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Malaysian in Kansas City

My wife and I are new to the KC area and have been chowhound lurkers for years in NY. We've recently found an authentic gem in overland park - the family that owns Salsa's on 135th is Malay, and on Wed, Thurs and Fri they serve authentic Malaysian dishes in addition to their normal menu. The menu changes occasionally but if you sign up on their e-mail list you'll get updated menus in your mail...

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  1. Grocks,

    This is fantastic. We're moving to KC from Chicago this week, and I've started swinging by here a little more regularly. I look forward to giving Salsa's and Kababesh a try.



    1. Thank you for the reports Grocks! We don't often make it to lots of "ethnic" restaurants for whatever reason, so I appreciate hearing about them!

      1. Having never had Malaysian, this sounds like something I have to try. Where on 135th is this?


        PS Anything hot?

        2 Replies
        1. re: chileheadmike

          135th near Nieman (between Quivira and Switzer) - just got the menu from this week and it looks great. If by hot you mean spicy, most things on the menu are spicy.
          Some things we've tried and liked -
          Roti Canai for appetizer (don't get the garlic canai - not as good)
          Nasi Lemak - very interesting dish - worth trying
          Paul's Pork Chops - as usual in authentic ethnic restaurants the name does not do justice to the food.
          For desert make sure you try the Ice Kacang - definetly one of the most unique desserts I've had.
          And get on their e-mail list to get updates...

          1. re: Grocks

            Is this "standard" Maylasian fare? We have the Malay Cafe up North. I've heard through the grapevine that it is good, however, I've been hesitant to try it with out some idea of what to order. Of course, the people who told us about it can't remember what they ordered (very helpful)and their suggestions have been real hit and miss (also very helpful). Any first time order suggestions would be appreciated.

        2. This sounds fantastic! Some friends of mine and I are trying to "lunch around the world," as much as we can in Johnson County. Do they serve lunch?


          1. I think they do lunch but I have not tried it yet. Certainly there is a hit or miss factor based solely on how adventurous your tastes are. We tried a fried mackerel dish that was not to my liking, but I guess I don't really like mackerel to begin with (too strong). My wife liked it. We also tried a shrimp soup that was too fishy for me. All of the curry's we have tried have been excellent.
            Here's the e-mail address to get the menu (it usually comes on tues)

            1. Some friends and I went there tonight, and it was awesome. I had the Nasi Lemak, which is just a wonderful fusion of flavors and textures. What really drove it home for me was having the traditional curry, but with peanuts to provide a crunch that's not found in a lot of Thai food.

              We had the Grilled Tofu as appetizer, which was nice but nothing special.

              I'd recommend anyone who likes Thai or authentic Chinese to try this place out.

              1. Grocks,

                Thanks again for this tip...I've been meaning to post a longer post with menu in hand, but it's taken me a while, memory is fading, and I might as well just go ahead.

                This was a really enjoyable meal served in an unusual setting (Mexican fast food joint) with warm and friendly service.

                All the food was good, the appetizers stood out even more than the entrees to me. We got a curried potato stew with roti that was fantastic, the more pedestrian chicken sate for the kiddies was really terrific...an excellent example of a sometimes mundane dish, with a hefty chunky peanut sauce. One other thing too that I think I'm forgetting...maybe the roti and the potato stew thing were two separate dishes. They worked quite well together, in any case.

                I had the Nasi Lemak, which I would also characterize as interesting, a nice and fun fusion of flavors, pretty and fresh, though I didn't completely think it worked. I did like the little crisp fried anchovies...I'd never seen those before.

                My wife got a beef stew, which was a huge portion and probably could have been cooked another hour or two. Slightly tough and not as much flavor as I would have liked, but really, I enjoyed the place so much that I hate to say anything negative. We'll definitely be back, even though it's quite a hike.



                2 Replies
                1. re: Aaron Deacon

                  I have it on good authority from two long time friends who both live in KC and are from Malaysia that this little Mexican place on 135th street is their new place (and the best place) to go in town for delicious Malaysian food. Think of a mix of Thai, Chinese and Indian food and you will come close to understanding what Malaysian cuisine is all about. Yum!

                  1. re: jvergara

                    A question I forgot to ask...has anyone tried the Mexican food here?

                2. After having Thai Orchid's yummy Thai bouillabaisse, I now have a hankering for homey, spicy soup to clear up the sinuses. I tried out Salsa's tonight for dinner and I got the curry laksa which is noodles with tofu, chicken, fishcakes/balls and egg and it hit the spot. The chicken was a little cold, they probably keep the soup warm during dinner and throw the chicken during plating but for $7.95 in a fast food type place, it was pretty good and I didn't mind it as much.

                  It comes with a small dish of chili sauce so one could jazz it up for some heat. Without the chili, it wasn't spicy at all, but maybe it's all relative :P Also had the syrup bandung specialty drink which has rose water in it. It was a bright pink concoction on ice, almost frightening but not bad, but nothing to write home about. I think if I was 10 years old again, I'd get a kick out of drinking something that pink.

                  There were perhaps 2 tables out of the whole restaurant that were eating Mexican food, everyone else was eating Malaysian. Oh btw, they'll be serving Malaysian on Saturdays too! So if you can't make it during the week, there's always Saturday!