When Malaysian fried chicken chain Marrybrown (not to be confused with Canadian chicken chain Mary Brown’s) opened its first Australian store last year in Burwood East, there were two-hour queues. The outpost’s ayam goreng, or Malaysian fried chicken, known for its aromatic spice blend coating, would often sell out before close.

Photography: Jordan Price

The chain has now opened its second Aussie store, this time at Melbourne Central’s level-two food court. You’ll find fast-casual Malaysian dishes including classic nasi lemak, a fragrant coconut rice dish with sambal, dried anchovies, peanuts and other toppings, typically served in a banana leaf. The brand’s famous cheesy wedges with mayo are also on the menu, along with the Australian-exclusive chicken wrap and curry rice, where pieces of fried chicken are topped with the chain’s signature Malaysian curry sauce, topped with diced spring onions and served over rice.

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Photography: Jordan Price

While the new CBD location, unfortunately, does not have the soft serve cones found at the Burwood store, it does have Marrybrown’s signature spice-laden Malaysian fried chicken. You can enjoy ayam goreng in various forms: in a burger, as a cheese-covered drumstick, popcorn-chicken-style over rice, or as nuggets or in a KFC-style bucket. Both mild and spicy versions are available and are made using a top-secret spice mix. The spice-mix recipe is closely guarded by CEO Joshua Liew, but Broadsheet is told it includes lemongrass, cumin and ginger – all imported from Malaysia.

Founded in 1981 by Lawrence and Nancy Liew in Malaysia, Marrybrown has grown into a multinational sensation with over 500 outlets in 16 countries. The team plans to open further CBD locations, with new sites being scouted.

Marrybrown Melbourne Central
Level 2, 262 Corner of La Trobe Street and Swanston Street
No phone

Sat to Wed 10am–8pm
Thur & Fri 10am–9pm