Malaysian Street Food!

by Kiran on January 5, 2011 · 9 comments

in Malaysia, Review, Street food

I‘ve scoured whole of Orlando for a taste of Malaysian food ever since we moved here a few years ago. Alas, no luck. Our recent trip to New York was not all about sight-seeing. It includes some culinary adventure. To be precise, the scavenger hunt for Malaysian street food. We had two different meals at the same restaurant, in separate occasions! It was THAT good ;)

Day 1 – New Malaysia Restaurant, 48 Bowery St, New York.

If you are driving, I highly recommend parking at 61 Chrystie St Parking Garage. It is within a short walking distance to the restaurant and for 18 bucks you can park the whole day and tour New York City via Grand St subway to your heart’s content ;)

Roti canai

The menu was extensive, ranging from Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian & Singaporean cuisine. We begin with a plate of Roti Canai – a classic pulled & puffed bread, served with chicken curry. Obviously this was not authentic. It tasted more like regular paratha that you’d bought from the frozen section at a grocery store and reheated to serve. Nothing to shout about, it was a little dissapointing.

Char Kuey Teow

Our disappointments immediately diminished as soon as we took a bite of Char Kuey Teow. Stir fried flat noodles with bean sprouts, plump shrimps, Asian chives, eggs, fish cakes and magical sauces took us by a surprise. The flavors were spot on authentic served with sambal belacan, famous Malaysian condiment which is made of fresh ground chilies and toasted shrimp paste. It’s a little fishy for a newbie, but worth a try.

Sambal belacan

I seriously died and went to Hokkien Mee (Noodle) heaven. Stir fried fat yellow noodles, with squids and shrimps, dark soy with Asian mustard greens.

Hokkien Mee

Of course we couldn’t take our eyes off the menu from the words “Hainanese Chicken Rice“. A plate of succulent boiled chicken flavored with soy sauce and ginger, fragrant rice accompanied with dipping chili sauce and ground ginger/garlic sauce, served with a bowl of clear soup. So refreshing and flavorful. Honestly, I’ve tried a better version of chicken rice before, but this was close to home-run :)

Hainanese Chicken Rice

A meal isn’t complete without satisfying our sweet tooth. And so we ordered what we thought to be Cendol, a classic Malaysian dessert. The usual ingredients found in a Cendol as derived via Wikipedia:

coconut milk, a worm-like jelly made from rice flour with green food coloring (usually derived from the pandan leaf), shaved ice and palm sugar. Next to these basic recipe, other ingredients such as red beans, glutinous rice, grass jelly, creamed corn, might also be included.

The cendol served at New Malaysian restaurant was a little too sweet for our taste. It was loaded with palm sugar. And thanks to the ever melting globs of shaved ice, it didn’t taste too bad. Beggars can’t be chooser right?

Cendol

Interesting cendol ingredient: Basil seeds.

So much of food, and look at the check!!! Foods are amazingly cheap in China Town in Manhattan, New York City, as long as you love Chinese food and adventurous enough to branch out and try different cuisine. Dare I recommend Malaysian cuisine, anyone?

Have you feasted on Malaysian cuisine before? Share your experiences and recommendations. If not, what other culture or cuisine would you recommend to try?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ricky L January 12, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Yummy in the tummy!!!!

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2 Kiran January 24, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Ricky,
Indeed it was, thank you :)

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3 Fong February 12, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Heya, next time you are in NYC, you must go to Nyonya Restaurant @ Grand Street in Chinatown. They are really good. :)

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4 Kiran February 15, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Fong,
Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for your suggestion. We were there for 2 days and it was closed :( We read the rave reviews, alas, it was not in our luck to sample all those Nyonya yummyness! We planned to visit Doughnut Plant as well, but just couldn’t squeeze enough time and effort during those treacherous weather conditions. Just thinking of the weather up North East makes me go “Brrr!!!”..

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5 may graves January 16, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Hi

I was born, raised in Malaysia. These Malaysian dishes featured brought back such nostalgia. Thanks for sharing your find!!
Not easy to find authentic malaysian food in the USA.

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