As the global destination for gastronomic delights, Tokyo has an enviable number of eateries of almost any cuisine imaginable. And for those in the market for savory curries, spicy rendang and laksa noodles with depth, there’s nothing more satiating than Malaysian cuisine. In lieu of physical traveling, embark with us on a trip down to South-East Asia via some of the most exciting Malaysian restaurants that Tokyo has to offer. 

1. Malay Asian Cuisine

Hidden away on the second floor of a popular street in Shibuya, this mainstay of the Tokyo Malaysian food scene offers a reliable Malaysian feed that’s true to the taste of home. The space is generous, especially for the locale, which makes it unlikely for patrons to be turned away or asked to wait even during lunch hours. The cuisine here slants more towards the Chinese spectrum of Malaysia’s varied dishes with Mee Laksa (round egg noodles in a coconut curry broth) and the famed Hainanese Chicken Rice gracing their popular midweek lunch menu. Still, the proof is in the community and this is where Malay Asian Cuisine certainly lives up to its name. At any given visit, you’re bound to hear some chatter in Bahasa from Tokyo-living Malaysians. 

Where: 2-9-9 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku

2. Masak Masak

“Masak masak” means cooking in Bahasa Malaysia but also has the heartwarming nuance of pretend cooking during our childhood years. Besides your typical Malaysian staples, Masak Masak also offers some unique bowls of food with a Malaysian Chinese heritage. Two such examples are their Pan Mee Soup and Lei Cha. The former is a plate of chewy often hand-made noodles served with stir-fried pork and mushrooms while the latter is herbal tea soup filled with rice and vegetables. One of the most striking aspects of this restaurant is the way the food is presented. The beautifully ornate Tiffin tiered lunch tins hark back to an earlier time in Malaya. The daily lunch “Tiffin” set changes daily. Alternatively, you can come for a Tiffin dinner and order your favorites by the Tiffin tray.

Where: 3-5-5 Kudanminami, Chiyoda-ku

3. Malay Kampung

Owned by the same group as Malay Asian Cuisine, Malay Kampung differs slightly with both a homier exterior and a menu that’s all about celebrating Malay dishes. You’ll find hot local favorites such as Otak-otak, a spiced fish paste wrapped and steamed in banana leaves. There’s also Ikan Bakar, a Malaysian-style grilled fish and stir-fried samba eggplant. The Malay word ‘kampung’ in itself can mean both village and hometown. The atmosphere  here is reflected in the name as customers feel right at home thanks to the food and hospitality. 

Where: 1-4-8 Hatchobori, Chuo-ku

4. Rasa Malaysia Cuisine

For slightly more upmarket vibes, Rasa Malaysia Cuisine in the glitzy Ginza district is perfect for date nights, girly get-togethers and all kinds of special occasions. Perched up high on the 5th floor, guests can partake in an intimate experience with some nice city views near the window. Course menus are a great option if you’re visiting with friends and are aptly named after food havens within Malaysia such as Penang and Malacca. From the à la carte menu, one pick that caught our eye was the Honey Chicken Wings. Another was the Hakka-style Yong Tau Foo and Rojak, a spicy-sweet fruit and vegetable salad. 

Where: 3-3-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku

5. Maykery

Craving a homemade Malaysian treat and want it delivered right to your door? While more a delivery service than a restaurant, Maykery is here to satisfy with a curated list of Malaysian kuih, snacks and baked goods. Her Pandan Kuih Lapis is a tried and tested flavor that would give any eatery back in Malaysia a run for their money. For something a bit more familiar, Maykery’s cloud-like Pandan Chiffon Cake would go perfectly with any cup of tea. Plus, the latest addition to their menu, a baked Char Siu Bao, is ideal for nikuman lovers who want something a bit sweeter and with a golden, flaky pastry crust. Maykery delivers Japan-wide to any valid address.

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