LunchSeri Malaysia

!Since the original posting of this article, Seri Malaysia has closed and been replaced with Tacofino Cantina.

Seri Malaysia

I love home cooked style food. It’s comforting, healthier and tastier (most of the time). But it seems to be getting harder and harder to find restaurants that cook like this. Enter Seri Malaysia, a hole in the wall on East Hastings. As much as I like hole in the wall type joints, I was slightly apprehensive about eating here.

The light, pale walls inside had remnants of Asian accents with an attempt to decorate, but the place still felt incomplete. Dim, cheap lighting in the kitchen area made the back look lonely and  mysterious. A cooler which held nothing in it sat lonely in front of the kitchen. The tables had plastic green table covers and were set up with glasses and cutlery, patiently waiting to seat patrons.

Seri Malaysia
(Clockwise: 1. Interior design by Salvation army and flea market. 2. Really, really flat Roti Canai. 3. The Quay Teow Goreng looks like slop, but is pretty tasty.)

Tre and I had arrived just as it opened for lunch. We stood in the doorway waiting for someone to greet us when a big guy appears hacking away like his lungs were about to explode. He motioned us to sit whereever we liked. I’m a bit of a germaphobe and the hacking was not good for me — not good for anyone for that matter. The more I heard him hacking away, the more I just wanted to run out the door. Tre and I looked at each other, but were unsure what to do. Our host hands us our menus and pours us some water — and without a word — walks away.

I ordered the Nasi Goreng, fried rice with Chicken. And for Tre, Quay Teow Goreng: traditional Malay fried rice noodles with seafood. We also ordered a Roti Canai: Malaysian puff bread served with hot curry. Our dishes arrived fairly quickly despite the fact our server/owner/cook was flying solo. When the food arrived, we notice the portions were generous and Tre and I dig in.

My Nasi Goreng was good. The rice was  fried perfectly with bits of crunchy silver fish — tasty, but a bit too salty. Tre’s Quay Teow Goreng was okay. The noodles were a little over cooked and salty. Our Roti Canai was nice and crispy but tasted from frozen, and wasn’t the least bit puffy. The hot curry sauce, however, was good.

Our meals were decent and had that home cooked taste. The owner was cool, he checked on us to make sure our meals were alright and apologized for not talking with us due to his cough. He rambled on about the cough, talking about all the remedies he tried, which I thought was a little strange. He sort of reminded me of my old Sensei, which is probably why we actually stuck around. Our meals set us back just under $30 bucks including taxes and tips which isn’t too shabby.

Perfect for: Straight up home cooked Malaysian food with no frills.

The Details

2327 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Seri Malaysia on Urbanspoon

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