Kaya Malay Bistro

One of the reasons I like Vancouver is the diversity of the food. Specifically, Malaysian food. Kaya Malay Bistro does a wonderful take on street style Malaysian food for their lunch menu. Reminds me of Hawker Bar in Toronto.


The daily special drink was a passion fruit soda. Yum!

Passion Fruit Soda
Passion Fruit Soda
Mango Smoothie
Mango Smoothie

Hubby had the Kari Lamb. The lamb was succulent and the lively flavors made my taste buds dance.

Kari Lamb Boneless lamb shoulder stewed in curry, infused with cumin, fennel and coconut milk
Kari Lamb
Boneless lamb shoulder stewed in curry, infused with cumin, fennel and coconut milk

I had the Satay chicken, gado gado and rice. The chicken had lots of flavor, and I could have eaten the peanut sauce all day long. I love gado gado; a take on an Indonesian cooked vegetable salad. There was also a green salad on the side with a sweet mustard dressing.

Satay Chicken, Gado Gado with Rice Famous Malaysian skewers served with a bean sprout tofu salad topped with peanut dressing.
Satay Chicken, Gado Gado with Rice
Famous Malaysian skewers served with a bean sprout tofu salad topped with peanut dressing.
Satay Chicken, Gado Gado with Rice Famous Malaysian skewers served with a bean sprout tofu salad topped with peanut dressing.
Satay Chicken, Gado Gado with Rice
Famous Malaysian skewers served with a bean sprout tofu salad topped with peanut dressing.

Kaya Malay Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tropical Delight Noodle House

I love the food of Singapore and Malaysia. I traveled there a few years ago and savoured laksa (my favorite), clay pot chicken, roti, beef rendang, nasi lemak and mee goreng.  Ever since Tropika closed it’s doors years ago, there hasn’t been anything comparable in Calgary. I’ve had to venture to Vancouver and Toronto for my Malaysian food fix. Then Tropical Delight came along. I have been saved.

My friend and I decided to indulge after a few hours at the climbing gym. We were hungry.  The portions are generous and the amount of food we had would easily feed three people.  We ordered to share.  The laksa lemak was nice and spicy.  It contained what I thought was squid and scallops, but after the spice fog cleared, I’m pretty sure it was sliced fish balls, fried tofu, fake crab sticks and hard boiled egg. I’m glad we ordered the wonton kolo mee so we could give ourselves a break from the spice.  This was dry egg noodle with ground pork, green onion, deep fried wonton and soup on the side.  Comfort food; it reminded me of my Mom’s homemade wonton noodle soup. The roti canai was delicious and the curry sauce also spicy. We also had a complimentary dessert. My friend suspected it was cassava cake.  It was yellow and dense, tasted a bit like squash with a hint of coconut. Tasty. Lunch was rather affordable.

They had some interesting specials such as white curry which I will have to try another time.  The service was quick; our food arrived within minutes of ordering. Well, we were there at 2:30 in the afternoon and surprisingly, the restaurant was half full. This warrants a repeat visit.

They take only cash and debit and are open Monday though Saturday 10:00am – 5:30pm. The following menu photos only shows the pages with the specials.

Portion of menu with specials
Portion of menu with specials
Dessert Specials
Dessert Specials
Laksa Lemak
Laksa Lemak
Roti Canai
Roti Canai
Wonton Kolo Mee
Wonton Kolo Mee

Tropical Delight Noodles House on Urbanspoon

Cooking Storm

We had quite the snowstorm today. Stayed in until it was over. Cooked up a storm as well. This weekend, I made: sayur lemak, bok choy and pineapple salad, spicy Korean pork and meyer lemon curd tart.

Sayur lemak is a Malaysian dish. Specifically, it is vegetables cooked in coconut gravy. I fell in love with this dish when there was a Tropica in Calgary. I found that this version is a bit watery, not like gravy should be. Next time, I will add some cornstarch.

Sayur lemak

Sayur Lemak
Sayur Lemak with steamed tiger shrimp and tilapia on rice vermicelli

Looking around the web for some inspiration, I found a bok choy and pineapple salad.  It is similar to gado gado, but the veggies are not cooked.  I quite liked this dish.  I added some fresh mango and it was tasty.

Bok choy and pineapple salad

I felt like making a Korean dish to go with this, but didn’t feel like spending a lot of time.  This spicy version of pork bulgogi was perfect. I served it on top of roasted spaghetti squash. I’m trying a mostly veg and meat dinners this week (and last). Starchy carbs make me hungry and fat.

Spicy Korean pork

Bok choy and pineapple salad, and spicy Korean pork
Bok choy and pineapple salad, and spicy Korean pork

The Meyer lemon curd was delish, but unfortunately did not set. So it was not picture worthy. Will try cooking it on a pot directly on the stove rather than the double boiler method, next time.

Meyer lemon curd

Update: After a day or so, I had another slice. Voila! It was set.

Meyer lemon tart with whipped cream
Meyer lemon tart with whipped cream


I’m pretty sure this restaurant is flying under the radar.  High expectations because of it’s pedigree, but not a whole lot of buzz. The reviews I read were mixed. I can definitely say that the food was fantastic.

Chipotle Mayonnaise, Cilantro, Tomatillo, Jicima
Shaved Red Onion, Cilantro, Crispy Shallots, Fresh Citrus Juice, Rocoto Chili

There were three of us and we ordered for sharing. The server was helpful in suggesting dishes to balance our selections.  The smoked cod taro tacos were bursting with avocado flavor with a touch of heat.  The cod got a little lost in the dance . The tuna and watermelon ceviche was exceptional. Strong spicy flavors with delicate watermelon to stave off the heat. Did I tell you I like my food a little spicy?


The dungeness crab salad was a good way to tone down the tuna and the tacos.  The most interesting thing was the toasted burdock root on top. The dish was not flashy, but did the job of cooling off my taste buds for the next dish.

Filled With Mushroom and Leeks, Goat Cheese Sauce, Roasted Chorizo and Pesto

The dumplings had strong flavors of and mushroom and sausage that reminded me of a Chinese style chicken and dried mushroom dish. The dehydrated tomato slice was a nice textural contrast.

Tamago, Horse Radish Lemon and Chive Creème fraiche with Wasabi Tobiko

I really liked the gravlax for both the presentation and taste. The seaweed, capers and creme fraiche were a nice contrast the salmon wrapped in tamago. They were served with a side of buckwheat pancakes and lime in cheesecloth to squeeze over the salmon.

Black Garlic, Parsnip Puree, Roasted Rosemary Duck Fat Potato with Sour Cream And Chives

I did not try the short ribs as I do not eat beef that is not hormone and antibiotic free.  The roasted potatoes however, were hot and very tasty. Ditto with the rare marinated beef. The beef was served with a side of cheese toast.

Lightly Seared Beef, Herbed Olive Oil, Momiji Oroshi, Diced Scallion, Ume Spicy Ponzu
with Crispy Rice Cake
With melted cheese
Sesame ball, panna cotta with milk foam

Dessert was complimentary. Although I was too full to eat another bite, I had to sample. There was a Chinese style sesame ball filled with peanut satay on a caramelized miso sauce.  The sesame ball was a bit rubbery and difficult to share, but I haven’t had one that wasn’t. Also fruit salad topped with a minty panna cotta which was very good.

Strong complex flavors that flowed well from one dish to another. Possibly too strong for some, but that’s the way I like it. This is one of the best Asian fusion restaurants that I have ever tried. Service was attentive even when they got busy. Attention to detail such as wiping off the table between dishes and providing fresh cutlery between courses.

Atmosphere is upbeat urban. Hallway to the washrooms is rather eclectic.

Bent on Urbanspoon

Khao San Road

My search for Thai brought me to Khao San Road. Except in Toronto, not Bangkok. This place is popular and like most trendy places, does not accept reservations. Thai food with an urban flair. The green curry was bursting with fresh flavors of lemongrass and spice. The Pad Thai smacked of tamarind. The spring rolls were fresh and tasty. Really good food.

Had I known about their specials, I would have tried them as well.  The squash fritters reminded me of the Gorgon Medusa’s hair and the Khao Soi apparently is very good too.

Fresh Spring Rolls with chicken sausage, Thail basil, lettuce, carrots and mint leaves with tamarind sauce.
Pad Thai with pork and green curry with chicken

When the restaurant is full, it can be quite loud so I wouldn’t recommend it as a first date kind of place. The service was attentive and the host came by to ask our opinion. When we left there was a lineup outside waiting to get in.

Khao San Road on Urbanspoon

Hawker Bar

Restaurants this trendy don’t have their name permanently displayed on their premises. “Prove that you love me and buy the next round”.

Seeing that I follow food trends on  regular basis, I decided on Hawker Bar. It has been open 6 months, long enough for the buzz to die down but not long enough for it to be not trendy. I was in the mood for Malaysian food, but heard the pickings were slim downtown.

Love the menu on the back of a card board box.
Laksa Lemak. Coconut based curry gravy.

The chicken laksa lemak was delightful. The gravy had a complex flavor of coconut, curry and spices that warmed the tastebuds. The chili was moderate but not overwhelming as it hit the roof of my mouth. The delay in the chili arriving was welcome.

We also had the son in law eggs which were tasty. I have never seen these on a restaurant menu, except for the one occasion where a friend asked for a special order from the kitchen The chili jam went well with the crispy eggs.
Upscale street food. Interesting idea.

Hawker Bar on Urbanspoon