The Malayan Council on Dunlop Street

The Malayan Council
22 Dunlop St
Singapore 209350

Opening Hours
Mon to Sat: 11am to 11pm
Sun: 11am to 10pm

Reservations: Facebook message

Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$48
Recommended dishes: Malayan Wings, The Ultimate Lopez Cake

Hey guys! I’m sorry for the long absence – I’ve been busy running around town accompanied by Rihanna’s and Kanye’s new albums called ANTI and The Life Of Pablo respectively. SO GOOD. Have you guys checked out the new permanent exhibition at the ArtScience museum called Future World: Where Art Meets Science? It’s fascinating and so entertaining for adults and kids alike. Also been busy watching Peep Show on Netflix, it’s hilarious. What a wondrous time we live in today.

So yesterday I checked out a fairly new restaurant called The Malayan Council, located on Dunlop Street right opposite Masjid Abdul Gafoor, and 4 units down from the erstwhile Rouse.

The Malayan Council - Entrance

The outdoor seating has a ceiling fan to mitigate (but not quite eliminate) the suffocating heat and humidity we’ve been facing lately in March ugh

The Malayan Council - Masjid Abdul Gafoor

Abdul Gafoor Mosque on Dunlop St

The Malayan Council opened its doors to hungry diners in December 2015, boasting a fusion menu that marries western fare with the richness and spices of Malayan cuisine. Burgers are topped with spicy sambal ikan bilis (anchovies in chilli sauce), fish and chips are fried in asam pedas (sour and spicy stew sauce), chicken wings are marinated in kicap cili padi (soy sauce with bird’s eye chilli) and the good old kueh lopes (glutinous rice cake coated in grated coconut and drizzled with palm sugar sauce) is given the modern cake treatment — the list goes on.

Here’s a look at The Malayan Council menu:

The Malayan Council Menu - Starters, Pasta and MainsThe Malayan Council Menu - Brunch Dessert and Drinks

I was heartened to learn from the bottom of their menu that The Malayan Council donates a percentage of their sales to the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home, which provides shelter and 24/7 residential care and protection for boys between the ages of 10 and 19 years. (crying face emoji) I love that they are giving back; much respect guys.

The decor is very cosy and quirky, mixing vintage and Islamic elements. There are packs of Old Maid, Snap, and other old-school card games available by the glasses counter (my friend and I briefly considered playing Old Maid but decided against it since we were only two!). Our table was a re-purposed Carrom table with a glass top and an old sewing machine pedal as the table legs:

The Malayan Council - Carrom Table

I legit kept wanting to flick these pieces absent-mindedly while waiting for our food to arrive. Sorry I didn’t get photos of the sewing pedal!

The Malayan Council - interior decor

Sometimes I forget to say the prayer before eating, so this was a good reminder. Also the WiFi snark! Love it.

The Malayan Council - Jawi Arabic Clock

9pm at first glance but 3pm in actual fact because it’s a reverse clock in Jawi/Arabic numerals. Cute, but also distressing for a split second before you remember it’s in reverse.

My friend and I split the Malayan Wings (S$13) for our starter:

The Malayan Council - Chicken Wings

The Malayan Council - Malayan Wings

Mmmmm yummyyyyy

I really liked these wings; I thought it would be pretty fiery and salty judging by all the chilli seeds on top and the pool of soy sauce underneath the chicken. Thankfully, the flavours were very well-balanced. The kicap sauce was fairly spicy, slightly peppery, and not too salty. The chicken itself was lightly crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside. I worked my way through 4 pieces and didn’t feel like it was too spicy/salty, so that was good. 10/10

For mains, I had the Salted Egg Softshell Crab and Mudcrab Linguine (S$28):

The Malayan Council - Salted Egg Crab Pasta

They paired two softshell crabs together to look like a giant fried fish atop the linguine

The Malayan Council - Salted Egg Softshell Crab and Mudcrab Linguine

The mudcrab meat portion is way generous

I loved the linguine. Admittedly it was overcooked and not at all al dente, but as a noodle-lover I subjectively did not have a problem with this. The salted egg sauce was not heavy and in-your-face; rather, the linguine was lightly coated in this mild, subtle sauce which did not make me jelak.

On their own, the numerous lumps of mudcrab meat were pretty tasteless, but if you mix well with the linguine in salted egg sauce, it’s much better. The softshell crab was very crispy and was slightly oilier than I would’ve liked. I wish the portion hadn’t been quite so big too. They could’ve definitely downsized to just one softshell crab, and maybe reduced the pasta by a quarter. Although the portion seems fair for what you’re paying (S$28), it was way too much for me. 7.5/10.

My friend got the March monthly special, Smoked Duck Lemak Cili Padi Linguine (S$28):

The Malayan Council - Lemak Chilli Padi Linguine with Smoked Duck

This was a home-run, guys. The linguine came coated in delicious and reassuringly-familiar lemak cili padi sauce, which was really tasty and decently spicy. The smoked duck was juicy and slightly sweet, which balanced the spiciness of the linguine. Loved this dish, and the novel pairing of lemak cili padi with smoked duck. My only gripes – if you can even call ’em that – again are the oversized portion of the pasta and the overcooked texture. 9.5/10

We couldn’t finish the pasta due to sheer volume,  but naturally we had still some room leftover for dessert. I got the Cempedak Crème Brûlée (S$9.50) just to compare it to Krave’s amazing version:

The Malayan Council - Cempedak Crème Brûlée

Not the best photo, sorry!

So before I even tasted the crème brûlée, I already marked it down for presentation. It came in a narrow glass jar instead of a wider ramekin, which meant that there is less surface area to torch the sugar top, which in turn meant there was less of the hard sugar shell for me to eat. Boo!

The custard itself was a little too dense, and tasted shockingly like blue cheese. I’m not sure if I got a bad batch, but it tasted slightly rancid, like it had gone off. I let my friend have a spoonful to confirm my thoughts on it, and upon tasting it she grimaced and suggested I ordered something else. I had high hopes for this thinking it could give Krave’s version a run for their money, but this was a huge let-down for me. Plus it didn’t have the juicy chunks of cempedak like in Krave’s rendition. 3/10, unfortunately.

My friend, in her infinite wisdom, ordered The Ultimate Lopez Cake (S$9.50), which turned out way, way better:

The Malayan Council - The Lopez Dessert Cake

Tiny triangle of actual lopes on top!

The Malayan Council - The Ultimate Lopez Cake

The cake contains layers of coconut mousse and bits of gula melaka (palm sugar), and is topped with a mini kueh lopes, drizzled with gula melaka syrup. I had a bite of this and really loved it. It’s really like a cake version of kueh lopes. There is nothing quite like the feeling of crunching into solid chunks of gula melaka,YUM. Well-played, TMC. Well-played. 10/10

All in all I had a positive dining experience at The Malayan Council. The crème brûlée was disappointing but everything else was pretty good. The prices are on the high side, but justified by the generous/crazy American-sized portions, and mitigated by the fact that you know a part of it will go to the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home. Service was very friendly – our waters were always topped up without us having to ask, and we were asked by one of the owners mid-meal if everything was alright with the food. They also brought the NETS portable terminal watchamacallit to our table so we didn’t have to go over to the counter to pay. Full-service! (Btw you pay service charge here but no GST, phew).

I had a chat with the other co-owner who was super friendly and happy to answer my questions (How long have you guys been open? 4 months. How’s it been so far! Ups and downs, but so far okay. Is this the old Rouse? No, Rouse is 4 units down but we have the same landlord.) Will definitely be coming back to try the Roti Kirai Beef Ribs (S$39) and Kacang pool with Angus Ribeye Steak (S$37) soon!

The Malayan Council
22 Dunlop St
Singapore 209350

Opening Hours
Mon to Sat: 11am to 11pm
Sun: 11am to 10pm

Reservations: Facebook message

Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$48
Recommended dishes: Malayan Wings, The Ultimate Lopez Cake


2 thoughts on “The Malayan Council on Dunlop Street

  1. Pingback: The Malayan Council II | Halal Eats in Singapore

  2. Pingback: List of Restaurant Reviews (always updated!) | Halal Eats in Singapore

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