Yuema Malaysian Restaurant (Albany, North Shore City, New Zealand)
Yuema is situated in a prime spot in Albany, making it accessible to those who are looking for Asian food options in the area. However, when it comes to the food itself, I must agree with some of the criticisms I’ve read online – it’s not the most authentic Malaysian cuisine out there. We visited the place by accident as our first priority was to visit Coconut Factory but it was nearly lunch time so we thought it was a good idea to dine in to this restaurant which is very near to that trending drink place.
One of the biggest issues I encountered during my visit was the service. The staff was not very welcoming, and it felt like they were just going through the motions of taking our orders and delivering our food. This lack of warmth definitely impacted the overall dining experience.
When it comes to the food, I have to say that it was average at best. As someone who has lived in Malaysia for quite some time, I can confidently say that the dishes served at Yuema Malaysian Restaurant do not taste like the real thing. While there were a few standout dishes most of the food here was lacklustre.
The Kway Teow Goreng with Seafood (NZ$19.80) was definitely the best of the bunch. The rice noodles were cooked just right and were nicely seasoned, with a signature smoky taste from the wok (wok hei).
The Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken (NZ$15.00), for instance, was a major disappointment. The curry lacked the spiciness and depth of flavour that is typical of authentic Malaysian curries, and the chicken was boneless and thinly chopped, rather than bone-in and flavourful. The peanuts were also skinless, which is not how they are traditionally served in Malaysia and the sambal lacked any discernible heat and the rice was not nasi lemak and was just regular rice with some burnt bits at the bottom.
The Roti (NZ$4.00), which is a staple in Malaysian cuisine, was also a let-down. It was not chewy at all and felt like it was frozen and poorly prepared, it was more like a cookie (actually tastes like Otap) rather than a bread. While it’s typically served with sambal, we had to request it separately, which was another let-down.
On the other hand, the Dumplings were good (NZ$17.80), but I suspect that they were the frozen ones you can buy for less than $5.00 a pack in the supermarket. While they were tasty, it’s not something that I would come back to the restaurant for.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend Yuema Malaysian Restaurant to those who are looking for authentic Malaysian cuisine. While there are some dishes that are worth trying, such as the Kway Teow Goreng with Seafood, most of the food here is average and can be made better at home. It’s also worth noting that the restaurant seems to be more of a Chinese restaurant pretending to be Malaysian. If you do decide to give it a try, perhaps it would be better to stick to their Sichuanese offerings instead.
Yuema Malaysian Restaurant
Address: 14 Corinthian Drive, Albany, Auckland 0632, New Zealand
Phone: +649 216 8516