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Photographs: David Straight

Chef Rasa Sayang isn’t much more than a small hole in the wall in the Highbury shops – it’s next door to the highly excellent Yummy Korean. It has a big front window and a handful of tables and comfortable blue chairs. So far, so familiar, in this sleepy suburban shopping strip. Except for the fact that it is full, every day, for lunch. Honestly. Don’t get there after 12.30 or you might not get a seat.

Here’s why: it serves up some wonderful Malaysian comfort food. There’s a char kuey teow ($10) which is among the smokiest in town, the wide flat noodles perfectly charred. There’s a curry chicken ($13) with a gravy that is fragrant and chunky with spices, served with light, fluffy roti that takes us back to the hawker stalls of Melaka. There is beef rendang ($18), redolent with lemon grass and – get this – kaffir lime leaf, the kind of sauce you remember for the afternoon, though the beef is a bit on the tough side. We love the sambal eggplant ($16.80), the eggplant gooey and smoky, slathered with a salty, almost sour sambal that is rich with belacan (dried shrimp). We could go on, but you get the picture. SFG

HOURS Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 9pm.

ADDRESS 25 Mokoia Road, Birkenhead, ph 419-9788

IMPORTANT DETAILS Does a roaring lunch trade – get in before 12.30 or go around 2pm.


  1. Sarah wrote:

    Two Aucklanders from the other side of the bridge and very unfamiliar with the Shore found themselves driving along Onewa Road on Friday night in search of somewhere for dinner. We had a brain wave, checked EHN, and in five minutes we were sitting at a table at Chef Rasa Sayang for some of the best Malaysian we’ve had in Auckland. So delicious. We loved the char kuey teow especially. And that roti! Amazing. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  2. Hamilton wrote:

    Can anyone tell me if it is BYO at this place?


    Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink
  3. SFG wrote:

    Hello – it’s unlicensed I’m afraid.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  4. Lisa wrote:

    the char kuey teow is really the best which had tried so far. thanks for recommendation

    Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
  5. Alan Sorrell wrote:

    Tried the Beef Rendang, mixed veg and roti. All as predicted by your review thanks. Total with tea $48.00. Good after a Bridgeway show.

    Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink
  6. Maurice Fenton wrote:

    The best!!!!!!!

    Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

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