South East Asian cuisine, more specifically Malaysian and Singaporean food, is some of my all time favourite fare. Having lived in the region when I was younger, the textures, tastes and aromas always evoke a comforting sense of nostalgia.
One of the problems living in Vancouver (apart from the rain!) is the lack of great Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian restaurants. One of the few truly authentic + delicious Malaysian restaurants on the lower mainland is Seri Malaysia on East Hastings. The owner, Jamal, is actually Malay, born and raised in Johor Baru, Malaysia (just across the bridge from Singapore).
We tried Cafe D’Lite a while ago since we live in the area and the restaurant has respectable reviews. Not to mention the fact that I am a laska fiend, and Gary adores his chicken rice. So you can imagine how ecstatic we were when we discovered their menu listed a plethora of laksa selections and chicken rice options! The cafe offers seven varieties of Laksa (beef, chicken, tofu, seafood, fish ball, Hainanese, or Singapore-style) all moderately priced at $8.99. Hainanese Chicken can be ordered in a number of ways: whole chicken ($22.99), half chicken ($12.99), regular size with rice and soup ($8.95), or large with rice and soup ($11.95). You can even order your chicken rice in laksa, or in noodle soup!
Cafe D’Lite is one of those restaurants that I can see people really enjoying if they’ve never previously experienced traditional Malaysian/Singaporean cuisine. Personally, I felt their laksa lacked true depth of flavour. And although decent, their chicken rice just didn’t compare to the real thing in Singapore. On the up side, prices are reasonable and portions are standard. Cafe D’Lite won’t blow your mind, but it might tide you over until you have the chance to jump on a plane back to the motherland 😉