My apologies for the photos to follow, I tried saving them with a bit of a film-look kind of filter, but for some reason, I find Asian food so hard to photograph! I suppose it’s because I’m so used to seeing noodles/ stir fries etc, that it’s just not something new or exotic in my eyes.

I’m working on it…. One day, I’ll photograph the best damn bowl of rice you’ve ever seen.

After my encounter with Mamak Malaysian Restaurant in Chancery, Auckland CBD earlier this year (reviewed on zomato here), I could not get the delicious, spicy and fragrant flavours out of my head. A good catch up session with S called for a place with serving sizes for those with big appetites, so Selera was a win-win situation.

The restaurant is not large, and was  already full when we arrived. Luckily, we managed to snag a table after a couple of minutes and quickly ordered a few dishes before heading to the counter to pay. It feels odd to sit down and then pay before receiving your dishes, but I get that logic.

We ordered:

Acar Awak ($7.00)


Acar Awak is Malaysian Nyonya-style pickled spicy vegetables. These were unlike anything I had ever had. I love pickled vegetables, and this one tops my list. It’s hard to describe- I kept getting surprised every time I took a bite because it was just… unexpected? The slightly spicy (laksa/ sambal-flavoured sort of spicy) vegetables retained their slightly crunchy texture which was just sublime with the sprinkling of peanuts on top. Currently wondering how weird I’d look if I went back just to get two or three servings of Acar Awak to take away…

Cabbage Chicken Salad ($12.00)IMG_9285

I felt this dish was odd. I’m no expert on Malaysian cuisine (this is only my second time so best to trust those more experienced), but this tasted more Japanese because of the sesame oil. Maybe that’s how it’s normally done? I don’t know.

Actually that is a bit of a lie. (Feel free to skip this mini babble paragraph- it’s going slightly off topic). When I was young, my sister and I lived with a nanny who was Malaysian so we grew up learning Mandarin from her despite being Vietnamese. Every so often, we still visit her, and she’d make us our childhood favourites such as mee goreng, and roti which we’d sprinkle with sugar- but I never knew they were called roti! So all this time, I had been complaining about wanting to try roti but in fact, I’d been eating it since young.I had a very confusing childhood.

And of course, Chicken Curry Laksa Noodle ($14.00)
IMG_9292Can’t go wrong with Laksa! (But I found I preferred Mamak’s version more. Just my own personal preference, you might find it different!).

The serving sizes were very generous- even S who is notorious for her voracious appetite was extremely stuffed (and we didn’t manage to finish it all). Clearly, we had over-ordered, but it’s so hard to choose just one dish. I’d recommend you visit with a small group so you can share a few dishes among yourselves.



487 Khyber Pass Road
 Newmarket, Auckland

8 thoughts on “Selera

  1. It looks delicious, also sounds like the best nanny ever. My bro and I lived above a very generous Thai restaurant when we were little.

    The cabbage salad and laksa look delicious.

    How on earth did you order ? I always feel so strange taking my best shot a pronouncing words in other language…there are numbers? Please be numbers >.>

    Best of luck with that rice picture!

    1. Living above a Thai restaurant sounds wonderful, you are probably an expert on Thai food then! I can’t remember if there are numbers, but there are pictures so you know what each dish will look like. If all else fails, just point at the dish on the menu :)

      1. Expert or obsessed, one of the two at least lol.

        Ha sounds good I’m gonna drag brother there for lunch.

  2. I have been meaning to try Mamak’s laksa. There are always lots being ordered when we visit. We usually order dishes that are easy to share like appetisers and curries. Laksa seems more like a bowl you enjoy by yourself though I may be wrong? Good to know you rate their laksa.

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