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Jun 23, 2006 03:41 PM

best malaysian in brooklyn

  • j

any nominations?

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  1. Banana Leaf and Nyonya.

    1. whats that malay place in sunset park, not on 8th avenue but in the chinatown area near there? maybe it's on 7th avenue? sorry i dk the name but thats a good one.

      9 Replies
        1. re: mrnyc

          I think it's called Belachan, it's on the SW corner of 7th and 61st. I haven't been there since in changed from Vietnamese to Malaysian a few years ago, but I've been meaning to try it.

          1. re: Krista G

            Yeah, it's Belachan. I've been a bunch of times. It's a good place -- not knock your socks off -- but as good as any other Malaysian around.

            1. re: Peter Cuce

              You are talking about Belacan Cafe - Ive had some very tasty food there (a fish, a meat curry, noodles), other things not so good. The guy who runs previously worked at Nyonya staff and is actually Indian-Chinese in origin. Obviously most of our "Malaysian" restaurants in NY are operated by ethnic chinese people, but the degree of authenticity varies - there seems to be a bit of a craze right now in that community for Malaysian that parallels a taste for thai, without a corresponding increase in the number of chefs who come from Malaysia/can do the cooking credibly. Or, cooks that can prepare a couple of hawker-style dishes are asked to provide a full menu. this can lead to disappointments.

              the Banana Leaf chef is from Malaysia, but his preference is to cook in more of a fusion style - its hard to get him to cook the more gutsy, flavorful spicy malaysian dishes tho his food is good.

              the other "Malaysian" places Ive tried in Brooklyn, one on Bay Parkway and another on Ave U - are not nearly as good and not worth checking out IMO - there is another place called Blue Ginger on Fort Ham nr 66th but I havent had the heart for another disappointment esp with Belachan and Nyonya so near.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Jen, yes, almost all Malaysian restaurants in the U.S. are run by ethnic Chinese from Malaysia (and a town like Ipoh is about 80% Chinese). In Malaysia you'll almost never see the same range of dishes that you'll find at Nyonya or Penang in the same restaurant. Some of the dishes will be found in Chinese restaurants or hawkers stands, some like Nasi Lemak sold by ethnic Malays, some like roti canai from Indians (I believe Muslims). I wonder why the ubiquitous South Indian items of Singapore & Malaysia haven't been incorporated into the restaurant menus.

                1. re: Peter Cherches

                  Ipoh is actually very much a mixed city, with a large India Town with spectacular Indian food and also a large Malay neighborhood. I agree that it's mostly Chinese but question your 80% figure. But the main point here is that Ipoh, though a beautiful city, is lacking in jobs, and since it's known for its great food, it supplies some of the cooks for Malaysian (and indeed some Chinese) restaurants around here.

            2. re: Krista G

              Belacan - it was a fun adventure to an otherwise dark corner in Bklyn but the food was so-so. You can do better elsewhere...
              The roti canai bread was fantastic but the sauce was a little thin. The fish head laksa was too sweet. the chow fun was mercifully not too oily as it usually is to me.
              we walked past Nonya on the way home and I wished we had gone there instead. we kept walking and ended up working off the meal at Melody Lanes midnight madness.

              1. re: anita_cocktail

                our first meal at belacan was better than my subsequent. The curries seemed to be most successful and we had a good whole fish. I think its possible to eat tasty food there, but its simply no destination for Malaysian satisfaction. As I ve noted and this will be my last reference, Nyonya was highly disappointing when we went on a saturday night a couple of months ago. Popiah was poorly prepared, ingredients tired, food just lacked spice and sparkle.

            3. re: mrnyc

              Nyonya is on 8th & 54th. It's fantastic, and more reliable than the branch in Manhattan Chinatown. I don't know Banana Leaf. Where is it?


            4. Banana Leaf is in Bay Ridge.

              Banana Leaf
              6814 4th Ave
              Brooklyn, NY 11220
              (718) 238-5531

              1 Reply
              1. re: Robblink

                the chef name is peter chow...he sold it...
                he was a great chef, used to work with Jean George.
                i like to get in touch with him....

              2. We like a place just off of Coney Island Ave on Avenue U (can't remember the name). It's fairly large and has an extensive menu and we have never had to wait to be seated or drive in circles for hours looking for parking as one is likely to do when going to Chinatown, Brooklyn. The Mango chicken is great! Huge portions, great food, and great prices!

                1. This was the one of the places that greatly disappointed us - in part because they are affiliated with the malaysian beef jerky place on Elizabeth Street and claimed to offer "real" laksa - its called Laksa House or something like that. However, whoever was in the kitchen (and this was a saturday night) didnt know much about malaysian cooking or spicing. Waitstaff didnt know either. Food lacked zest and distinct flavors.
                  BTY, It seems like all of the SE asian places (thai, malaysian, even Indian) cook a dish called mango chicken, but Im not sure that its a bona fide malaysian dish. Ill put a post up on General Topics - maybe somebody know the history of this dish.