Temasek, Parramatta

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Temasek is a Singaporean and Malaysian res­taur­ant in an alley­way a few minutes’ walk from the main strip of res­taur­ants in Parramatta. Look up ‘places to eat’ or ‘best res­taur­ants’ in Western Sydney and the name will invari­ably pop up as one of the best places for Haianese chick­en and laksa in Sydney.

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After some minor trouble find­ing Temasek, we start off with Beef Curry Puffs ($6 for 3 pieces) and Vegetable Curry Puffs ($6 for 3 pieces).

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Both the beef and veget­able curry puffs are identic­al from the out­side, and to our sur­prise, also the inside with the beef (right) being a shade dark­er than the veget­able (left).

The thin lay­er of crispy pastry hid a thick lay­er of uncooked pastry that had the same tex­ture as the mushy innards. Overall, the puffs lacked tex­ture and we found it hard to identi­fy veget­able or meat fla­vour in either puff. That said, the beef did have the fla­vour of holy basil, while the veget­able one took on a more grassy note. The cucum­ber gar­nishes were also limp and old.

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T goes for the Haianese Chicken Rice ($14), with ‘suc­cu­lent tender bone­less chick­en served with fla­voured rice, soup, chilli and soya sauce’. He enjoys his dish, describ­ing the chick­en as moist, but not as amaz­ing as the online reviews suggest.

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I love fried chick­en, so I go for the Fried Haianese Chicken Rice ($14). The pieces of chick­en were all vari­ous sizes, most on the small side, mean­ing that while the two big pieces of chick­en were juicy and tender, the smal­ler pieces were over­cooked and very dry. While T enjoys ginger, I hate it with a ven­geance and found the ginger fla­voured rice with shred­ded ginger through­out unappetising.

D dabbles in non-instant Mee Goreng ($15.80), a Malaysian style fried egg noodle with prawn and pota­toes in sweet tomato sauce and chilli (option­al). He enjoyed the slightly chewy tex­ture of the egg noodles and the mild chilli heat (he can eat very spicy foods, though).

And, N tried their much praised Laksa Singupura with Chicken ($17.80, no photo), describ­ing it as being spiced very pleas­antly without the overt fla­vour of shrimp paste used in the broth.

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With such high praise for Temasek, we came in with high expect­a­tions. While many dishes were decent, they weren’t so tasty as to make Temasek a des­tin­a­tion res­taur­ant, although D, T and N would order their dishes again if we rev­is­ted . There are cheap­er res­taur­ants with a quieter set­ting and com­par­able food, like Albees.

Temasek is loc­ated at 71 George Street, Parramatta NSW 2150.