21-23 Charlotte Street, Portsmouth, PO1 4AH
Based in the heart of Portsmouth, this humble Malaysian cafe has a massive array of different dishes that will satisfy your taste buds. With a host of Malaysian seafood dishes, such as Penang Curry Mee and Mah Chee – a sweet snack of rice, nuts and sugar – it follows the traditional style of Malaysian cuisine. If you aren’t feeling like having a sandwich for lunch, this is the perfect place to go for some light refreshment.
Lisa Choung opened Ammolite Cafe back in 2014, inspired by her passion for cooking.
She said: “I opened Ammolite Café in November 2014, as a housewife who likes to bake cake and cook. I’m originally from Malaysia, and I’ve always liked to cook our local food to eat at home. I couldn’t find a restaurant serving Malaysia hawker food and birthday cake in Portsmouth, so I decided to take the plunge and open up my own restaurant.
“Our dishes are authentic and the ingredients are mostly imported from Malaysia . They have a variety of tastes, mainly spicy, sweet and sour, with an emphasis on heavy taste.
“For me, the best dish on the menu is still the penang curry mee. It is a dish I am personally really proud of. It is a noodle dish with a coconut milk curry gravy. There are many other variations of the dish that come from Malaysia, but this one is far and away my favourite because it has so much flavour in it. Normally, the curry is quite thick, and with the noodles it just tastes incredible. That’s the way we make it in Malaysia.
“I think what makes our restaurant particularly special is that we have a lot of older people coming in who served in the armed forces. These people come to us and say ‘I went to Malaysia in the 1960s and the food was great!’ but they’ve never been able to find it anywhere else. It is great to bring back those memories for them through food.
“As for the future of the cafe, we have got so many ideas it’s hard to keep track of them all! We’ve just brought back ice kacang, a bean ice dessert, and people seem to love it!”