On Friday night we visited Tamarind Hill, a Malaysian restaurant in New Westminster, at 6th Ave and 7th Street. I'd been there before, and was very impressed by the flavours. The restuarant itself is small and colourful, and there are pretty touches in the decor, like the antique door that decorates the waiting area, and the amber 'tear-drop' light fixtures. We arrived at a quarter to 6pm, and we were the only ones in the restuarant, but as we dined, the restuarant quickly filled every seat.
The first dish we ordered was the lamb satays. They were okay, though I'm not a fan of lamb in general. The meat was flavorful (but it could be MORE flavorful), but the portion was small and the meat was also a bit on the dry side. This is served with a chunky peanut sauce that could have been spicier.
Next came the Mee Goreng, a spicy noodle dish with tofu, shrimp and vegetables. We love this. The noodles were delicious and spicy, with a hint of smokiness and sweetness.
We also ordered the okra, green beens and eggplant in a sambal sauce. The veggies were perfectly cooked, with the beans and okra still crispy, and the eggplant soft and yeiding. The sambal was a bit sweet, but there was balance and a salty complexity to the dish. This is great with rice. However, I had a couple of pieces of old (ie. stringy and tough) okra.
Probably our favorite dish of the night (aside from the noodles) was the Beef Rendang, which is essentially a beef curry with lemongrass and spices and looked a long time. The beef was tender, and the sauce had a underlying spiciness that was very pleasant. This and a bowl of rice is a kind of heaven.
The biggest surprise of the night was the dessert Ais Kacheng (sp?), which is shaved ice with grass jelly, corn, red beans, green chewy things, and sweet coconut milk. The last time I was here they served it in a tiny bowl, but this time it came in a huge soup bowl (there were 4 servings in this). What a deal! There is a version of this in Thailand as well, so the taste was familiar to me. It's so delicious and refreshing. It might look bad when stirred up, but don't be fooled by appearances! So yummy!
We had no idea the other dessert was going to be so big, so we'd ordered the deep fried bananas with ice cream. This is a pretty standard dessert, I don't have much to say about it.
We sure were stuffed after the meal!