Inside the beautiful Malaysian restaurant newly opened in Birmingham offering a cultural adventure

A beautiful new Malaysian restaurant has opened in Birmingham full of authentic features from Southeast Asia

Eye-catching ‘Malaysian batik’ adorns the walls alongside traditional headwear and tea pots.

These are among a host of authentic nods to Southeast Asia that welcome you as you enter Birmingham’s new Malaysian restaurant.

The Malaya Classic has opened in the heart of Chinatown with an exciting menu of fantastic dishes. The new venue has set up home in the upper parts of The Arcadian in the old Ten IChi.

‘Malaysian batik’ is a traditional fabric that Malay people use to make traditional dresses. They adorn walls which also feature impressive artwork from one of Peranakan artists capturing moments of life, cultural rituals and social legacy in the British Crown colonies of the Straits Settlements comprising Penang and Malacca. 

The restaurant is proud to offer a culture adventure through the heart of Malaysia’s culinary heritage with halal ingredients across its 44 seats on one level and 20 on the upstairs mezzanine - and two private dining rooms which can serve up to 25 people. 

Every decoration and dish at The Malaya Classic tells a captivating story so customers can dip into a cultural adventure through the heart of the country’s culinary heritage. 

Diners can view traditional batik fabrics and an impressive Peranakan wall painting adorning the walls, highlighting the restaurant’s mission to showcase the different cultures of Malaysia. This new oriental gem is the sister restaurant to Chinatown favourite, The Thai Classic. 

With so few truly Malaysian restaurants in the Midlands, the owners believe that this vibrant addition to the culinary landscape of Chinatown promises to tantalise the taste buds with a delectable experience that captures the diverse essence of Malaysia. 

What’s so special about Malaysian food at The Malaya Classic?

Owner, Jeremy Mun and Zi Wen Boo said: “Malaysian cuisine has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years so we are thrilled to bring the first ‘halal’ Malaysian restaurant to Birmingham. We can’t wait to showcase the true Malaysian experience to guests – from the vibrant street food of Penang and Melaka to the aromatic spices of Kuala Lumpur, the menu reflects the diverse culinary traditions that define Malaysian cuisine.

“Whether people are completely new to Malay dishes or already have their favourites, our menu features 20 unique signature dishes so we’re confident that there is something to suit all tastes.  

“We’re expecting The Nasi Lemak – the national dish of Malaysia, featuring fragrant coconut rice, anchovies, peanuts, fried egg, and sambal, to be one of our bestsellers.”

Other highlights include Char Kway Teow – Wok-fried flat rice noodles with succulent prawns, fish cakes and beansprouts; Rendang – a rich and flavourful coconut beef stew with aromatic spices and Roti Canai – flaky and crispy flatbread served with curry dipping sauce. 

Diners can enjoy traditional items like Nasi Goreng, Curry Laska Noodles, and Hainanese Chicken Rice and the fusion Malaysian dishes such as Rendang Beef Spring Roll and Crispy Fried Soft-shell Crab with Salted Egg Yolk. Set menus and banquet menus are also available, as well as a selection of street food favourites such as bao buns, noodles and soups.

What about the drinks at The Malaya Classic in The Arcadian?

The restaurant will serve a selection of specialty Malaysian drinks including Teh Tarik – the national tea drink – Pulled Tea, Milo and White Coffee as well as Sirap Bandung, a wonderful concoction made with grass jelly, pink milk and rose syrup. They also have their homemade fruity drinks such as Lychee and Grapefruit Fizz, Pineapple and Coconut Fizz, and Rose and Longan Fizz.

Jo Kinsella, from The Arcadian added: “We are so delighted to welcome another independent restaurant to The Arcadian Centre. I know diners will fall in love with The Malaya Classic’s captivating ambiance and see it not just as a place to eat but as an all-round cultural experience. Malaysian dishes provide the perfect antidote to the cold weather – there’s nothing better than tucking into a delicious warming dish of exotic flavours.”

Let's take a look inside The Malaya Classic restaurant in The Arcadian in Birmingham:

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