The Temasek experience is oft lauded as one of the best Singaporean-Malaysian restaurants in Sydney, as well as one of the best restaurants in Parramatta overall. I first heard about Temasek somewhere in late primary school or early high school, when my Malaysian-Chinese childhood friend JL mentioned that he had been. I had also been with my parents some time during my teens, and I’d wanted to, but not had the chance (owing to Temasek’s limited opening hours) to go back until now.
Temasek, tucked in a narrow alleyway beside the old Roxy Theatre, looks, smells, and sounds authentic. Passers-by through the Roxy Arcade are treated to kitchen noises, chatter, and fragrances that would be unexpected for the Parramatta CBD. Service is brisk but friendly from the multilingual staff, and the portion sizes are huge.
I wanted to like the Hainanese Chicken Rice ($16.50), I really did. What should’ve been a slam dunk easy dish to bring out perfectly unfortunately did not meet my expectations. The meat was unusually rubbery, and not warmed the whole way through. The centre of the chicken breast was unfortunately a bit cooler than the exterior. It was unfortunate that the star chicken protein was not as good as the accompaniments, with the chicken rice and soup both having good flavour. I enjoyed both the sweet sticky soy sauce and chilli sauce.
The Mee Siam ($18.80), a noodle dish in a hot and sour soup, with boiled egg, prawn and fishcake was our other choice. While I think it’s probably a fine and beloved dish in general, it just wasn’t to my taste. I think the hot and sour flavours were too strong, and I wasn’t a big fan of the rice noodles either. The generously applied proteins were good, though once I had fished them all out the resulting bowl of hot and sour soup and vermicelli didn’t not inspire me enough for me to eat the rest of the bowl.
I wasn’t a fan of what I had ordered, but would not be opposed to going back. The three people on the table next to us thoroughly enjoyed their mi goreng.
71 George St, Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 9633 9926