Saturday, 23 March 2013

Cafe Malaysia, Cathays, Malaysian restaurant review

Let’s be clear. I don’t really have much of an idea about “authentic” Indian, Spanish, Malaysian, Japanese or almost any other international cuisine.  

However, I’ve sampled a number of iterations of each and I know what I like.

Having eaten some mediocre and good Malaysian food in Cardiff, I’m of the opinion that Café Malaysia comes up trumps.

When we visited last night there wasn’t an empty table in the house.

The prospect of a bottle of crisp Tiger beer for £2.10 made me fall in love with the place almost instantly. Mrs G ordered a mug of strong, sweet and milky Malaysian white coffee (£1.80).

A starter of roti canai (£3.50) was immense. Two generous crispy, soft, flaky, buttery, layered breads were served with a smooth spicy curry sauce and dhal.

Chicken satay (£3.50) were ultra tender and were char-grilled to add an extra dimension. The peanut sauce itself was just fine in comparison.

Mains were excellent too.

Mrs G’s Beef Rendang (£7) was the best I’ve ever tasted –soft beef and a silky, spicy, coconut sauce. Fluffy rice was bang on.

Mamak curry chicken (£6) was a semi-dry, prettily presented, spice laced chicken curry garnished with cucumber and hard-boiled egg.

Despite these two dished being described as mild, they were both pretty fiery. I’d imagine some of the hotter dishes on the menu must be seriously potent.

Nasi Paprik (£6) was a sweet and savoury stir fry of tender chicken and al dente veg with the fragrance of lemongrass. It was ordered minus prawns without any quibbles.

Café Malaysia is fantastic. It’s a bargain, there’s a laid back atmosphere to the no frills dining space, service is efficient and the food is delicious. There’s only one note of caution – if you’re planning an evening visit, they’re only open ‘til 8pm. 

Update - 20/12/2015 - Café Malaysia has been renamed Jalan Malaysia. The food is still just as good. 

The details:

Address - 101 Woodville Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4DY
Telephone - 02920 235616
Cafe Malaysia on Urbanspoon


  1. This place is amazing! I love the food and the owners are super-nice! Very family friendly, too! My 6 year old loves roti canai. If you need to cool down after some of the more spicy dishes, I can highly recommend their honeycomb ice cream (:

    1. @anonymous - I was tempted by the honeycomb ice cream. I'll get involved next time. Thanks!

  2. the hainan chicken rice is the best in town! my favourite main

    1. @anonymous - Awesome, I'll check it out. Only tried it once when I visited Singapore.

  3. recently recommended this place to friends and they all loved it, too! I hope it succeeds long term, especially as it's a family business... the owners very much deserve it! They put a lot of loving effort in...
    I wish they would serve coconut juice/water... nicely complements spicy food.
    And maybe the place could be decorated a bit more. It's kind of bland. But that doesn't really matter after all...