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“Authentic Malaysian Restuarant”

Istana Malaysia Restaurant
Ranked #22 of 966 Restaurants in Wellington
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $11 - $17
Cuisines: Asian, Malaysian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Welcome to Istana Malaysia in Wellington. Istana Malaysia translates to Palace of Malaysia, where the royals dwell and are served the finest Malaysian cuisine. First established on August 31st 1994, Istana Malaysia has long been recognised by its clientele as the best Malaysian restaurant in town. We warmly welcome you to come in and sample the rich and complex flavours of Malaysian cooking. Book a table for lunch or dinner at our fully licensed restaurant and experience the real taste of Malaysia! At Istana Malaysia each meal is cooked to order using fresh and authentic ingredients and methods. All spices are directly imported from Malaysia, guaranteeing that you will receive only the finest in traditional Malaysian cuisine. Each dish offers you a choice of mild, medium or hot to accommodate your individual tastes and preferences. From spicy satay and invigorating soups to indulgent banquets, Istana Malaysia's menu reflects the full spectrum of the Malay kitchen.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

This restuarant takes me back to my home country Malaysia. The food is amazing and the service is amazing. The food tastes just like it does back home in Malaysia. Try it for yourself!

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Thank blueskies1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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456 - 460 of 473 reviews

Reviewed October 25, 2012

Istana Malaysia Restaurant is an iconic establishment in Wellington. It has been providing the most authentic Malaysian / Indian influenced cuisine for a considerable time. We have dined here a number of times over the years and the quality and service remain first class. Having lived longer term in Malaysia and Singapore I believe I can make some assessment of the authenticity and quality, and, being familiar with Malaya cuisine in Penang and Butterworth, KL, Mersing, Malacca and Johor Bahru, not to forget traditional Malay 'makan' from the hawker stalls in Singapore, in my assessment the food served here is indeed superb.

I believe Istana Malaysia suffers a little on Trip Advisor because, like many Wellington restaurants, it has not been widely reviewed in an informed manner - hence sometimes a single review can disguise the real quality. It is easy to review in general terms with no specific substance. I seldom review the restaurants I know well in my home town but this is an exception. We are fortunate to have a number of Malaysian restaurants to chose from in Wellington and in those terms Istana Malaysia is amongst the best, and frankly serves cuisine that is better quality than many in JB.

The restaurant is large and the service is welcoming and attentive; on popular nights it is a pleasant place to bring guests and the lady providing front-of-house sets the standard and has to be amongst the best in Wellington. The standard prices are comparable with other such restaurants but the value is better.

I am assured by Malaysian friends that the authenticity here derives largely from the quality of the spices used. Where the spices are not so, the evidence in what is served is most apparent. Furthermore, the fact that the rotis are all made in-house as you watch is indicative of the genuineness of the food served. Most Wellington Malaysian restaurants do not make their own rotis - have you noticed ? The kitchen here is open to view and a fascination to watch. Shades of the KL hawker stalls but without the chaos, and in a modern guise. The chef who oversees the kitchen is always there, has real presence, talks to his customers and he consistently delivers. A measure of this is his willingness to serve that remarkable S E Asian noodle dish, char kway tiew, complete with the seafood and bean sprouts, from their lunch menu, in the evening on request. Having eaten many char kway tiew(s) I know this is great.

On our recent visit we enjoyed the lamb curry with a gravy that was thick with balanced chilly influence and not overwhelmed with potatoes, the superb beef rendang (with coconut and dried gravy) with the time spent preparing it making it almost their signature dish, and a very good chicken varuval which was substantial and most flavoursome. With their spices providing a real sense of Malaysia, there is some 'bite' and flavour, unless of course you head for the forever mild. Forget it, why bother. This restaurant provided us with the experience of real flavours that we wanted. There is an Indian influence certainly, a la Serangoon Road in Singapore, but it is primarily Malaysian. The rotis are the best Wellington produces with decent dipping curry sauce. Have the satay if you must, satay is satay, but you are better off trying their dosai. The lamb dosai was crisp and light, with the genuine accompaniments and a meal on its own. This in itself is a measure of the Istana when compared with the other dosai that are served around the city. Beyond these dishes the menu has many others and we have resolved to return again sooner rather than later.

The restaurant provides for BYO and has attentive but discrete service. We have consistently surprised our guests with the quality of the cuisine and it continues to deliver amongst the best Malaysian food. If you have eaten Malaysian food in S E Asia I believe you will agree

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1  Thank Muzzaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

Really hospitable friendly staff! Disappointing that the food was subpar. Many of our meals were bland. Sadly, won't be coming back.

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Thank Kieran W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2012

I went to Istana Malaysia expecting a mainly Malay menu. Instead what I saw was a mainly Indo Malaysian menu with a few Malay dishes tacked on. A bit of a let down.

But saying that, the food I had was very good - and the best beef rendang outside Malaysia, I just would have have hoped for a larger selection of Malay dishes to choose from.

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Thank UpToSpeed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

Whenever we go to Wellington it is a must to eat at this excellent Malaysian Restaurant. In fact our recent trip, for three consecutive nights, we ate here.
It is a well established restaurant in the industry for years & years. We are not Malaysian but love the food.

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Thank BethRivertonNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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