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Fans of Malaysian Roti Canai (Indian Pancake) read on...

  • d
  • Danger Jones Jan 6, 2001 03:12 PM

A die hard fan of Nyonya's Indian Pancake for several years (That highly recommended Malaysian restaurant on Grand Street) I set out to see if I could top that by finding a luscious even better, crispier pancake--and I'm delighted to report that I've found it! The 'New Malaysia' Restaurant in a pokey and hard to find Chinatown Arcade (between Elizabeth and Bowery-take a compass) has the best Indian Pancake around. It's flakier than Nyonya, with a distinct buttery coconut taste. Pure Heaven! The service is lovingly friendly and price is damn cheap. $1.95! How can you beat that for great value?

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  1. j
    Jeremy Osner

    Sounds great! How is their prawn mee/ other soups? Any other dishes to recommend?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Jeremy Osner
      d
      Danger Jones

      Jeremy: You know, I'm not sure--I tried their seafood laksa, which I have to say it was pretty good. (Nyonya's 'Curry Mee with Young Tau Foo' Soup is almost a religious experience for me.) Unfortunately I didn't have time to sample other dishes... (It was a too quick lunch). But as soon as I head back there and have anything to report---I'll let you know. I wonder if Jim Leff has already reviewed and probably has suggested dishes on this restaurant...?

      1. re: Danger Jones

        This has been my favorite Singaporian/Malaysian restaurant for many years, and I think that -- save for Flushing Penang Cuisine Malaysia -- is still the best in the city. When I began eating here when it opened around 10 years ago as one of the City's first Malay restaurants in NYC, it was less than half of its size now, just four or so tables, and much more simple. Just the wife out front, and the husband cooking. No decor whatsoever. The outrageous curry beef brisket on rice was around $2.50.

        After they condemned the Bowery Arcade while they built Jing Fong above, it reopened, though unfortunately with slightly rejiggered recipes so as to appeal to a larger audience.

        The food is still great however, if not quite as good as it once was. They do all of the Singapore standards pretty well: Hainan Chicken Rice and Satay are as good as either gets in New York, fish head curry, char kway tiow, and sambals are also good.

        Particularly noteworthy here though is the aforementioned Curry Beef Brisket. This is not dry beef Rendang -- which is much more commonly served in Malaysian/Sing. places -- but luxuriously fatty brisket not very different than what they are slicing up at Katzs. Only here it comes cut into chunks and stewed in a thick curry. It is simply sublime (shiok!!). One of the best dishes in the City in my opinion.

        1. re: Rob

          Thanks for the tips and background info! I tried the beef brisket Soup and I have to concur-Fantastic! The meat is fatty and flavorful and the soup a yellow curry creamy. I've been dreaming of it all week--dj

          1. re: danger jones

            Don't forget that the Curry Beef Brisket is not only available in soup, but also served as a stew or on rice. Make sure you try these varieties as well.

        2. re: Danger Jones
          j
          Jeremy Osner

          "(Nyonya's 'Curry Mee with Young Tau Foo' Soup is almost a religious experience for me.)"

          Wow, I think we have the same tongue!

          1. re: Jeremy Osner

            Jeremy: that said: try the beef brisket soup at New Malaysia. ! --dj

      2. a
        Anil Khullar

        Roti Canai varies from cook to cook ;-) having said that, try a few others like Proton Saga on Allen St.
        between Division and Canal., Chrystie Village on Chrystie, slightly above Grand. Both of these have steam table kind-of-a-setup, very informal diner style eatery kind-of-a-place ;-)

        Do search the archives on this site for references to Malaysian style restaurants other than are often mentioned in Zagats ;-P

        1 Reply
        1. re: Anil Khullar

          Hey- thanks a lot!- that's really helpful. dj

        2. j
          Jason Perlow

          Okay, but how is the chicken curry that goes with it?

          I really like the one at Penang... but I really need to experience more Malaysian places.