Iron Chef Shellie

Straits Cafe Wantirna

A great variety of Malaysian dishes in the suburbs of Melbourne.

Travel & Dining

Straits Cafe Wantirna
August 19, 2011

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Straits Cafe Wantirna

I thought I’d review my favourite place for Malaysian food, Straits. It’s located in the outer suburb of Wantirna, and is constantly busy. You used to be able to just wonder in and get a table. Now, if you don’t book, good luck to you.

I’ve wanted to try Popiah ever since I saw Poh make it when she went back to Malaysia on her cooking show. I don’t recall ever trying it before. Popiah are Nyonya fresh spring rolls with shredded jicama, shrimp and/or pork, plus diced bean curd wrapped with fresh popiah skin.

I loved it, and the kick of chilli, and the thin popiah skin. Popiah is a weekend special at Straits… luckily Friday is classified as the weekend!

Penang Har Mee – $9.50
Authentic hawker style rice vermicelli and egg noodles, served in a prawn soup with sliced pork, prawns and egg.

It was sweet, it was savoury, it was delicious as far as Har Mee goes. I could easily be happy with a bowl of this on a cold wintery day. Although I have fond memories of eating it in the hot Malaysian climate, sweating it out for the sake of eating delicious food.

Penang Char Kueh Teow – $10.30
Malaysian hawker style stir fried flat noodles with prawns, squid, chinese sausage, fishcake, egg and beanshoots.

Another classic dish I can’t live without when it comes to Malaysian food. Loved the addition of squid. I remember always picking out squid growing up, now I love it.

Sar Hor Fun – $11.50
Fried flat rice noodles with seafood, chicken and vegetables, topped with a creamy egg sauce.

If this was the only dish they sold, I’d still go every week just for this dish. The flavours are very authentic, and we always, always, always order a plate of this.

Murtabak & Curry – $12.50
Pan friend crispy pastry filled with uniquely seasoned minced beef and onion, served with your choice of beef rendang or chicken curry.

We were originally going to just order a rendang and roti, but my aunty suggested we get this instead. Boy am I glad she suggested it, I couldn’t get enough of it! I loved the mince filled ‘pancake’ and dipping it into the sauce of the rendang. I think I’ll be ordering this one quite often where I can, it was superb!

Hainanese Chicken Rice – $10.50
Boneless pieces of tender chicken, steamed to perfection, served with the chef’s famous chicken flavoured rice.

The chicken rice, and the chicken…. just perfection. I usually fight Dad over this dish, but since we had so much food this time around, there was no fight!

Satay Chicken Skewers – $12.50
Marinated chicken skewers with peanut sauce, on a sizzling hot plate, served with rice.

It was juicy, and delicious. I only had a little taste, but they all vanished pretty quickly between the 5 of us!

Unfortunately when we were ready for dessert, there were no banana fritters left! People must be coming here to enjoy bananas since they are $14/kilo! I’ll try next time to secure a banana fritter.
Pulut Hitam

Delicious and really hits the spot…. even better when you have it with some coconut ice cream.

Mango Ice Cream – $4.50

Coconut Ice Cream – $4.50

The coconut ice cream was lovely and refreshing. The little chunks of coconut throughout really made it something special. I combined this with the pulut hitam, and it was delicious!

Overall, Straits is still one of my absolutely favourite place for a Malaysian feast. The food is consistently good, service is great, and you really get value for money. If you only try one dish here…. I’d probably say make it the Sar Hor Fun.

Bookings are essential, unless you like to wait around and give people death stares as they enjoy eating their food. And a note; it’s cash only.


17 comments on “Straits Cafe Wantirna
  1. Michelle chin

    This place is pretty far away!

    August 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm
  2. msihua

    Oooo.. too bad about the banana fritters… HmMmm.. I can’t decide where to go next!! So many choices!!

    August 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm
  3. Thanh

    Ever Malaysian restaurant seems to serve Kickapoo. I wanted to try popiah too but only saw it after I finished eating. Will try it soon. For some reason I just imagined popiah being sweet. I was imagining a sweet pancake with roasted peanut coated in a thin palm sugar syrup and mixed with dessicated coconut. Maybe I should invent that dish? Or have I sub-consciously tried it already somewhere else?

    August 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm
  4. Bianca

    Ooooh this is really close to where I (usually) live!! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it/been there before 😀 You like Hainanese Chicken Rice and Char Kway Teow, hey? 😉

    August 19, 2011 at 11:18 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      yup!!! two of my absolute favourites 😛

      August 19, 2011 at 11:20 pm
      • Bianca

        Oh, Shellie!! I just realised where this is. Please please pleeeeease tell me you went to the asian grocery in that same strip of shops!? I frequent there (when I’m in Melbourne)! They have great fruit and veg and their own butcher (and yes the meat is fine hahaha). It is my favourite asian grocery in the suburbs, and most things are cheaper than those at Box Hill or Springvale 🙂

        August 19, 2011 at 11:22 pm
        • Iron Chef Shellie

          of course!!

          August 19, 2011 at 11:22 pm
          • Bianca

            Yay! I don’t know why but this makes me extremely happy 🙂 I think I really enjoy it when I can share my love of fantastic not-so-well-known (especially Asian) places with people who also love them. Ahhh 🙂

            August 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm
  5. Ashley

    OMG THEY DO POH PIAH?! I think my parents used to come here a lot….but I LOVE POH PIAH! Must go now! 🙂

    August 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm
  6. penny aka jeroxie

    Why is it so far away from me? sob sob….

    August 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm
  7. Nic@diningwithastud

    Its funny how you dislike things as a kid then when you get older you wondered why you were being so stupid cos its amazing lol. Like me an mushrooms, we’re friends now.
    The ‘pancake’ look sooo good!

    August 22, 2011 at 10:22 am
  8. Vee @ Munching (in) Melbourne

    I love banana fritters! I always cop a lot of flack for it; it is apparently the sell-out of Asian desserts! That popiah looks fantastically authentic, and I’ve been looking for the perfect sar hor fun for some time (the epitome of comfort food!). This place is so far away though – is it just me or do they have another place somewhere in the Fitzroy area?!

    August 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm
  9. Winston

    is this under the same branch as the one in doncaster? cz ive only been to that one and LOVED it! these dishes you’ve ordered really hits home…. think it’s time to get my msian food fix now =)

    August 23, 2011 at 3:01 am
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Yeah it’s a family business and there is one in Doncaster. I can’t vouch for how good the food is at Doncaster as I’ve never been, but Wantirna is always good!

      August 23, 2011 at 10:11 am
  10. April@MyFoodTrail

    Hmph! How did I not know there was a Straits Cafe in Wantirna?!! I wonder how long it’s been open for? I knew about the one in Doncaster. Too bad my parent’s have moved out of Wantirna now.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      It’s been there quite a few years now! Oh shame your parents aren’t out that way anymore!

      August 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm
  11. Libby

    I don’t live very far to the Doncaster restaurant – I hope the food’s as good as the Wantirna one!

    September 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm
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