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New Malaysia Review with Question

Hey, folks ...

I had a late lunch today at New Malaysia in the Chinatown Arcade at 46 Bowery earlier today.

I've declared this week the National Foodmonk Week of Malaysian Restaurants. I'm going to try to eat at a Malaysian restaurants every day this week (except Tuesday, because I have something else planned). Heh.

Anyway ...

This was my first time eating at New Malaysia. Decor is a bit on the modest side and it's in the interior of the arcade, which gives it a bit of a claustrophobic feel -- windows only into the covered alley -- but I thought it was actually kind of homey and cheery. Service was very prompt and cheerful ... Staff seemed happy to see me, the only non-Chinese or Chinese-Malaysian person there. English is spoken.

I ordered the roti canai and the chicken with asparagus in black bean sauce. I also tried to order the achat salad, but the waitress said that they were out of today. Grrr.

Anyway, the roti canai -- basically a zillion-calorie piece of flatbread fried in oil of some sort -- was sublime, beautifully flaky and delicious. It comes with a small bowl of sauce that contained one lump of potato and one lump of (mystery) meat. The sauce seemed to be based on coconut milk and contained chili oil ... not sure what else, but delicious.

The chicken and asparagus with black bean sauce was also very good. Asparagus was quite mature, but chopped into slices and I really didn't mind. However ... This dish is one that definitely has Chinese origins -- the black bean sauce is a garlic/soy sauce/black bean concoction that could really be found a zillion other places in the city, I suppose. I guess I was thinking that this would be something more Malaysian-y, rather than Chinese. I was wrong, but it was still delightful and better than you might get elsewhere at a typical Chinese restaurant.

So ...

I left feeling like I should really make another trip, but I'm hoping that someone can chime in with a suggestion about what else I should order. The menu is very large and I found myself quite overwhelmed.

Any idea what else is good on the menu at New Malaysia? Anything that might stand out as being a bit more different from Chinese food?

Not criticizing here ... The meal was very good. I left very satisfied and, in fact, wanting more.

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New Malaysia
48 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

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  1. i'm partial to nasi lemak, which is a coconut rice dish usually served with a curry chicken, dried fish in some sweet and sour sauce and some pickled vegetables (served slightly differently in asia, but thats the way they always serve it in the US)....i'm biased though since i almost alwayas order that at every malay restaurant b/c its hard to mess up and i used to eat it everyday when i lived in singapore

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lau

      Thanks! I appreciate the recommendation ... I'll go back and try it out!

    2. If they have this chicken order called the thai chicken, you should order that. The sauce is goooood! It's usually poured on top of the chicken. Penang's has this order and that's usually our favorite.
      I've been wanting to give New Malaysia a try for quite a while but always hesitant to go in because it's in the arcade. Maybe I'll give it a shot next time I'm in Chinatown!

      1 Reply
      1. re: wench31

        Yes, this dish was recently added to their menu.

      2. Their Hainan Chicken rice is quite good. I also like their fish head soup.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kobetobiko

          Thanks for the recommendation. I can tell already that I'll have to bring someone along so that we can order a wider variety of things.

          1. re: foodmonk

            oh, you owe it to yourself! even a party of three can do some real damage at places like this where plates are mostly all under $8 or $10 and you can try a bunch of things.

        2. Nyonya does a better roti IMO. Its hand made so its lighter. Skyway, sanur and new malaysia serves what looks like the frozen prepackaged ones. And thats not mystery meat in your dipping sauce. Its what I call the best part at the end of the rainbow.. chicken.
          Ask your waitstaff what vegetable is fresh today. They're honest. Have them do that with the chicken but this time try it with the belacan sauce instead.
          Stuffed curry combination. Its peppers and vegetables stuffed with fish patty in curry broth. You can order it with or without noodles.
          Hainese chicken over rice if u like ginger scallion dipping sauce. Or Spicy thai chicken which is the same chicken but a with a spicy dried shallot dipping sauce. I'm more partial to the latter.
          Beef rendang.
          Don't forget the shaved ice for dessert.

          2 Replies
          1. re: csw

            Awesome ...

            I went to Nyonya for dinner tonight and also ordered the roti canai. It did seem like quite a different animal. The flatbread was very large and almost translucently thin. Will post a review tomorrow with pics.

            1. re: csw

              second on the curry stuff combo, and last I went, we also had the hollow vegetables in belacan sauce (perfect)

            2. Definitely go for the achat, but my all-time fave is the curried beef brisket, as soup, or over rice.