Seri Malaysia on East Hastings, Vancouver

Updated: 4th March 2012; This restaurant had closed according to

Ease, who recommended The Blackberry Bistro to us earlier, told us of another Malaysian restaurant that we should try out. The problem for us is that it is located in the far north eastern side of Vancouver while we live in the south side of Richmond. In short, it meant that it is a long 22 km drive to this restaurant. But we did take that long drive.


Seri Malaysia is a Malay owned restaurant which is a rarity in Vancouver. As far as we know, this is the only other Malay owned Malaysian restaurant other than The Kedah House. Most other Malaysian restaurants we know are operated by Chinese cooks.


The place is very typical Malay … very laid back. They are so laid back that even though we were the only customers in the restaurant and that there were two dirty tables with plates left uncollected, they remained left uncollected for the duration of our meal there.

Don’t expect too much from the decor … forget about having any ambiance at all. This is a plain practical place better known for the food, and only the food. The table is covered in clear plastic sheet over plastic lace coverings. Their menu was simple but have enough to satisfy any cravings you may have.


Oh, one thing I had always wanted to discuss with you all and that is the cutleries used in a Malaysian dining table. For Malaysian (and I believe it goes too for all of South East Asia and even East Asia), the main cutleries used is a fork and spoon. Western tables have fork and knife. I believe the basic difference is that Asian meals involve food that is cut into bite sizes while western meals leaves big pieces of meat and such on the plate (i.e. steak, chicken breasts, etc). Also, Asian meals always have rice and it’s easier to pick up rice with a spoon than a fork.

I don’t know the details, but I recall there was an incident a few years ago in Toronto (?) where a Filipino kid was chastised by her teacher for using fork and spoon. That became a huge issue among the Filipino community. Any of you remember that?

Given a choice and if I am not eating stuff like steak, I prefer the fork and spoon. He he he … old habit die hard!

One more thing … they serve lots of cold water. You will need that because Malay food is very spicy.


Let’s get back to food. We ordered the Roti Canai … two pieces for $5.50. In Malaysia, you can easily have this for 20-30 cents!! It was really good … crispy and flaky. I wished they would have given us more curry to dunk the roti in.


Their Beef Rendang was awesome. This is supposed to be a single serving but the serving is so large that it is enough for 2-3 people. I swear this is the best Rendang I had ever had in this part of the world.

Rendang is and is not curry. I know I am not making sense!! It is basically cooked in coconut milk and spices over a period of many, many hours until the meat almost breaks down and absorbs all the rich spices into it.


Because of the richness and intense flavour in Rendang, about the only way to eat this is with rice. If you had never tried Rendang and loves curry, you should try it. If you dare, ask them to make it spicy … yummy! The Beef Rendang is $10.50. There are so much that we had it to go.

Rendang keeps well refrigerated. So, next time we are around the neighborhood, we will buy a serving or two of this stuff to bring home.

We ordered two servings of steamed rice which costs $3. The serving is ridiculously large … I had never since so much rice before. I like that. Frankly, even one serving of rice is just enough for us two adults and two kids.


We also had Mee Goreng which is Fried Noodles Malay style ($7.75). It is made both sweet and spicy at the same time. Again, I swear this is about the best Mee Goreng in this part of the world. This is hawker food in Malaysia where one could have this for about $1 only.


One more thing about how laid back the people in Seri Malaysia are. Even though there were no other people in the restaurant, they forgot to bring us the Ikan Bakar until we asked for it when we were almost done with the other dishes.

Anyway, the Ikan Bakar was great … $8 is bit expensive seeing it is just one crummy fish. The fish is grilled and then topped with chili paste known as sambal. The Sambal was on the sweet side but really spicy.

We tried ordering their Curry Fish Head but we need to order this 2-3 days in advance. We’ll do the Fish Head the next time round.

I highly recommend Seri Malaysia for Malay food. Forget about the decor, or the service … you should only focus on the food. They are as authentic as you could get. Also, their prices are cheap provided you don’t compare them to Malaysia’s. Their address is 2327 East Hastings (near the intersection with Nanaimo).

Seri Malaysia on Urbanspoon

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  1. shokutsu

    Fantastic find here, will definitely have to check it out. The Beef Rendang looks great, really rich too. Interesting to note that you have to order the Fish Head Curry so far in advance, did they give you any reason for that?

    Look forward to your next report – perhaps a third straight visit to a place with plastic table coverings? 🙂

  2. RobynT

    is malaysian food similar to indonesian? i thought it was an indonesian restaurant we used to go to that had beef rendang and something goreng… maybe nasi goreng or something. i don’t really remember the names exactly.

  3. Ben

    Yes, Robyn: Indonesian food is quite similar to Malaysian food. We know the differences between the two types of cuisine but generally the ingredients, way of preparation, etc is quite similar.

  4. Kwan

    Madeline liked the randang too. But she also encountered an empty house. Wonder about their longevity. Kwan

  5. pablopabla

    Good to hear that Malaysian food is available over in Vancouver. But that roti canai looks suspiciously like frozen roti canai which was reheated. Did you see the cook flipping it? 😀

  6. Elynne85

    You don’t get roti canai for 20-30 cents anymore in Malaysia anymore.. I would roughly say it would cost you at least 80 cents per piece now.. And that’s WITH the exchange rate..

  7. Of course! The SPOON and FORK way is the BEST!!!! I always say that in an obnoxious way around people. Haha. It really is the best, though! ;D

    I believe SE Asians, as well as Indians, have the spoon and fork because we eat rice on a plate. (Whereas the Chinese way of eating is with chopsticks, because the rice is in a bowl.)

  8. kat

    I remember the fork-and-spoon incident, and it was in Montreal. Completely ridiculous!

    Malaysian food is one of the tastiest I have had and your descriptions and photos make me wish there was one near me.

  9. mbe

    That looks delicious!! Mmmm sooo hungry for some curry… Thanks for the discovery!!

  10. Pepy

    Too bad when i went to Vancouver, I didn’t go to this restaurant. Since there is no Indonesian restaurant in Winnipeg, I went to Pondok Indonesia twice for lunch and dinner.

  11. Zayne

    I found this quite the wonderful restaurant…
    yes the interior lacked ambiance, but food covered that!
    I sat by the window, but missed seeing traffic go by…
    perhaps because I was too busy relishing my meal!

    We tried to return again… but it is ‘CLOSED FOR GOOD!’
    sad to see it gone!

  12. fmed

    >>We tried to return again… but it is ‘CLOSED FOR GOOD!’ … sad to see it gone!

    It isn’t closed. I had lunch there just a couple of days ago.

    1. JP

      I just had dinner there on Apr 4th. Sometimes when there’s nobody there, the owner like to just close up shop and go home.
      Should try the “Nasi Goreng Ikan Masin” (salted fish fried rice)… so yummie and my fav for now. The spicyness is just right (maybe a bit spicy for those who are not used to eating spicy foods).

  13. yummy

    Their nasi biriyani is the best! It’s even better than those I tried in Singaore and Malaysia.

    We have plenty of Malaysian food here in Vancouver but I haven’t seen one selling the tradition desserts (cakes) which we also called the Nyonya gui.

  14. Wow, you had fancier glasses then. We went last night to Seri and they had the plainer glasses. 🙂

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