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Maybe it’s because I’d never been there before last week, but I’d always believed KK Malaysian was some kind of mythical place where every student to have ever lived in Wellington would journey on a ritualistic Saturday-night BYO pilgrimage, experiencing cheap delicious food and Fat Bird.
I don’t know why it took me three years to finally make it to KK Malaysian, but my bank balance certainly hates past-Eve for choosing other BYOs that follow the similar cheap ’n’ cheerful Malaysian vein because I’ve never seen one as cheap as KK before – $10 for each vegetarian main. Fun fact: Wellington has the highest number of Malaysian restaurants per capita of anywhere outside of Malaysia (thanks, flatmate who did ASIA101!)
KK Malaysian is famous in the youth-wing hack-life (of which I’m mercifully not part) for featuring numerous photos of Grant Robertson on its walls. I have heard on the grapevine that KK Malaysian is indeed G-Rob’s favourite BYO; rumour has it his favourite dish is the beef rendang… Even on the Tuesday night I went there, there was an (albeit short) wait on a table for two.
The entrées listed are standard and relatively expensive compared to the price of the mains, so we skipped straight ahead. I had Mee Rojak, which wasn’t terrible, but underseasoned and a tad bland (egg noodles mixed with eggs, cauliflower, broccoli, tofu, bean sprouts, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots and potatoes, with peanut and vegetable sauce). Admittedly, I only got one slice of egg and minimal tofu and broccoli, but the almost pinkish sauce was pretty tasty; and much tastier after I added a pinch of salt.
I was sated and only spent $10, so I hardly feel I can complain. My date for the evening, who frequently visits KK Malaysian, swears by the Mee Goreng. The popularity of this place makes me think perhaps I just chose the wrong dish on the night in question.
The portions are generous and the décor is inoffensive. The location on Ghuznee St is convenient. I wouldn’t recommend this for a romantic date, but for a cheap weeknight meal while catching up with friends, or as a BYO go-to, it remains ideal; 16 years after poor students first started swarming its doors.