Malaysian cuisine is a very general term that may be applied to anything from ‘tau foo fah’ (soy bean curd pudding) to ‘mamak rojak’ (mixed vegetables and fritters tossed in a spicy sauce). The amalgamation of the various cultures in Malaysia resulted in culinary blending and borrowing, and it is the diverse array of cuisines that are all identified as ‘local Malaysian cuisine’, that makes Malaysia unique. The Rainforest offers the Indian, Malay and Mamak variety of Malaysian cuisine.
Away from the hustle and bustle of George Street, The Rainforest is a cosy little place to escape to and enjoy a leisurely lunch or dinner. They have a good selection of popular Malaysian dishes and most of the favourites are offered on the lunch menu for a reasonable $10. As an added boon, groups of students dining at night get free ‘Roti’ for starters.
I dropped by The Rainforest one evening, hungry and tired after work. By the end of the meal I was so full that I felt as though I could have rolled myself home. We started with a tasty ‘Mamak Rojak’ which consisted of all the usual ingredients plus fried fish balls, which is a rather unusual, but harmless addition. My favourite ingredients in mamak rojak are the fried tofu and fritters, which are especially delicious when slathered in the spicy, nutty rojak sauce. To wash that down, we sipped on ‘Teh Tarik’ (directly translated as ‘pulled tea’), which is basically frothy tea and sweetened condensed milk but has a distinct taste that must come from a particular type of tea. The ‘Teh Tarik’ was smooth, subtle and had that lovely, faint bitter aftertaste that tea has. It was soothing and exactly what I needed to unwind. We then attacked our mains – the ‘Mamak Mee Goreng’ and the ‘Beef Rendang’. Both were spicy and very tasty. The ‘Mamak Mee Goreng’ was well stir-fried, which is important, and was laden with hunks of meat and vegetables. The beef was tender and the rendang sauce was slightly sweet, thick and rich with flavour, as it should be. All in all, it was hearty and satisfying meal and I plan to visit again to try some of their other dishes. It is a true relief to be within easy reach of some authentic Malaysian food this far south in the world.
95 Filleul Street