Chef and restaurateur Junda Khoo has headed to Sydney’s North Shore with new Malaysian eatery Amah.
The Chatswood venue is a team effort with Hun Loong, who has been appointed head chef at Amah after a long stint in the same role at Merivale’s Mr. Wong and time at Quay.
Amah heros home-style Malaysian cookery and is an homage to Loong’s late grandmother.
“The most important part is that it’s food that has meant the most to me, which is my grandmother’s cooking,” he says. “That’s the memory I have of what good food is since I was a kid.”
Khoo says Amah offers a culinary point of difference to his other restaurants and focuses on cuisine from the city of Ipoh in north-western Malaysia.
“We’ve always been trying to showcase that Malaysian food is very multicultural and the food tastes different from region to region,” says the executive chef. “What we’re doing here at Amah is Malaysian food from Ipoh, which is pretty much Loong’s hometown.”
The restaurant, located on the podium level of The District above Chatswood station, gives diners a window into the cooking process thanks to an open kitchen in the middle of the U-shaped space.
The menu is split into entree, live seafood, seafood, meat, rice, vegetable/tofu, noodle soup, wok-fried/dry noodle, bbq, vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, sides and desserts.
Loong says the handmade mackerel fish bowl soup is a stand out.
“It’s my favourite dish from my amah,” he says. “She would go to the market before sunrise to get the freshest fish, fillet it and hand mince it and slowly beat it to alter the texture to a nice, firm, bouncy texture. She would do that dish from the morning to the evening and that’s how she showed love to the family.”
Other highlights include braised pork belly in master stock, cold silken tofu with fried century egg and pickled ginger and four laksa options.
On the beverage side, there’s a full range of kopitiam drinks including kopi o, teh tarik plus soft drinks and tea.
Amah opens on 12 June and will operate seven days a week from 11am.
Image credit: Gourmet Traveller