Makan w/Mom @ Alice’s


Now that Makan @ Alice’s is finally open for dinners, I’ve managed to make it to this little Malaysian food mecca to have a meal with mom, who raves about this place frequently.

Alice’s started out as a shopfront run by a husband and wife team, Alice and Paul Tan, specialising in Malaysian hawker and Nonya food. Alice’s famous Kuihs, bite-sized sweets made with typical ingredients such as coconut cream and tapioca flour, have even been featured on SBS’s Food Lovers’ Guide series. They have since expanded to include a seated dining area, which is where we are headed, to satisfy our hawker food cravings.

The dining area is quite simply fitted out. It reminds me somewhat of the Malaysian coffee shops of my childhood – somewhat perfunctory spaces filled with wonderful wafting smells, and customers, intent on the food in front of them. What you don’t get from the atmosphere of the place, is made up tenfold by the warm and friendly service, and the amazing food that fills your nostrils and stays in your mind (and probably your clothes) for days to come.

Even before we’re seated, mom and I are pawing at the take-away containers of pork sweetmeats (Bah Kwa) displayed at the front counter. Having not eaten this for years, I’ve actually been missing it a lot. Mom says every time she buys a container, it disappears too quickly. Dangerous stuff, this is. I have a feeling I’m going to regret leaving with only one container!

Once we’re seated, it doesn’t take long for us to decide what to order. Sambal Eggplant, of course, and a prawn curry, and lastly a dish previously unknown to me, Cincaluk Pork; an original recipe by the chef. To accompany these dishes, crispy and fluffy Roti Chanai for B, and rice for the rest of us. The prawn curry is the first to arrive – a spicy, sourish curry with plump prawns and a smattering of vegetables – eggplant, capsicum and lady’s fingers. Next, the Cincaluk Pork – my dish of the week, maybe even the month. It consists of stir fried pieces of pork and vegetables in a very tasty sauce made from tiny preserved pink shrimp. There’s a reason why pork and seafood go so well together (pork belly and scallops, for example) – and I’m not here to tell you what the reason is because I don’t know it myself, except to say that it just tastes sooo good! The shrimp contributed to the overall saltiness and umami-ness of the dish. Not only that, the eggplant dish arrived soon after and it was devastatingly rich, silky, spicy and utterly delicious, fulfilling all expectations of what an eggplant dish should be. Mind you, it was nothing like Sambal’s Belachan Eggplant which I actually quite like because of the contrasting textures, but this was just as good and I’d happily eat either version any day of the week.

If you haven’t been to Makan @ Alice’s, make sure you visit soon. But ignore the tiny stack of takeaway containers at the front counter. Especially the ones filled with sweetmeats. You won’t like them. They are dry and incredibly tasteless. Just leave it to me to give them a good home………….

Makan @ Alice’s
Shop 3, 262-264 Pennant Hills Rd
(Cnr Pennant Hills Rd & Bellevue St )
Thornleigh 2120

alice-cincalukpork.jpg alice-assamprawns.jpg alice-sambaleggplant.jpg alice-chickenrice.jpg


  1. Beverly said,

    June 17, 2007 @ 10:13 am

    So glad you managed to get to Alice’s! It’s a staple of mine, I’ve lost count of all the food blogging I’ve done but now I’m looking forward to seeing yours 🙂

  2. chocolatesuze said,

    June 17, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

    glad you finally made it there! did you get the chance to try the kuehs?

  3. Y said,

    June 17, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

    I’m afraid I’ve never really been a big fan of kuehs, so no 🙂 Did however go through a kueh talam phase, many many years ago, .. but nothing since then. I also used to like a layered cake that I don’t know the name of. I remember it consisting of many really thin layers of brown (in various shades) and my sister and I would try to eat each layer separately.

  4. chocolatesuze said,

    June 17, 2007 @ 10:59 pm

    layer cake! oooh soo many eggs in that recipe… i realli like angkoo but with the peanut insides instead of bean? i havent seen layer cake sold lately but ill let ya know if i do!

  5. Y said,

    June 17, 2007 @ 11:49 pm

    That’s the thing with kuehs isn’t it.. there’s no such thing as a low fat version. Not that you’d want one – no fat no flavour! I’m not a big fan of the bean paste in angkoo. Don’t think I’ve tried it with peanuts!

  6. besimple said,

    November 12, 2007 @ 8:19 pm unlce and anut does the BEST!!! 🙂

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