Lou Yau pays tribute to best of Malaysian food with refreshed menu
Whenever Malaysians get salty about comparisons made about our food, I wonder why.
Going by the number of popular restaurants serving Malaysian cuisine in Singapore, isn't it clear Singaporeans worship the wok - or pot, or griddle - they cook on?
And obviously Lou Yau knows the key to a Singaporean stomach is Malaysian food.
This casual diner, with outlets at Bedok Mall, IMM, Junction 8 and other locations, refreshed its menu and turned it into a tribute to the best of Malaysia. You get popular dishes from beloved food cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Ipoh, for starters.
There are plenty of other places to try out when you want a focused menu but this mishmash works for me because it offers variety.
While the prices are not "divide-by-three" level of friendly, it won't hurt your budget if you have weekly cravings.
I like the Big Bowl Curry Mee ($7.50) from KL.
It is a messy bowl of bee hoon and yellow noodles, with kampong chicken and roast pork thrown in. My favourite bit is that it comes with cockles too.
The curry is bold and deep, and works very well with the noodles. I find it immensely satisfying and I am making plans to return for it.
I also enjoy the Chilli Pan Mee ($6.90), where the housemade chilli works with the wheat flour noodles. With a wobbly egg on top, it is an Instagram magnet.
The Char Kway Teow with Prawn ($6.50, not available at the Bedok Mall outlet) is a crowd-pleaser and I do not dislike it, but with other more impactful dishes available, this falls off my radar.
It is readily available, and the market is flooded with good versions of this. So even though Lou Yau's take is one of the better ones, it is not at the top of the heap.
Even the appearance of cockles - oh, how I love thee! - does not do much more for this classic Penang dish.
The Hokkien Har Mee ($6.90) has already been on the menu but is now enhanced with the addition of belachan chilli and chilli padi to the stock.
All my favourite prawn noodles in Penang have that hit of heat. That tinge of spice hits all the marks, adding a new dimension to the umami soup.
Another classic dish is the Hor Fun set ($8.50) - spring water hor fun and kampong chicken with bean sprouts. This may be less of a "wow" but it is good value for money.
Chendol is my favourite dessert, so I was excited for the Penang Cendol ($1 till Nov 21 with the purchase of any mains, usual price $2.50). But the coconut milk was thin and overly sweet, and the gula melaka sauce, insipid.
I would rather pick the Kedondong Juice with Sour Plum ($3.90). For some reason, it is not as easy as one would imagine to find this drink. So whenever it is available, just order it.