Over the past couple of months I have been reviewing Malaysian restaurants all around Wellington for Malaysia Kitchen (full disclosure – I got refunded some of the costs). It’s time to share the reviews!

A freezing southerly was blowing around Wellington when I met with a group of friends at Rasa Malaysia on Upper Cuba Street, pushing all thoughts of trying something new out of my mind. The weather meant I had to have my favourite laksa.

But first, we have starters to try! We order beef satay to compare it to Satay Village’s. The peanut sauce is less sweet, which we like, but the beef lacks the smokey charred taste. The curry puffs are homemade, stuffed with spiced kumara. The coconut chutney with the poppadoms is tasty, but at $8 for six poppadoms which normally cost 50 cents each in Indian restaurants, this seems overpriced.

entrees at Rasa
Rasa is small, but the service was exceptional – when it became apparent we were all going to taste each other’s dishes, small plates appeared, and my laksa was delivered with a big stack of very necessary napkins. I had no shame in tucking one into my shirt so I didn’t spill any of the thick yellow coconuty gravy down my front as I maneuvered slippery egg noodles into my mouth.

Laksa at Rasa

I’ve had this laksa a lot, and it can vary in quality, but in this occasion it was perfect, full of vegetables as well as chicken and tofu, and loaded with toppings of bean sprouts, spring onions and fried shallots. I was so engrossed in it, I almost forgot I was supposed to be trying my friends’ food as well. Luckily, I was able to sample succulent Mutton Varuvaal, with meat full of flavour that melted in my mouth, and a dense murtabak – a parcel of lamb curry wrapped in roti served with gravy.

The other highlight, apart from my laksa, was the Lamb Dosai, a crispy pancake enclosing filling, with a range of dipping sauces. Many reviewers rate Rasa’s dosai as the best in town, and you’ll hear no arguments from me.

Masala dosai

With mains hovring around the $17 mark, Rasa is up there in the price scale when it comes to Malaysian restaurants, but it’s worth the trek.