Malacca Straits Thai, North Sydney & Bacino Bar, North Sydney (15th December 2011)

My blog is seriously turning into a foodie blog the longer I live in Sydney - all my activities seem to involve food! So here's another post of my foodie adventures, this time at Malacca Straits Thai located in the food court at the corner of Mount and Walker Streets in North Sydney. A small Malaysian and Thai food stall, they are by far the most popular stall in the food court with a continuous stream of customers during lunchtime. I arrived around 12ish and there was already a huge crowd standing around the stall, some ordering food at the counter and others lingering to collect their meals. Well, good food always attracts a crowd and I reckon their popularity actually makes the other stalls look bad, in turn attracting themselves even more customers!

With a range of cooked dishes to choose from their menu board as well as food from the smorgasbord, I decided to go for their weekly Thursday special, the Wah Tan Hor (broad rice noodles with fish cake, prawns, pieces of chicken and choy sum served in a thick egg gravy). I paid the $10 for my meal and was given a number, then shuffled my way to the pick-up area and patiently waited for my number to be called. I've had their Wah Tan Hor before and it was quite authentic plus they serve it with pickled green chillies which is a must for this dish. I have tried several other dishes at Malacca Straits such as the laksa and mee goreng, both very good and in generous servings. I brought Marcus (my team lead) who was visiting from NZ here for lunch one day and he too agreed the laksa was good (and we've both spent many years living in Malaysia and Singapore respectively). A highly recommended place to have a eat-in or takeaway Malaysian meal for lunch (I've not tried their Thai food but if their Malaysian food is this good, I'm sure the Thai food is excellent too) if you in the North Sydney area.

As I waited for my meal, I watched the staff busy at work serving the customers that keeps piling in. The stall had their kitchen located right behind the counter and in view, something you don't see often of small Asian food stalls as they tend to 'hide' the kitchen in the back. There were 4-5 chefs cooking non-stop at their individual stations and 4 other staff taking orders and serving customers - they were sharing a small space yet somehow managed to not bump into one another. Watching their team dynamics, they work very efficiently and still manage to have fun on the job, smiling and laughing together. That's exactly how teamwork should be, even during crunch time :)

"Can I have pickled green chillies please?" I asked the Thai lady who called out my number when my dish was ready and she gave me a huge spoonful of the chillies. Score! The Wah Tan Hor was good as usual, my only gripe was that the chillies were so chunky and huge though I suspect it wasn't home made and just came as is from a jar. Oh well, better than no pickled green chillies like most places in Wellington where I've had this dish.

In the queue to order my meal at Malacca Straits Thai

Wah Tan Hor ($10) for lunch - yum!

Malacca Straits Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

I headed back to my office around 12.45pm and made a pit stop at Bacino Bar on Mount St for a mocha (cost $3) as a wee treat to myself (I hardly ever buy coffee at work). The cafe resembles a typical Italian espresso bar, small yet cosy, a few bar stools for people to sit about and wait for or enjoy their coffee and Italian snacks on site (or perhaps enjoy eyeing the cute guy working behind the barista machine...ahem...). The coffee is always good and often there would be a crowd blocking up the footpath in the morning though somehow there was no one waiting ahead of me this afternoon. 

One of the regulars whom I have seen hanging around the shop almost daily was telling the barista how he should be more watchful of customers for he (the regular) saw a customer taking more change than supposed to during the morning coffee rush. "Look, I've got a photo of the man on my phone," exclaimed Mr Regular excitedly and showing it to the barista. Now to give you a bit more context, Bacino Bar has a trust policy where customers drop their money onto the tray on top of the barista machine and take back their change from the coins found on that same tray. Obviously this one customer has decided to abuse the system by taking advantage of the barista when he was working busily behind the machine. Tsk, tsk! The poor barista - when he heard the story, his smiled faded away, a look of frustration and disappointment on his face and went, "Really? The customer really did that?!" in disbelief. "We should have a Wall of Shame and put up photos of these petty thieves," said Mr Regular, and I laughed, piping in that perhaps what the barista should do is have a 'No Change' policy - if you put a $5 note on the tray, that coffee is going to cost you that much. "I like your idea," said Mr Regular, giving me a broad smile and thumbs up as I walked away with my coffee. Quite an interesting wee coffee talk to finish off my lunch break :)


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