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Mar 25, 1999 12:10 PM

Looking for tips -- Malaysian

  • j

I've been eating a lot of Malaysian and Indonesian food
lately -- in fact I think that is the cuisine I have
eaten most frequently this winter. I was hoping someone
could give me tips about the etiquette of how to eat
Malaysian. For instance the noodle soups, like asam
laksa and prawn mee -- should I bite the noodles or
slurp them up? Should satay chicken be pushed off the
skewer and eaten with chopsticks, or eaten directly
from the skewer? I tend to make a bit of a mess, and it
embarrasses me slightly -- leaving a messy table to be
cleaned up.


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  1. r
    robert sietsema

    Re: Making a mess in Malaysian restaurants--Most of the places I've eaten in expect you to put stuff you can't eat like mussel shells, already-gnawed ribs, etc. right on the table. No bone bowl is provided, and I've seen Malaysians dumping this kind of stuff into the center of the table, where, if you're in a place with good service, it will periodically be swept up. The exception is shrimp shells and heads. You're supposed to eat them, so don't heap them on the table.

    8 Replies
    1. re: robert sietsema

      Hey RS,
      Being a Penang guy from Flushing, Give me your best
      Malaysian, as I need a change.
      Anywhere in the Tri-State area will do. Thanks.
      Regards, JK

      1. re: John Knoesel
        robert sietsema

        My current fave is Proton Saga, on Allen just south of Canal (don't let a cab driver tell you this corner does not exist--it does). The place is militantly Muslim, and the food has some surprising twists over the other Malaysian joints in town, including a slightly greater empahsis on Indian-derived food, like the peanut pancake, which is a paratha stuffed with crushed peanuts. All the sweet-and-sour salads are a degree better than usual, but the ray in its various preparations beats everything else.

        1. re: robert sietsema

          Just passed by a Chrystie Malaysian, 85 Chrystie, s.
          of Hester - has anyone given it a try yet?

          1. re: jen kalb
            Robert Sietsema

            Irene Sax wrote about it three or four weeks ago, and really liked it. Her review is probably on the NY Daily News website.

            1. re: Robert Sietsema

              Are there two different restaurants
              on Chrystie St being discussed

              Irene Sax reviewed a Chrystie
              Village on 95 Chrystie St which is
              north of Hester.
              Wasn't this place once called
              Golden Malaysian?

              Jen Kalb, you mention a Chrystie
              Malaysian on 85 Chrystie, _south_
              of Hester? Is that a second place

          2. re: robert sietsema

            Thanks Mr.S
            Regards, JK

            1. re: John Knoesel

              Thanks to Mr. Sietsema seconded. I'll be sure to check
              out Proton Saga soon. And then I'll report on my
              experience. Makan sedap (eat tastily), everyone. :-)

          3. re: John Knoesel

            You should go to Malaysia especially the little of
            island of Penang and eat to your heart's content. Just
            ask the taxi driver to drive you to the best

        2. Don't worry. Many Malaysians (especially ethnic Malays
          and Indians) eat everything except soup with their
          right hands, anyway. And there's no etiquette on how to
          eat your laksa, though the most common way for Chinese
          people to eat soup is to eat the isi (Malaysian for
          solids) with the chopsticks and then put the bowl up to
          the lips and slurp up the liquid (or leave it behind).
          But don't worry about the mess! It's not like you're
          eating the food on someone's beautiful mat. I used to
          do that in Malaysia, and THEN you have to be a bit
          careful about dropping the rice you pick up in your
          right hand or spilling the kuah (sauce)!

          Say, if you're reading this response, what are your
          favorite Malaysian restaurants? I like Christie Village
          (Christie just south of Grand) and New Taste Good (1
          Doyers St.) the best, but I have yet to go to the very
          popular restaurant on Bayard St. whose name escapes me,
          or to the Proton Saga at 1 Allen St.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Michael

            Hi Michael, thanks for the feedback! My favorite is New
            Taste Good. I've been to Proton Saga and was not all
            that impressed -- I think there are at least 3 better
            Malaysian restaurants in the area. Those being New
            Taste Good, the one on Canal, and the one on Elizabeth
            (or Mott?) -- Sorry, I don't remember their names. I
            also go frequently to the one on Lafayette between
            Spring and Broome, although I don't think it is as good
            as any of those three, because it is closer to where I
            work. I've been meaning for a while to visit the Taste
            Good in Elmhurst.