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Jul 10, 2006 03:09 AM

Desperately Seeking Authentic Malaysian Food in Bay Area

We are seeking restaurants in the Bay Area serving authentic Malaysian food. My wife is from Malaysia, and I've lived there for many years and are looking for the real deal. Rasa Sayang in Albany (now closed) served good Mamak-style food. However other purportedly SE Asian restaurants such as Mango Bay, Straits Cafe or E&O Trading Company...well, having tried these places, I don't know what kind of food they serve, but it isn't Malaysian food....the food at these restaurants bear little, if any, resemblance to any SE Asian cuisine.

Any ideas?

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  1. I don't know how authentic it is, or even if it's still open (been a while since I lived there), but Singapore-Malaysian at 8th and Clement in the Richmond used to be really good.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jumpingjack

      Singapore Malaysian is definitely still open. It's on Clement between 9th and 10th. Seems much more authentic than something like Straits Cafe or E&O, but I couldn't really say. Very tasty and a casual setting.

      1. re: jumpingjack

        I find it to be much more "authentic" than Straits Cafe, but the spicing is somewhat underwhelming.

        1. re: jumpingjack

          It kinda sucks now, they cant even get the otak otak right, it was rubbery!

          1. re: jumpingjack

            Have you tried Singaporean restaurant "Shiok Kitchen" on Menlo Park. Rather good satay, roti prata is a lil' burned, but tasted really good. It's worth a try!

            1. re: Gary Soup

              if you are looking for malaysian food, penang garden, despite its name, is not the place. it's a thai interpretation of malay food. just ask for the CHAR KEOW TEOW and you'll see what i mean.

            2. I think I know how you feel. My first query on was a search for real Singaporean food.

              Singapore Malaysian used to be pretty decent, though I haven't visited in a while. We now prefer Layang Layang in Cupertino. The kangkung belacan is particularly good, as is the dipping sauce for the roti. Nice tofu and seafood dishes, too. But the Hainan chicken is no big deal. Ice kacang is also excellent.


              Another place you might want to try is Spice Islands in Mountain View. We haven't been there recently, as we prefer Layang Layang (though the former is nearer), but I think Spice Islands is in the same league as Singapore Malaysian, and much more authentic than Straits. I do think the Hainan chicken was better than Layang Layang's.

              And I'm still looking for a "black" rather than "red" daging rendang. Please post if you find a good one!


              2 Replies
              1. re: pilinut

                I ate at Spice Islands recently, and the food was better than Straits, and the restaurant a lot quieter than Banana Leaf.

                1. re: pilinut

                  I second Layang Layang. We love going there and the food is always delicious and authentic

                2. Unforunately, you will be disappointed by all the options. One of the better bets is Banana Leaf, in Milpitas - it is decent, and reasonably authentic, but there are enough ingredients that just cant be found here to keep it from tasting like home.

                  I married into a Malaysian family. The best Malaysia food I have had in the Bay Area is when one of my many Aunties comes to town and makes Poh Piah or Prawn Mee. Yum! If you like Hainanese Chicken Rice, let me know - my version is pretty good...even the aunties agree...

                  1. Who doesn't like Hainan chicken rice? (g)

                    Please save October 7 for the Chowing with the Hounds picnic in Golden Gate Park if you feel like sharing.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      "Who doesn't like Hainan chicken rice?"