Selera, Newmarket

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This humble-looking eatery is run by first-generation immigrants from Malaysia, and they serve up wonderfully authentic, delicious Malaysian food. The decor is simple enough, as is typical of cheap Asian eateries, though thankfully they have given the characteristic fluorescent lighting a miss. The place is warmly-lit, with wooden paneling and flooring, imparting a rather cosy feel. The waiters are very efficient, and typically don’t keep you waiting long.

We have been here countless times, and in fact this is our go-to place when meeting up with fellow Malaysians from out of town. Needless to say, we’ve tried a wide range of their dishes, though their nasi lemak with beef rendang, hainan chicken rice, chicken hor fun and seafood laksa are my favourites. You can choose either individual dishes such as those I mentioned, or a variety of mains to share, with rice on the side. We rarely get the mains unless we are here with a larger group, and in my opinion the individual dishes are better. As a matter of fact, their beef rendang exceeds most of the ones I’ve had in Malaysia itself – beef in Malaysia is typically tough and bristly unless you get the expensive imported variety, whereas Selera has the advantage of New Zealand beef. The beef is tender and juicy, the rendang sauce full of spicy coconutty goodness.

The only dish we’ve found to be a disappointment so far was their roti canai. It tasted like the pre-packaged supermarket variety – Mamak on Chancery has much better roti canai. Despite that, though, Selera is probably the best all-round Malaysian restaurant near the CBD, though Blossom Court in Panmure gives them a run for their money, for the folks living out east.

 

Cost: $12-18 per person

Food: 5 Stars
Service:4 Stars
Ambience:3 Stars
Value for money:4 Stars

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