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Jun 30, 2008 07:39 AM

Skyway Malaysian

Just wanted to report on my meal at Skyway on Allen Street this weekend. Was coming back from the New Amsterdam Market and didn't have the patience to deal with the crowds in the hot, humid weather so we dropped by Skyway. We ordered roti canai, popiah, Hainese chicken, and char keo taw. The roti canai is not the super-thin Nyonya style (which I prefer), but it still managed to maintain its lightness. The char keo taw was well cooked and flavorful. There wasn't as much shrimp and squid as other restaurants, though. I was a bit surprised to see that my Hainese chicken served without the bone. Texture was good, but there's something nice about sucking the meat off of the bone. I was pretty disappointed with the popiah. First of all, it came way after we finished our other three dishes. Not sure if they forgot about our order or they were still cooking it. I did, however, remind them of it during our meal. And every time I've had it (in other restaurants) it's been served at room temperature. I actually ordered the popiah because of the hot, humid weather and always find it refreshing and crunchy. This one was served hot!

Overall, a good meal. After going to Skyway a few times, I definitely have to say that I vastly prefer Taste Good in Elmhurst (though I like Skyway's roti better).

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  1. skyway's poh piah are terrible. i love the place, but that is NOT one of the dishes they do well.

    1. ive been meaning to go back as i havent been there in a while, what dishes do u guys like? (i dont like asam laksa btw...just as a dish its not my thing)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lau

        with the caveat that i haven't been back since late last year, my favorites are:
        omelet with baby oysters
        satay (either chicken or beef)
        curry mee with young tau foo
        pearl noodles
        kari ayam
        squid with shrimp paste

      2. I ate in Skyway a few times two years ago and always left slightly disappointed... largely because so many respected posters love the food there. I like the much-maligned Nyonya better, and of course Taste Good and Sentosa, both of which as I recall used to have excellent branches in Manhattan. And once I tried the place in the arcade between Elizabeth and Bowery that's been around forever and to my surprise I found it quite good.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Brian S

          I agree; I've given it many tries but always come off . . . not so awesome. this taste good joint, where is it? and any specific recs?

          1. re: bigjeff

            I know little about Malaysian food, but have been searching for that big bowl of Curry Noodle Soup comparable to what I used to get at the long-gone Happy Joy on the corner of Essex and Canal. I'm told it's a Malaysian dish, so if anyone here could tell me where I might find it, I'd be internally (sic.) grateful.

            1. re: foodluvngal

              Franklin Station Cafe in Tribeca has wonderful chicken curry noodle soup. I can't compare it to Happy Joy's, but it's Malaysian and delicious.

            2. re: bigjeff

              Here's the link to the address of Taste Good.


              Like the popiah, laksas, the fried noodle dishes, sizzling tofu (be aware that it's got ketchup in it it if you're not into that type of stuff). They also have dishes like General Tso's and beef with broccoli. I haven't tried it, but I stick to the Malaysian stuff.

              ETA: Oh, and here' a menu from the place.


              1. re: bigjeff

                A hop, skip and a jump away, Jeff. Elmhurst stop on the R, V and G, a few doors down from NY Supermarket, facing the park. On various visits, I've dug the Tahu Emaus (sp?), Hainanese Chicken and the Laksas.

                That said, Skyway's Fish Head Casserole is, to date, my favorite Malaysian dish in NYC.

              2. re: Brian S

                Brian S - I used to think that Nyonya was excellent, but it has definitely gone downhill in the last 2 years or so. The roti canai I had the last time was rubbery and the beef rendang a far cry from their glory days. One of the only items they do very well there is the bak kut teh soup - still one of the best around. Recent meals at the even-more-maligned Singapore Cafe and Penang have proved to me, at least, that they are currently better than Nyonya (which is not saying a lot).

                I went to New Malaysia (that place in the arcade btw Elizabeth and Bowery) and was really disappointed with the nasi lemak I ordered. No resemblance at all to the real dish, and didn't even come with chilli - the heart and soul of nasi lemak!

                1. re: yt28

                  I have to say that I've been to Nyonya recently and thought their roti canai was excellent -- not rubbery in the very least. Haven't had their rendang in a while, though.

                  I still don't get New Malaysia. I know a lot of people love it, but I prefer Nyonya.

              3. I've been a big fan of Skyway, but I'm now willing to say that they have deteriorated some. In the last two visits, I've gotten two soups with shrimps in them, among other things. Last time, it was Java Mee, and this time, Prawn Mee, at the recommendation of a waitress who said there was a new person making it. The Java Mee last time had shrimps that were a bit stringy (seemed overcooked) and noticeably old-tasting. The Prawn Mee broth tonight was excellent, but the individual shrimps tasted noticeably moldy, though I couldn't actually see any evidence of mold on them. The Skyway Chicken Wings were exactly the same as usual (which is good), but after two visits in a row with problematic shrimps, plus the previous visit, when I had dry, overcooked chicken in the Nasi Lemak, I truly regret that I can no longer give a reliable recommendation for this place. So sad. :(

                2 Replies
                1. re: Pan

                  Try Laut, they serve delicious authentic Malaysian cuisine. Slighly more expensive than some other places but far better than most. They are on 17th st.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    I did try it and liked it. Thanks.

                2. just ate here for the first time in a long time; we just had the nasi lemak, paseumbur and ABC. overall, better than I expected; last time I ate there it was aight so I haven't been back.

                  the nasi was really nice; the rice fragrant and all of the bits on the side delicious except for the dangerously overcooked chicken (like Pan mentioned) but the resulting "gravy" was so deliciously salty and delicious; if I go back solo, I will just order a nasi lemak with an extra rice and call it a meal. the pasembur was a crazy salad of zucchini, expertly fried tofu and shrimp cracker plus hard boiled eggs, topped with a weird tomato-soup like concoction that I didn't really like, although I liked it somehow with all the different things underneath; it was really not that pleasant a "salad" though. I wouldn't recommend it or at least, I hope to experience it in another rendition cuz that one kinda stunk.

                  the ABC was really good; sweet, lotsa goodies, very very nice, plenty of syrup.

                  the table next to us was ordered true family style and I couldn't help but stare as their dishes kept coming. two looked like standouts; a special of hainan seafood noodle which came out as a multi-layered dish of big fat noodles topped with seafood, then topped with a couple different other vegetable layers; it looked festive and impressive. the other thing they ordered was the asam fish head casserole which came out as a huge casserole of sour fish soup with a heap of vegetables on top. looked so good; certainly fit for a larger meal.

                  so the place might just have remained nice; but it was pretty much empty when we went (sunday late afternoon); I hope the place steps it up since they had some severe price cuts; most of the main entrees were stamped with "10%" off on the menu so they are trying to attract or bring back customers. i sorta hope they survive! because while new malaysia is certainly good enough to step into for what will be a decent meal, I hope there is a place like skyway with a more spectacular and flavorful hand. oh, and my friend said the last time she had prawn mee there it was very good. so, hopefully it wasn't on permanent decline.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bigjeff

                    Wow that's an interesting salad you ordered. I have never seen anything like it, but it's probably because I am not familiar with Malaysian cuisine. Thanks for the review. I am now intrigued by this place and I should find time to visit at least once to see what Skyway is about.

                    1. re: bearmi

                      not that I know too much about pasembur, but I didn't think skyway's could possibly be a good rendition since I looked up images of it and it looked nothing like what I had; literally blanketed in the cream tomato sauce, almost like sausage and biscuit or chicken fried steak; a little gross yet, I did eat it. I am now looking for a proper one in NYC:


                      so I would await some good hits on that thread before going to skyway just for that. but like I said, I think the place is more ambitious than most (they have specials that constantly change) and, they deserve another chance (if anyone gave up on them like I kinda did).

                      1. re: bigjeff

                        I thought some of the photos looked something like what's served at Skyway. And for the record, I liked the Pasembur when I ordered it. I wouldn't say I'm an expert on Pasembur, though; that's one Malaysian dish that I didn't have often at all in Malaysia.