Saturday, November 6, 2010

Needs more peanut sauce

MalaysiaKitchenNYC at Grand Central
I love Malaysian food.  I love the spicy sweet kick of peanut sauce over satay, and washing it down with a warm glass of teh tarik.  This past spring, I got a chance to visit Malaysia on the east side for a crazy family reunion. Over the years my palate has become more eager to try new things, so this was a perfect opportunity to try everything. There was good food and then there was food to try once and never again (i.e. sea cucumber).

The reason I'm fawning over past vacation memories was because today I happened to stop by Grand Central's Vanderbilt all to check out the last day of Eat|Drink|Explore  MalaysianKitchenNYC - a weekend culture celebration of all things Malaysian.  They had things like chicken and beef satay, chicken curry over rice, mee goreng (noodles with curry, vegetables, and chicken). While I was mainly there for the food, I was impressed by the large stage setup on one end with native dance performances.  At the other end there were more flat-screen TVs showing the performances if you couldn't see because of the crowd.

I couldn't decide on what to eat, so I went with a sampling of chicken satay from a vendor that is an upcoming restaurant collaboration with Todd English and Ian Chalermkittichai. Unfortunately it was so good I didn't have time to take a picture of it so you'll just have to take my word for it.  Or check out their restaurant when it opens in November.

Ramen Noodle Snacks (no water needed)
Malaysian cuisine is very much a melting pot of Indian, Chinese, and Nyonya (native Malaysian) foods.  Here are some common Malaysian food-related phrases you should know:

teh tarik - tea that has been strained between two cups several times so it develops a frothy texture
kopi o - black coffee
maggie - instant noodles
roti - light thin, fluffy pancake/pita
satay - thinly sliced pieces of meat/tofu on barbucue skewers accompanied with peanut sauce
mee - general term for flat egg noodles
kaya - sweet coconut jam (great on toast)

Malaysian Restaurants around the city:

CafĂ©  Asean
117 West 10th Street
New York, NY

Fatty Crab
2170 Broadway
New York, NY

Jaya Malaysian
90 Baxter Street #28
New York, NY

15 East 17th Street
(Between Broadway & Fifth Ave.)
New York, NY 10003

Malaysia Grill
224 West 104 Street
New York, NY

New Malaysia Restaurant
46-48 Bowery
New York, NY

199 Grand Street
New York, NY

Overseas Taste Asian Restaurant
49 Canal Street
New York, NY

41 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY

18 Doyer Street
New York, NY
212 267 0088

Skyway Restaurant
11 Allen Street
New York, NY

These are the restaurants that are in Manhattan, but there are plenty more in Queens, and Brooklyn, so if you're interested in trying something Indian, Chinese or just something different look into MalaysianKitchenNYC. Watch out for their food truck too.

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