It has been such a long time since my last visit to Temasek. A good three years if not longer. Located in a tiny arcade next to the Roxy building which used to be a movie cinema and now a night club. I don’t think my last visit was memorable, and Parramatta is not somewhere I go and dine very often. However, when I suggested the place to my parents, they were happy to try, as they too have not been for a while.
Temasek serves Singaporean and Malaysian food ranging from Hainan Chicken, Laksa, Char Kwetiau and other delicious food.
Lately I have been on the hunt for the best Hainan Chicken in Sydney. Shiok!* was pretty damn good, and I have heard wonderful things about Temasek so had high expectations! We ordered the half Hainan Chicken ($19.50) no rice, just the chicken so we had to order a bowl of Hainan chicken rice.
It was quite a generous serving, the chicken was juicy and tender, and the silky skin was wonderful. Unfortunately, the chicken was a little cold which was disappointing. The rice was wonderful and aromatic and it was accompanied with cucumber pieces and dipping sauces of sweet soy sauce and chilli and ginger vinaigrette.
The Nasi Lemak – any 2 choices of beef rendang, chicken curry or sambal prawns served with acar, ikan bilis, eggs and sambal chili ($14.50). We opted for the beef rendang and chicken curry. The beef rendang was excellent, the beef tender and succulent. The chicken curry I didn’t enjoy as much but the ikan bilis, eggs and sambal chili was a wonderful complement. Mum surprisingly enjoyed it and thought it was better than the one at Sambal.
I am very particular with my gado gado – combination of french beans, bean sprout, cucumber, boiled eggs and tofu served with homemade peanut sauce ($11.80). I have eaten a lot of gado gado in Indonesia and sadly, I have not found anywhere here in Sydney that serves it as good as in Indonesia. The peanut sauce was not quite right, it had a strong ‘Indian curry’ flavour which I thought was a little weird. It had WAY too much bean sprouts for my liking. If you have eaten a good gado gado, please let me know as I am still on the hunt.
My brother F absolutely loved the white sauce ho fun – flat rice stick noodle with egg white sauce ($17.80). It was yet another generous serving! The plate was bigger than my head. The flat rice noodle was excellent, the chicken incredibly tender and I loved the strong wok aroma. The egg white sauce was a wonderful complement.
We also ordered the laksa Singapura with chicken ($13.80) – choice of egg noodle or rice noodle or mixture and the soup has dry shrimp. We opted for a mix of the egg and rice noodle. The chicken was incredibly tender and the soup – was coconut-y, oh so very sinful with a hint of spice. It was perfect for a cold evening.
Everyone was stuffed but Mum and I couldn’t go past the ice kacang ($4.50) – combination of red bean, grass jelly, pineapple and palm seeds served with crushed ice in a bowl topped with palm sugar, red syrup evaporated milk and sweet corn. I thought it could definitely go without the sweet corn so scrapped that off. It was good but not the best I have had. It was definitely refreshing and I loved the grass jelly and palm seeds but I prefer my ice kacang with jackfruit, longan and lychee. I think the pineapple can be omitted as it didn’t really ‘fit’ I thought.
We all agreed that the food has definitely improved from memory. I was utterly disappointed with the Hainan Chicken, Shiok!* is infinitely better, however, the laksa and white sauce ho fun is worth coming back for. The nasi lemak wasn’t too bad either but overall, it was ok.
Service was surprisingly quick but do make a reservation, the place was busy and when we left at 8.30pm there were still people queuing waiting for a table!
GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10
71 George St
Ph: +61 2 9633 9926