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Photographs: David Straight

Even food reviewers get it wrong sometimes. I’ve been driving down Mokoia Road for the better part of three years now, yet for some reason I’d always written off Malaysia Recipes It’s in a strip mall just up from the gas station, opposite the Domino’s. Such inauspicious surroundings: such an obvious place to find good food.

As it turns out: Malaysia Recipes is great. There are a few tables and the obligatory posters of Malaysia, and free tea. Drop by on a weekday and it’s full of Malaysian tradesmen slurping sweet Malaysian coffee and wolfing down big plates of noodles. The menu is confusing: they offer fish and chips and fried rice for some reason, and not all the dishes are good – avoid the sambal chicken ($18), for instance.

Stick with the classics and it’s brolliant: I am in love with their “Penang fried kuay teow” ($10 for lunch, $13.90 for dinner), which comes with noodles that are beautifully blackened, and plenty of heat – just as a Malaysian tiler would have it. SFG

HOURS Lunch 11am to 3pm, dinner 5pm to 9pm. Closed Tuesdays.

ADDRESS 174 Mokoia Road, Birkenhead, ph 481 1123.

IMPORTANT DETAILS They do bak kut teh on the weekends – a bone broth of spices and herbs; you don’t often see this so do check it out.

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