After months of anticipation, Mamalee, the beloved Malaysian restaurant, has finally soft opened its new location in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown.
The restaurant’s expansion has been long-awaited, but licensing delays from the city held up its opening for several months.
Earlier this week, their sister spot, Cafe D’Lite at Aberdeen Food Court sadly closed down.
Nevertheless, the wait is over and Mamalee’s loyal customers can now indulge in their popular Hainanese chicken and rice at the new location.
Who is Mamalee?
The restaurant is named after Betty Lee, a Malaysian immigrant who brought her culinary passion to Canada in 1990.
Born into a family of twelve children in Kuala Lumpur, Betty had to start working at a young age and helped her mother create meals with limited ingredients. This experience not only honed her exceptional cooking skills but also fostered her creativity in making the most out of minimal culinary resources.
In late 1991, Betty bought Cafe D’Lite, a small cafe business serving soup and sandwiches on West Broadway. Her goal was to introduce the charm of Malaysian cuisine to her new country.
Despite facing setbacks such as relocating due to rebuilding projects and health issues following a car accident that left her partially paralyzed in 1995, Betty never gave up on her dream.
Her perseverance paid off when she renamed Cafe D’Lite as Mamalee in 2013 – a unique and humble name more closely associated with Betty’s spirit and heritage.
The Mamalee brand not only represents Betty’s passion for Malaysian culinary excellence but also a continuing commitment to an authentic Malaysian dining experience that is second to none.
Her Staple Hainanese Chicken & Rice
At Mamalee, the Hainanese chicken is a must-try dish. The chicken is cooked to perfection by being boiled at a precisely controlled temperature, resulting in exceptional tenderness. After that, the chicken is meticulously sliced, deboned, and cut into bite-sized pieces to ensure a delightful taste with every bite.
And ofcourse the rice is crucial. To enhance the flavour and aroma of the dish, the rice is expertly infused with a blend of chicken broth, ginger, and garlic. The meal is then meticulously arranged and garnished to not only look appealing but also to tantalize your taste buds.
Other popular items are Roti Canai, Hainanese Chicken Laksa Noodle, Nasi Lemak, and Curry Beef Brisket with Rice.
The New Chinatown Location
The new location at Chinatown will offer an opportunity for more people to experience this unique taste of home while furthering Betty Lee’s legacy.
Interior wise you’ll find it completely different from their West Broadway location, which has an old school feel. The new one is decked out with a more modern design and wooden theme.
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Address: 186 Keefer Place, Vancouver, BC