Skyway Malaysian Restaurant
Hope you don't mind this separate thread from an earlier topic--
After favorable reviews from other chowblazers, I decided to visit this restaurant but wanted to try several dishes. So last night I bribed my cousin Manuel, who lives in NJ, called him and said I have a few vinyl records I'd like to give him, then we could go to Academy Records @ 18th for more. I knew this would be irresistible for a fellow vinyl addict but I didn't suspect he'd get so excited he buzzed my doorbell a half hour early. I rolled out of bed and let him in.
Manuel was starving, "so, where do we eat?" Ah, the manipulations we must do! "Uh... let me think, hmm, go play some records while I shower." Manuel choses Monk plays Ellington, a record I did not plan on giving him but now understand his price. "Dimsum?" I shout. "Nah, we had dimsum last time, let's try something else."
"Oh... there's this new Malaysian restaurant in Allen!" :)
(Too bad the forum software doesn't allow posting pictures directly.
We ordered food for four. The beef rendang came out first, it was good but not particularly impressive. From memory, I think Penang has a better version.
The Kang Kung Belacan, on the other hand, was excellent. This was the only dish that didn't make it into a doggy bag.
Mee Siam was very good although I don't have a specific reference for this dish.
I'm not sure if this is the dish that Pan referred to in his post but the Squid in "Special Style" was outstanding, Manuel insisted on taking home this dish giving me the rest of the leftovers.
Of all the dishes the standout for me was the beef satay which, I think is better than the version at New Indonesia (it's been a while I've been to that place so I gotta go back to compare). Add two orders of Roti Telur and three iced teas and the check came to ~$55.
I think I've tried all Malaysian Restaurants in Chinatown and must agree with previous posters, Skyway might very well be the "Sripraphai" of Malaysian cuisine... at least in Manhattan ;)
Thanks for reading!
bokkyo, you did get the same squid dish I had.
The Mee Siam (=Siamese Noodles), not surprisingly, looks like a take on Pad Thai.
Rendang isn't really a Malaysian dish, but rather an Indonesian one. I usually do not get Rendang in Malaysian restaurants.
I'm glad you had a good meal.
Oh, I almost forgot: What Malaysian restaurant outside of Manhattan do you think is better? I have yet to find any as good in Flushing.
I also went to Skyway recently after reading the recent reports. I was quite happy with the food, but I did have some funny service issues.
I am Chinese, but I ordered in english. However, my waitress kept replying to me in Malay after each choice. It was kind of uncomfortable, especially since she spoke english and chinese. Also at the end of my meal, they also incorrectly changed my money, giving us 10 dollars less back.
Aside from that, we really enjoyed the food. The roti telur was quite good as was the oyster omelette. I also like the asam laksa, except I found the noodles to be overly chewy, I would have preferred a more standard rice noodle in it. We also got the Kang Kung Belacan, but were not too happy with it. I guess I prefer it Chinese style.
By the way, I was also wondering if it would be easier for me to learn more about Malaysian food by going to a steam table restaurant instead. Are there any in Chinatown that are particularly good?
In answer to your last question about Malaysian steam table places: No.
When you say your waitress kept replying in Malay, do you mean the Malay (or sort of Malay - some words are out of order) names of dishes? I speak Malay fluently and did not find the waitresses understood it much at all. Nor do they speak much English.
I like chewy noodles in noodle soups and don't remember having been disturbed by excessive chewiness before at Skyway, but of course I don't know how chewy your noodles were.
That's too bad about the steam table situation. But Skyway's prices are gentle enough for it not to be a big problem.
On the Malay question, there was definitely a language they were speaking that wasn't Mandarin Chinese which I assumed was Malay. But I could have been confused or it was just some other Chinese dialect I'm not familiar with. And I should also emphasize that the dishes we received were the ones we ordered, even though I worried a little bit at first.
The rice noodles I had were very thick cylinders, like the size of Italian bucatini. When I read rice noodles, I thought it would be a flat rice noodle like pho or pad thai noodles. In these noodles, they were so chewy that when you bit down, it didn't quite sever the noodles, so you had to apply more pressure to bite through (reminds me of the button pressing you do when taking a digital picture). I also like chewy noodles too, but unlike other noodles which when they are too chewy they are actually crunchy too, this was just kind of gooey. At any rate, this is probably a personal pet peeve.
No, not much English, and I agree it's not Malay. I assumed it was the kind of Chinese spoken by the country's long-standing and large Chinese community.
i have singaporean friends who swear by this place. they found it last week and ate there 5 days out of 7. now they're all skywayed out, but as soon as they're up for it again i'm making them go with me.
i always feel sort of awkward when ordering - english vs. chinese? i do speak mandarin but grew up in the states, so my parents usually did all the ordering. therefore my food vocabulary isn't outstanding, but i always feel weird ordering in english AND weird ordering in chinese. i guess that's the chinese-american dilemma. of course that's different from spchang's thing - but the post just made me think of it.
I have the same issue with ordering as well. If I know all of the dishes in Mandarin then I order in Chinese, but if not, then I order in english.
A different issue is the weirdness about whether one should assume that a primarily cantonese speaking waitstaff speaks (or wants to speak) mandarin.
yes! exactly. i get anxious about being presumptuous or impolite. also, many times i know some dishes in mandarin but not in english, at the same time wanting to order other dishes that i don't know the chinese name for. i guess chinglish is an old standby. it always makes me feel sort of embarassed. i should get my mom to teach me all the names for things i like.