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Malaysian restaurant with 30-year legacy set to open a second Vancouver location

A new chapter for the longstanding Vancouver restaurant
Mamalee, which began in 1991 when Betty Lee took over Cafe D'Lite, is known for its Malaysian comfort dishes, like Hainanese Chicken (left). In early 2023, the restaurant will open a second Vancouver location.

As 2023 gets underway, a Vancouver restaurant with a legacy stretching back to 1991 will be opening a second location.

Mamalee, which specializes in Malaysian fare, will soon welcome guests at 186 Keefer Pl in Chinatown. The restaurant takes over for the former Hai Phong, which previously occupied the space but continues to operate a location on Kingsway.

Taking its name from founding "mama" Betty Lee, Mamalee actually began over 30 years ago, when Lee immigrated to Vancouver from Kuala Lumpur with her husband and children and ultimately took over Cafe D'Lite at 2817 West Broadway. After surviving a terrible car crash in 1995, Lee wound up moving her restaurant to a new location a decade later, close by at 3144 West Broadway. In 2013, to honor Lee, Betty's family renamed the restaurant Mamalee.

"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, opening a new chapter for Betty and her family's taste of home," describes Mamalee's website.

The restaurant is known for comforting Malaysian dishes like roti canai, laksa, and Hainanese Chicken. 

Now the second Mamalee location will begin another new chapter in the restaurant's story. ‚ÄčThe new location is currently in the hiring stages and will open in "early 2023."

V.I.A. reached out in early January to learn more about what to expect at the Chinatown outpost of Mamalee, and will update when information is available. 

Follow @mamalee604 on Instagram for more info and updates from the restaurant.