Sun
Price: Low

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +61 2 9633 9926
Address: Roxy Arcade, 71 George Street
Parramatta, New South Wales
Country: Australia
Food Style: Malaysian

The time we spent working in Kuala Lumpur addicted us to the earthy aromas and tastes of Malaysian cuisine. The complex flavours that are typical of the food of Malaysia are underrated by the Western food press, especially in the United States.
In Melbourne, we have long been addicted to the wonderful cooking at the Penang Coffee House which, arguably, serves the finest laksa in the country. We had not been able to find similar flavours in Sydney until this year when we stumbled on Temasek in an unlikely venue in Parramatta.
We had worked in a nearby building for almost a year and never discovered this gem! Well, we have made up for it now with a number of visits over the past couple of months.
First, you need to be aware that it is a BYO restaurant. We recommend that you choose your wine carefully as many will be destroyed by the spicy nature of the food. We find that semillon (such as the Brokenwood or the Elizabeth) and riesling (just about any) go particularly well. A robust shiraz can stand shoulder to shoulder with the rendang.
Just about every dish we have tried here has been a sensation. Start with a dish of the acar pickles - they are some of the best we have tried anywhere. Ikan bilis isn't on the menu, however they do serve a very good nasi lemak and have them available for that dish, so we always order a couple of plates of these compulsively wonderful dried fish to nibble on throughout the meal.
It is always a good idea to sequence the dishes from delicate to the more robust. The most delicate dish here and one that you simply have to try is the Hainan chicken - this is an almost perfect rendition of this favourite of ours. In fact, we think that Temasek vies with the Tian Tian Hainanese stall in the Maxwell Road market in Singapore in the Hainan Chicken stakes!
Make sure that you also try the sambal green beans - they are cooked right through as they should be and the sambal has both punch and depth.
The only dish that we have tried here that hasn't been exemplary was a beef rendang, however the waiter explained that they had run out and had cooked another batch that night so we will try it again on our next visit.
Don't go here for glamorous surroundings or fine china and cutlery. Go here for amazingly good food at very reasonable prices - particularly if you miss the true flavours of Malaysia!
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