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Has any tried a Malaysian restaurant called Nyonya on Grand Street? Some friends have invited us out to dinner there and I'm wondering if any chowhounders can recommend favorite dishes, etc.

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  1. i love nyonya. the hainan chicken is my favorite if you like that dish. but otherwise the pearl noodles and the stingray wrapped in lotus leaf are faves. and of course the roti canai for appetizer! for dessert, i love the chendol.

    1. Roti canai for appetizer.

      Mango shrimp/chicken, taro bird nest, char kway teow, fried rice with salted fish, rendang, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, and kangkung blacan.

      Get the longan fruit drink too. YUM.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Core

        At Nyona, I had popiah ("poh piah" $4.95), char kway teow ("char kueh teow" $5.95). Popiah was a little on the soggy side, good toppings, and char kueh teow was made without the wide kway teow rice noodles. OTHER than that, they were both very good.

        I also had laksa.

        (Sorry - I only remembered to take pictures after a few chopstickfuls)

        1. re: grocerytrekker

          Oh, and I had cendol ("chendol") for dessert.
          Looked exactly like the gray slushy snow piles happening on the sidewalks :)

          Tasty syrupy coconut milk shaved ice (not fine crystals), so-so green jelly. Red beans were all right, but I never got whole red beans for dessert. I momentarily forgot I wasn't in the tropics when I ordered it. It can be fun, but this dessert isn't for everyone.

          1. re: grocerytrekker


            199 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

        2. The mango chicken is the best thing I've had there, in a rather limited experience. But it was good.

          1. I only ate there once, but I was not impressed. I had the aforementioned mango chicken and it was essentially chicken with mango and ketchup sauce. I also had a crab dish that had cooked crabs in the shell so tiny you needed tweezers to get the meat out. The sauce on the crabs was good though. I've had better meals at Overseas Asian on Canal street.

            1. The Brooklyn branch at 5323 8th Ave. (at 53rd St.) is outstanding, and dirt cheap. Parking, however, is impossible, and it's a long way from the subway.

              If the NYC version is anywhere near as good, it's a destination place.

              1. Nyonya is great, and at their prices you can experiment a bit with their extensive menu. The roti canai is a no-brainer and i really enjoy the clay pot noodles.

                1. this is one of my favorite restaurants.. my ideal meal is:

                  -Haianese Chicken
                  -Fresh chinese greens - water spinach, etc. with garlic


                  1. I went to the Nyonya in Chinatown yesterday. Apart from te roti canai, I really thought it was kind of bland. I had the bacon-wrapped shrimp puffs and the Chow Kueh Teow. So many people rave about this place that it may be just what I ordered. But I dound little to rave about. The Malaysian Iced Tea was pretty good, but again, not raveworthy.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jd in baltimore

                      Try Skyway on Allen St. between Canal and Division and see how you think they compare.

                    2. Nnonya is fantastic but you have to know what to order. The roti is great and very consistent. Try the coconut shrimp. the birds nest. any kind of steamed fish with ginger/scallion.

                      worth the trip!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: paragasd

                        I go to the one in Brooklyn all the time, and my last time at the Chinatown branch this summer was a major disappointment. I ordered for a group of seven, so we had a chance to sample a bunch of dishes. I think the Chinatown branch has gone way downhill over the years.


                      2. ...don't forget to try their satays!

                        1. Nyonya is great.
                          The Shrimp wrapped in Bacon puffs are bad.
                          The noodle dishes are all great, especially spicy noodles with shrimp.
                          Also there is something called something like Sarang Burong (but that is probably not quite right) that is really great. It is under the chicken section of the menu.
                          In addition to Roti Canai for appetizers there is an oyster omelet that is really good.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Food Royalty

                            You spelled that right. Sarang Burong means "bird nest."

                            1. re: Pan

                              Actually, it should be sarang (nest) BURUNG (bird), but it is so often called sarang burong that it's become acceptable, I guess.

                              A basket of deep-fried taro is stuffed with meat, seafood and vegetables.

                              Nyonya's version sits on a bed of shredded lettuce. It's filled with shrimp, chicken, baby corn, snow peas, onions, green peppers, mushrooms. A generous sprinkling of cashew nuts on top.

                              1. re: grocerytrekker

                                Oh, and their Chinese name for this dish is sheer poetry.
                                "Buddha rock(not sure about this 2nd character...) whirlwind fragrance".

                                1. re: grocerytrekker

                                  grocerytrekker, "burung" is the "ejaan baru" ("new spelling") for "burong." Granted that ejaan baru became standard starting in the early 1970s, but it very gradually filtered in in both Malaysia and Indonesia. The old Malay spellings aren't wrong, just superseded by standardized Malay/Indonesian spellings. And the pronunciation in most if not all of Malaysia (and part of Indonesia) remains "burong," regardless.

                                  If you really want to get into this in detail, you can start by looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differen... (although I disagree with some of the "Vocabulary differences").

                                  Regards from a former Sekolah Kebangsaan (Malay public school) student

                                  1. re: Pan

                                    Ah, thank you. That makes sense...

                                    My knowledge of Malay is pretty much "Anda suka makan apa? Saya suka makan sarang burung". Pitiful, considering I had good Malaysian and Indonesian friends and learned to sing Majulah Singapura.

                                    One question, if I am allowed... I always thought that the Indonesian pronunciation of "saya" was much brighter, and that Malay version sounded perhaps darker, sounding sort of like "sayuh". Is it the same case with "Nonya"?

                                    1. re: grocerytrekker

                                      Sorry I didn't see this in a timely fashion, but the answer is essentially Yes.

                            2. Good inexpensive food. Good juices. Inconsistent and sometimes just plain poor service. Shame, because the food is good if ordered correctly. All rotis are good. Curries over rice are cheap and very good.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Ora

                                Definitely agree on the inconsistent and sloppy service. The last time we came here, they kept ignoring our requests for iced tea, which left us wondering if somehow they had run out of tea or half and half or what. It was sorta bewildering.

                                Overall, the food is decent and I happen to enjoy the mango chicken, although it's pretty Americanized. I don't think of Nyonya as a destination place the way I think of Sripraphai as a must visit restaurant.