The restaurant is named MyRasa, meaning my “taste” or “flavour” in Malay, serves authentic Malay food with some Western selections as well.
Four months ago I visited a newly opened restaurant in Perth located in Manning and was invited back then to review their tantalising menu. Of course being so close to giving birth at the time, I was in no shape to review the restaurant until everything had settled and I had given birth. I finally had the chance to visit the restaurant again with bubs and my mother in law to properly review it.
Coming from a family with a history of great cooks and chefs, I am quite the critic when it comes to authentic Malay food. I am an absolute foodie and will tell you how it is, whether the food is nice or terrible. Rest assured, MyRasa has signature dishes and authentic flavours you will not find in many places in Perth. We were spoilt for choice of what to try on the menu and sat down to a tasting of seven dishes from their menu.
We started with the entrees, Kerabu Apple and the MyRasa platter. For anyone who is not familiar with Malay cuisine, I found that the MyRasa platter was a great way to introduce you to some of the flavours you may experience in Malaysian authentic food. The platter itself was stunningly presented, like a five star hotel quality plate, each element expressed in an eye capturing manner. It also helps when your staff have worked in top notch hotels, one being my cousin Abang Am as I know him or Hamzah as everyone else knows him. He has worked for Duxton Hotel in Malaysia as a hotel manager for many years and now is working at MyRasa to make it just as successful.
Back to the MyRasa platter, you can see how exquisitely presented the platter is from the images below. The platter is a combo set of chicken and beef satay, tahu sumbat (stuffed fried tofu), nasi lemak (fragrant coconut rice), roti canai (flat bread) served with beef rendang and an apam balik Muar for dessert. When the MyRasa platter was served, our mouths started to water and we were so eager to taste everything on it. We started with the satay, traditionally eaten with cucumber, onion, nasi himpit (compressed rice cubes) and of course kuah satay (satay sauce). Both the beef and chicken satay were cooked perfectly, so soft and tender, delicately sprinkled with sesame seeds. It did taste like something was missing from the peanut satay sauce but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, though it still tasted lovely with the satay. Personally I dislike eating satay with onions even though it is how all satays are served, it must be the inner child cringing.
Next we tried the Nasi Lemak (Fragrant Coconut Rice) and Sambal (Hot Chilli Relish). I love Nasi Lemak and the Nasi Lemak MyRasa is done quite uniquely. I quite prefer Nasi Lemak made with Jasmine rice as it locks in the flavour of the coconut milk that it is cooked and infused with, giving it that fullness in coconut flavour. If you are a fan of Nasi Lemak you have to try MyRasa’s take on it as they use Basmati rice.
I have to say that the beef rendang was the star of the overall dish, so full of flavour and packed the punch required in a good rendang. The beef was cooked to perfection, so tender and melts in your mouth with each bite. The sauce contained the essential flavours of rendang, daun limau (lime leaves) and kerisik (toasted coconut), it reminded me of the rendang my Mak Long (eldest Aunty) makes. Rendang can be cooked either dry or saucy, it is just a personal preference as to how you like it. My Mak Long usually cooks it dry which is not too common though most local eateries in Perth also like to cook it dry. It was nice to have a rendang with sauce after a long while, it was perfect for dipping the light and fluffy roti canai in. If any dish takes you back to childhood memories of how traditional food tastes, then it is a big winner in my book and this is exactly what the MyRasa’s rendang does.
The Tahu Sumbat (Stuffed Fried Tofu) is a nice pallet washer, fresh and light stuffed with vegies and lovely when dipped in the sweet chilli sauce. My Dad use to make this often at home as it was nice to have as a snack. The strawberries add colour on the plate and was again a great pallet washer or as Malays would call it, “cuci mulut” just before the dessert of Apam Balik Muar. The dessert had red bean in it and was surprisingly a lovely combination, when traditionally the dessert contains crushed peanuts and sugar. I absolutely love Apam Balik and appreciated a taste of it on the MyRasa platter.
The Kerabu Apple arrived at the same time as the MyRasa platter for entree and it captured my interest in the way it was presented. This dish has been something I have been meaning to try ever since I visited MyRasa last. It is an arrangement of crunchy green apples, onions, tomatoes, peanuts, topped with crispy oven baked chicken and drizzled in a spicy sweet and sour dressing. It kind of reminded me of a Thai sweet and sour salad, the flavours bursting out with each bite and dancing on my tongue. The combination of crunchy apples, chicken with spicy sweet and sour sauce is something everyone should try.
I selected the three layered tea for my drink which is a cold beverage consisting of gula melaka (palm sugar), evaporated milk and black tea. I am a big lover of tea and even though I found the drink a bit too sweet for my liking I still enjoyed it. Most Malay drinks tend to be on the sweeter side so if you have a sweet tooth, then this drink is perfect for you.
Following the entree, the mains arrived in time to be tasted. The Mee Rebus (literally means boiled noodles) Johor packed all the flavours it needed, the beef was sliced very thinly and cooked so well as it was tender. I was surprised to find the limau kasturi, kind of a cross between lime and bitter orange, was sitting nicely in the dish as well. When the limau is squeezed and drizzled all over the dish, the flavours tie in together beautifully. The gravy was so yummy, I could slurp at it all day.
Nasi Ayam MyRasa (Chicken Rice) was again well received, just as I remember it the first time I had it. When a restaurant recreates a dish exactly as you previously had it, then you know they have their menu down pat. Traditionally Nasi Ayam is served with a few condiments, this mainly includes the soy sauce, chicken broth soup, garlic chilli sauce and sometimes a fresh side salad. To truly enjoy Nasi Ayam, I’d recommend to take a bit of each condiment on the Nasi Ayam MyRasa plate to complete the flavour required for each spoonful. It is quite interesting to see that the garlic and ginger, normally infused and cooked through the rice and parts of the overall dish, was made into it’s own condiment paste on the side so you can control the garlic and ginger flavour throughout the dish. This is a great idea for those who are not familiar with the garlic and ginger flavours in the traditional Nasi Ayam.
My absolute favourite is the Mee Rojak, again another dish made exactly how I remembered it. Mee Rojak is a take on another traditional dish named Rojak (literally meaning “mixture,” Rojak is a fruit and veg salad dish with sweet potato sauce), but with noodles. I have never had noodles with Rojak before so when I first tried this dish, I was quite impressed with the flavours and how well everything tied in together. My husband who is normally much more fussier than I am in terms of good tasting food (that is what happens when your father, not to mention his family, is an absolutely good cook of traditional food) enjoyed this dish especially when we first visited MyRasa. It is a dish that is to be praised, simple yet perfectly executed and so very tasty. I believe it is the only kind found in Perth so if you haven’t tasted it then it is a must!
Lastly the desserts came out and by then we were busting at the seams, as you can imagine. My mother in law had the Cendol and I had the Sago Gula Melaka, both presented beautifully in line with the other MyRasa dishes. I tasted the Cendol and was not particularly a fan of it. The cendol itself was not the right texture and it seemed like it was a downplayed Ice Kacang/ABC (Air Batu Campur) with the corn on the top. I was kind of glad I had the Sago Gula Melaka instead as it was sweet and quite delicious. It was just a tad sweeter than what I like but still enjoyable and palatable. The sago itself was a nice bright pink, drawing your eyes towards the star of the dessert. It was a gorgeous little dessert and something I would be happy to have again.
If you want to pop in for a quick stop, MyRasa also has Nasi Lemak Bungkus (Wrapped Fragrant Coconut Rice) traditionally wrapped in banana leaf for a meal on the go. I do not think any other place in Perth has it to takeaway, so having the convenience of it is quite nice. There are a few sweet treats made freshly each day which is also available to purchase on the go. On the day I visited, they had Kueh Koci Pulut Hitam (Black Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Coconut) and Kueh Keria (Fried Sweet Potato Donuts). Kueh Keria is one of my favourites, especially the ones made fresh by my Aunty in the village. Funny how food can also bring you back to time capsules in your life that you remember fondly of. I have to say that MyRasa is a restaurant with lovely ambience, their open atmosphere layout includes modern modest furniture and furnishings. A relaxing feeling is present when you walk in and the natural light flows throughout with the large floor to ceiling windows that surround the restaurants perimeter. It is also so lovely to see local regulars come in to order take aways, chatting to their friendly staff members taking their orders.
Overall MyRasa is a lovely addition to Perth’s eateries and we are truly lucky to be able to add them to our list of places to go. Do tell me if you decide to visit, I’d love to hear about your experience.
Thanks for reading!