Authentic KL Flavors

Jackie McMillan
8th Nov 2023

Authentic KL Flavors moved their Western Sydney operation to Marrickville in late 2022. Beloved by the Malay community, it’s usually the place to get a twelve buck lunch, but their popular bain-marie was out of commission on the day I visited. For a few bucks more the made-to-order menu offers up nasi kandar ($19.50) as a worthy substitute. It’s still a good value proposition, particularly with the plate’s real estate cleverly extended by waxed brown paper. Hiding under a chickpea flour papadum you’ll find a mound of steamed rice, fried chicken, dark and spicy beef masak hitam, half a salted egg, fresh okra and some pickles. We threw in a piece of turmeric chicken ($5) that was tastier than the fried chook but totally superfluous to need. The beef curry was definitely the standout: nice and spicy with a hint of sweetness to balance its intensity: think of it as a rendang without the coconut. 

Ordering a beef laksa ($23) sees you receive a generously proportioned bowl of tasty coconut soup decorated with fried shallots, a boiled egg, bean sprouts and springy tofu. Crisp green beans and other leafy greens help to keep things fresh and balanced against a good amount of beef floating in the soup. Milo ice ($5) with condensed milk and sugar will help to put your mouth back together after either dish, as will a less sweet lime ($6) drink, though both are served in single-use plastics. While simply furnished with hanging fairy lights and a naïve art mural, there’s a lot of warmth in this space. Showing an interest in Malay food is rewarded with big smiles from your hosts and other Malay diners.