Spice it up a little at Chahaya Malaysia

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Malaysian, Indonesian & Vegetarian CuisineSince this friday was Good Friday, Dorothy and I decided that rather than completely foregoing our weekly dining out treat, we would simply change the date to thursday. This meant that instead of our normal seven, it was just the two of us and our options were much broader than is usually the case. Without our three young ladies in tow, we could be a little more adventurous. Today, we felt like Asian food!

Tucked away in Ottawa’s East End on Montreal Road near Blair is a hidden gem: Chahaya Malaysia. This small family owned and run restaurant has been a local feature for a good number of years.  A husdband and wife team own and run this restaurant and their children also serve tables. Although it does not look like much on the outside, this is one book that you should not judge by its cover. We eat here two or three times a year and have never yet had a disappointing meal.

The sign outside (pictured at left) announces Malaysian, Indonesian and Vegetarian cooking. One of the very few drawbacks for some, (not for ourselves) is that there is almost no Canadian or standard North American food on the menu. Although many of the dishes are quite spicy, they will tone down most of the dishes according to your taste.

What we ordered: We often forego an appetizer, but this evening we were in the mood for spring rolls and they came home made and piping hot. Then we chose homecooked lamb which we ordered medium hot. Our server (hostess) warned us that this would be as spicy as the hot pepper sauce and recommended that we try the sauce on our spring rolls first. This we did and assured her that we would be fine. In addition we ordered Singapore Chicken which was lightly breaded and served with a sweet and sour sauce. Rounding out our selection was a platter of ‘traditional’ rice. It costs a little more than regular rice but is well worth the extra.

The prawn crackers that we were served while waiting for our food to arrive were a little greasy but addictive nevertheless. Our food came promptly and was very much to our liking. So much so, that we had no leftovers for the dog (next day’s lunch in reality). Oftentimes, Dorothy and I will share a dessert to finish off our meal but nothing on offer really tempted us.  I do, however recommend trying the Malaysian sweet tea (sweetened with condensed milk) and poured with panache at your table.


  • Positives: Food was well above average, service was outstanding, with special care taken to ensure we were not ordering food too spicy for our palettes.
  • Negatives: Small dessert selection. Not much ‘regular’ food on the menu.
  • Summary: Chahaya Malaysia nevers disappoints.  If you are a fan of Asian cuisine you should definately give them a try
Category Rating Explanation
Food Quality **** Good
Price $$$ Moderate
Decor *** Acceptable
Service ***** First Class 
Overall Rating **** Above Average

Chahaya Malaysia on Urbanspoon

Chahaya Malaysia on Restaurantica


1 ping

    • Marius on April 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for the tip, Roy. I like small restaurants with good food, decent prices and friendly people. Now you’ve got me addicted to your food-blog. I love spicy food, and lamb is by far my favourite meat. I’ve just had our lamb for Easter stay over night in wine, garlic, grind pepper and olive oil…then on the grill. Served hot and tempered with a 2008 French Cairanne red wine from the Rhone Valley… oh my God! I am going back right now to the fridge for left overs…

  1. Well, Marius, as it happens, we also had lamb for our Easter meal and also have leftovers for supper tonight. 😉

  1. […] egg drop soup were in order. Normally, we would pick up these items at Kung’s Palace next to Chahaya Malaysiacloser to Montreal Road and Blair. We were somewhat surprised to discover, however, that […]

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