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We’re going to call it: this may be the best beef rendang in Auckland. It is slow cooked for hours, redolent with lemon grass and spices, falling apart on your fork. It costs $13.50, or $14 if you splash out on the nasi lemak, when it comes with a boiled egg and sambal. It is a striking reminder of why Malaysian food is so delightful, that unique blending of Indian, Malay and Chinese food. Forget Thai: this is one of the world’s great unheralded cuisines, and we are lucky to have  so many good ones in Auckland.

Selera is a charming joint, with an open kitchen and natty wooden panelling. The service is lovely and of a lunchtime, the place is full of office workers from around Newmarket. You sit there and look out at noodle joints, a Thai massage parlour and a Persian rug shop and it feels like somewhere else – certainly not Newmarket. Aside from all of this, it is handy to the Rialto, and so, often, we find ourselves here late at night after a film, trying – and failing – to will ourselves to order something different from the beef rendang.

On the rare occasion we make it past it? There is an excellent, thick curry chicken ($13.50), the chicken falling apart (though at these prices, probably not free range) that goes very nicely in the roti canai, and a huge laksa ($13.50), where the soup is spicy and rich and pleasantly thick – although the seafood can be a bit average. We forgive them: this place is a gem. SFG

HOURS Open Monday to Sunday, 11.30am to 10pm.

CONTACT DETAILS 487 Khyber Pass Road, ph 520-7977.

IMPORTANT DETAILS It can be difficult to get a table around 1pm – go early or go late.



  1. Warren Elwin wrote:

    It is THE BEST beef rendang in AKL. Easily!, to say nothing of their rich and spicy coconutty Roti Canai ! ( organic chook or no, utterly delicious ) LOVE this place. Fragrant lemon grass kaffir and chili flavors, it’s the goods! W

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  2. SFG wrote:

    Great to hear – we think so. Still haven’t found one as good yet.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  3. Ben Green wrote:

    Went there yesterday after reading this review recently. Chicken curry was rich and flavoursome. Chicken itself was succulent and couldn’t have been better (they must slow poach it first?). The Roti Canai was dry and flakey, like a buttery croissant.

    The Beef Rendang received rave reviews too. Not sure how I’d venture past either of these two meals!

    Lady on the till was grumpy, but that was the only blip.

    Monday, October 7, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink
  4. SFG wrote:

    Wonderful to hear, it is one of our faves.

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

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