IN BRIEF

An orchestration of Malaysian deliciousness conducted by one of the most passionate hosts in the country.

WHY CHOOSE THIS RESTAURANT?

Me and Sri have history. I was around when it opened in 1995, and though I haven’t been back for some years I was always curious about how it was doing. When the opportunity came along to share a meal with a good friend who, coincidentally, has equally fond memories of the place, we jumped at the chance. It did not disappoint. It felt like being at the home of a distant aunt for that potluck family dinner when generations of kitchen magic are put on display and the conversation is all about whose rendition of each dish has always been considered the best.


Sri Pinang’s prawn toast

 

ABOUT THE FOOD

The menu includes both regional Malay dishes and those in the Peranakan (Nyonya) style, which blends Chinese, Indonesian/ Javanese as well as southern Indian spices and cooking techniques. The most difficult job you will have is choosing what to order. The Sri Pinang prawn toast is superb with fat and juicy prawns wrapped in an open deep-fried wonton blanket and cooked to perfection. If you have avoided tofu until now, it’s time to take the leap – order the truly sublime pillows of fried tofu with sesame dressing. If you need a hit of spice, consider the Nyonya spicy pickle. And these are just your starter options. It’s a long menu that includes the perennially popular traditional rendang, a drier curry with succulent beef cavorting with its richly flavoured sauce, or you can opt for the equally excellent lamb curry. Another fave rightly referred to time and again in reviews is the Sri Pinang roti. It’s a multi-layered croissant-like pad of light and buttery goodness that goes with literally everything. But this time around, the dish that took the breath away was the fresh snapper otak-otak. Sitting somewhere between a delicate custard and a risotto, its melt-in-the-mouth texture and its fine fish flavour – brought to climax by an amazing garnish that included betel leaves from the chef’s garden – totally hit the sweet spot. And, speaking of sweets, you will be hard pressed to find a better caramel sago pudding anywhere in the country.

ABOUT THE CHEF

Sri Pinang is indisputably as much about Angie Siew and her husband Kun Kaw, who own and run the place, as it is about the food. While both have a hand in the design and delivery of the food, it’s Kun who is most often in the kitchen working the woks. Given the quality of what is delivered to the table, long may he reign.

ABOUT THE TEAM

The restaurant décor is comparatively plain and spartan, but the warmth of Angie, who has an uncanny memory for faces and names, is reason enough for a visit and a quality that keeps locals returning time and again. The quality of the Sri Pinang menu, the exhaustive hours Angie and Kun devote to the place, the passion they both have for Malaysian cooking and the satisfaction of their loyal customers are the reasons Sri Pinang is still as popular as ever after a phenomenal 27 years.

OF NOTE

Sri Pinang is BYO. It’s one of the few remaining BYO restaurants in Auckland with a ridiculously reasonable $1 corkage fee.

356 Karangahape Rd, Auckland
LUNCH: Tues – Fri
DINNER: Mon – Sat
MAINS: $24.50 – $38.50
CONTACT: 09 358 3886