We called and made a reservation for dinner at Istana on a Saturday night, and we were very glad when we arrived that we had done that, with people queuing at the door, and a full restaurant. Istana is ordinary decor-wise, with table-cloths and decor looking a bit dated.
We had planned to order the Hainanese chicken, a curry prawns dish and a curry eggplant, wanting a few spicy things. The fellow taking our order said that the Shangtung chicken, with chicken rice, would be better. All a bit funny the way that happened, but we were willing to give it a try.
Here are the prawns we started with, cut in half lengthwise, still in their shells:
They were tasty, tasting of chili and a fish-sauce mix. Maybe it’s just my background, but I didn’t so much enjoy the prawn shells still being on, extracting the prawns from the shells. Seemed a bit fiddly.
The eggplant tasted just how it looks in the photo, not like what we expected, which was for it to be in a curry sauce.
The dishes so far were so-so, in my view. It was the next dishes that I loved. The chicken rice was so full of flavour I would be happy to just eat that and nothing else. This is not a good photo, but I have included it because it does show the glistening of the rice:
The flavour was full of chicken, edged with lemongrass. Oh so good.
The photo at the top shows the Shantung chicken, deliciously tender, but with the skin crispy. Served with a sauce which was a little sweet, and vinegary, with some chili. Also very good.
In summary, then, some elements of the experience were ordinary, but I’d go back for the Shangtung chicken and the chicken rice. Maybe some of others would also be as good.
Here are the details about Istana at time of publishing this post. Call them for current details.
|Web site||Istana doesn’t have a web site yet.|
|Address||Shop 15a, 230-238 Pennant Hills Rd, Thornleigh, NSW 2120|
|Phone||(02) 9481 8855|
|Menu||Malaysian Chinese, mains $20-35|
So, where is your favourite Malaysian restaurant?