Everyone knows Wellington is a (Satay) Village
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!
With so many Malaysian restaurants to choose from in the capital, sometimes the decision simply comes down to whereabouts you are at any given time. Satay Village on Ghuznee Street is frequently a winner when it comes to location, being just off Cuba Street (and handily close to a number of dairies that sell wine).
When we rocked up in a group of six at 7pm on a Wednesday, we knew we were pushing our luck not having a reservation, but luckily it was a nice enough night that we didn’t mind waiting on the street for 10 minutes before we could get a table.
Having a large group meant we got to try lots of things on the menu. We felt the spring rolls at $10 for six weren’t particularly good value, especially since, as one of my companions put it, on the night we went there appeared to be a lot more roll than spring – they could have used more filling. Beef satay with peanut sauce was charred nicely, but crying out for more salt – which luckily was provided.
Much better were the chicken wings – I’d never ordered them before but they were deliciously crunchy, and lightly spiced with turmeric.
Turmeric was a reoccurring spice throughout our meals. Two of our party ordered mee goreng, which was available with one, two or three additions (chicken, seafood or vegetables), and their plates were a huge pile of yellow noodles.
I decided to try another dish I’ve never had before, and so I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu at $18; a crumbed pork chop with creamy lemongrass sauce. It arrived as pieces of schnitzel instead of chops, but this was fine since at least I didn’t have to deal with any bones. The sauce is thick and delicious, made with coconut cream, but it was an incredibly rich combination with the deep-fried pork. Beef rendang is served with lots of sauce, rather than the more traditional dry version, and although I didn’t sample it, the red chicken curry looks tasty.
For quick food at fairly cheap prices, Satay Village delivers. I like that it’s got a BYO license, unlike its nearby competitors, but if you’re looking for a place with an elaborate fit-out and highly attentive service, you might want to look elsewhere.