Layang Layang, Malaysian Food in Cupertino
We just had our first dinner at Layang Layang, on South De Anza, just off Hwy 85. We had been there for an afternoon snack of roti and ice kacang (both excellent) last week, and the aromas wafting out of the kitchen persuaded us to return at the next opportunity.
We were not disappointed! We had the roti again (this is the very thin, part-crisp, part-chewy type) with an rich curry sauce, thick enough to cling to the roti, an order of piping hot steamed popiah, dressed with a pungent sauce made with tamarind, shrimp paste and chili. (Ah, the uncompromised flavors of Southeast Asia!) We also shared an order of the nasi lemak, of which all the components: tender beef rendang, ikan bilis sambal, achar, rice, were probably the best I've had on the peninsula. The char kway teow was also very good, though I deduct points for using dried rice noodles instead of fresh, wide rice noodles. (Even better with chili padi and soy sauce.) And ice kacang again, of course, with two kinds of jelly, corn, peanuts, etd, topped with shaved ice and syrup!
Lots of other tempting dishes on other people's tables, and those rich, pungent aromas evocative of Malaysia and Singapore mean I will be back the next time I wish I were back somewhere around the South China Sea.
I've been for lunch a few times and have been happy with their soups, specifically the Prawn mee and Kari Mee, which I found both well seasoned and sufficiently spicy. The only miss was a bowl of Hainan Chicken rice I had once, which I found on the dry side and lacking in flavor.
We had our dinner at this place last night. We went there with very high expectations but were completely disappointed. We ordered White Pomfret, Captain Noodles and Lyan Lyang combo. Noodles and Pomfret were too sweet. Imagine having a sweet pomfret.
The combo was horrible. The food is too sweet, oily and too much salt without any taste.
I won't recommend this place and would never visit this place.
I keep forgetting to post about this gem! I can't remember everything I've had but I could easily hog the entire roti canai by myself. We had a dish I think called Thai chicken (can't remember the name) but it was fried chicken pieces (no batter) and lightly coated in a tangy, savory, spicy sauce. I was ready to lick the plate clean. Any of their veggies with the belcan (shrimp paste) sauce is good. Their noodles are also good, again the name escapes me but it had squid (or cuttlefish?) and a special kind of sauce. Mango chicken is also a family fave, not too spicy but a little sweet and a little sour without the goopiness of the Chinese sweet and sour dishes.
Not a bad place, in line with the other decent Malay places around. Of course, Malay/Singapore natives will have quibbles with the overall quality. This place got a good review in the Mercury News so there are lots of people who don't know what to expect and look uncomfortable with some of the selections.
Unfortunately I went with people with dull palates and they wanted stuff like Hokkien mee and pineapple fried rice. But I was able to slip in watercress with shrimp paste sauce (belacan kang kung), which was properly pungent. Rendang beef was a bit dry and not very spicy. There is an acceptable fried tofu dish with a dipping sauce (princess tofu). The soft tofu is house made and my guess is that it's a Chiu Chow influenced dish.
I believe that fish head dishes can be a good gauge of this type of kitchen but my suggestion was vetoed.
Pia, you beat me! A friend's been trying to get me to join him at Layang Layang since my birthday in April, and with luck I'm finally going to try it later this week. I'm glad to have your report for guidance.
Linked below is some incredible eye candy by photographer Michael Soo of the restaurant and dishes.
1480 S. De Anza Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95129
Phone: (408) 777-8897
Fax: (408) 777-9189