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Feb 2, 2009 09:49 AM

Where do you go for Malaysian cuisine?

I'm looking for a good Malaysian place in Queens. Any recommendations? Thanks!

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    1. re: E Eto

      Taste Good is an excellent choice. I just got back from having lunch at Coco Malaysian & Thai at 82-69 Broadway. This was a first visit and I liked it. I ordered L19 lunch special which is Sambal Fish Fillet (you can also select chicken ,beef, pork or squid). This came with soup and the meal was good and just $4.50 ($5.50 at Dinner). Very nice young waitstaff. For someone on a strict budget Coco is the place. They have a website I plan on returning to Taste Good soon but today I decided to try a different Malaysian Restaurant. I'm no authority on Malaysian food so I really don't know if there's a big difference between the two restaurants.

      1. re: E Eto

        Your take has always served me well. Thus I ask you (before I trek out there into Queens), is this place great or just merely good? If you say 'go' I will try it.

        Let me add that I have never had REALLY great Malaysian in New York.

        1. re: NYJewboy

          nyjewboy, gotta agree with you there; years ago, I might have been impressed with the offerings but I've had so much better food lately from other sorts of cuisines and malaysian seems to have been stuck in a time loop for the last 10-15 years. went on a highly unsuccessful jaunt in chinatown this weekend so I may need to stick local (queens).

          1. re: bigjeff

            Still have a lot to learn about Malaysian, but I'm starting...
            I went to a pretty good place in sunset park a couple of weeks ago. It seemed a little themed, but still, it seemed like good quality food and the staff and patrons were enthusiastic about the food. I dug what we had. It was Nyonya

            I still havent been to taste good, but am highly antipating a trip there. Coco wasnt exceptional when I went, but I am more than willing to go numerous more times.

            BTW, that coco site is great. Lots of good info. I'd love to hear some Best Malaysian choices.

            1. re: Jeffsayyes

              I gotta agree with the naysayers on Coco. i still go occasionally for the inexpensive lunch specials, of which the Beef Rendang is my dish of choice. As Mike V says, it's hard to go wrong for under $5, and I always go with low expectations.

              I haven't been to taste Good in a while so I can't comment there, but I've been going to Penang (across the street from Coco in the same shopping center as Bho Bac, Pho Bang, and Nusara) for over 10 years and they rarely disappoint. roti Canai, Satays (including Satay Tofu), Kari Mie, Asam Laksa, Beef Rendang, Ginger Duck, Kari Satong, Pearl Noodles are all excellent.

              1. re: el jefe

                I'm no expert, but Malasian Restaurant in Flushing (a true hole in the wall) was delicious and the waitress could not have been nicer.

                1. re: foodforu

                  where is this place? in flushing I used to go to curry leaves on 40th road; thought it was pretty good; have not been to sentosa yet all this time, and have not been to that malaysian place on prince st near flushing mall yet either. I do remember a malaysian place way down on kissena blvd (past east pavilion) but haven't eaten there yet either.

                  1. re: bigjeff

                    Malaysian is on the same block as Shanghai Tide, other side of the street. The joint on Kissena is called Satay Malaysian. That's all I've got for you - haven't been there.

                    1. re: Polecat

                      I just came back from Satay Malaysian restaurant. I wanted to have the lunch buffet at Southern Spice but it was closed for lunch today. I ate at the nearby Satay and it was a mixed bag. The roti canai was excellent. Perfect pancake, light, crispy in spots, flakey and not greasy. The chicken curry was a little spicy and flavorful. Beef rendang was bad. No heat or spice, no flavor at all. I know this thread is a year old but I didn't see a more recent mention of the place.

                      1. re: stuartlafonda

                        this is the place up on kissena? nearish a bigger asian plaza with a bunch of other business, bakeries, etc.?

                        1. re: bigjeff

                          You are correct, sir.The official address is 46-01/03 Kissena. It is on the corner of Kissena and Holly ave directly across the street from a Shabu joint that in the late 1960's was the site of the Holly Inn, a quintessential Queens Italian restaurant and tavern. Rhinegold on tap at the bar and pizza,heroes and pasta at the tables and booths. A regular Sunday night dinner spot for my family.

                        2. re: stuartlafonda

                          It sounds like they may have deteriorated since I was there several years ago. If so, that's a shame. You might try other dishes, other than the rendang, though, if you happen to be in the area. Otherwise, there's always Taste Good in Elmhurst.

                  2. re: el jefe

                    I went to penang today. Lunch for 5.50 was chili chicken, veg soup, rice, curry potato and something else I forgot. oh, it was a fried egg.
                    looked interesting. this place has been there for A long time.

                    Here's my thing though: If you had a blind taste test of malaysian, would you be able to tell it's malaysian? and not chinese, thai, indian, depending on the dish? ?

                    1. re: Jeffsayyes

                      The problem with Malaysian food in NYC is the lack of non-Chinese chefs. In Malayasia/Singapore different food is generally cooked by different ethnicities. So your roti/pratta is usually an Indian affair, your Nasi lemak, chicken curry, beef rendang will usually come from a Malay place, and the Chinese focus on steam tables, noodles, and fried rices.

                      Of course there is overlap though (I remember Satay hawker stalls in Singapore often being run by Chinese even though it is a Malay dish), but on the whole different ethnic groups focus on different foods. And even among Chinese people certain ethnicities focus on different Chinese foods. So the Cantonese cook one thing, the Hokkien another, and the Teochew yet another.

                      Personally I like Skyway on Allen St as my favorite Malaysian restaurant in Manhattan. They do a good Nasi lemak. I haven't checked out the Malaysian restaurants in Queens, but it definitely sounds like I need to check some of them out.

          2. I've tried all the places in Sunset Park with the exception of Rendang, and they're all bad, including Nyonya, which I find to be the McDonald's of Malaysian food.

            Sentosa in Flushing is mostly great -- it can be a little inconsistent, but far and away a better option than anything in Brooklyn.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Puppimus

              esp. considering that i found the nyonya in manhattan to be bad too, it figures. seriously, when will the malay food revolution happen in new york?

            2. just came back from coco in elmhurst
              not bad , i had the lunch special crispy golden squid, small portion but very tasty.
              bad part was that it came with tomyum soup or a hashbrown, so i figured it must be a housemade hashbrown but it was the frozen mcdonalds one just fried and put on a plate...took 1 bite and stopped lol terrible...but the squid was seasoned properly and was quite good
              for 4.50 it was a bargain and always love this place

              16 Replies
              1. re: chefjellynow

                Sorry, it's Restaurant Malasia and it's at 13517 40th Rd. My Malasian haircutter told me about it. We walked past it twice when we went there, so you have to really look for it. I'd be curious to hear what people who know about Malasian food think?

                1. re: foodforu

                  maybe that's the place that *used* to be called curry leaf; long narrow restaurant, a few tables up front and then you pass a long counter with some items inside, along with the register, and then it opens up into the main dining room? If so, been eating there for awhile, but not recently, I liked stopping in for breakfast and picking up some of their items to go.

                  1. re: bigjeff

                    No ,the restaurant at 11354 40th Road is Malay Restaurant and Curry Leaf is on the same street but closer to Main St. I agree with Foodforu that the food is better there than most Malay Restaurants I've been to and I think superior to Good Taste.
                    I like their Currys and look forward to trying other dishes there.

                      1. re: hoi lai

                        I'm glad to hear you thought it was good. It was the first time I had Malasian food. The other restaurants my hairdresser has recommended have all been good. Can't wait to go back and ask him for more recs.

                        1. re: foodforu

                          Hope you'll share some of these recs with us .Always nice to be turned on to something tasty.

                        2. re: hoi lai

                          Which one do you like better than Taste Good? Malaysia Restaurant or Curry Leaf?

                          ('cos I looooove Taste Good)

                          1. re: hatless

                            I like Malaysia Restaurant better than Good Taste .I find the flavors at Malaysia Restaurant to be more assertive than at Good Taste , That said I've yet to find a place in New York that has Asam Laksa like you would get in Malaysia. When I had it there they served it with pieces of fish instead of flakes and the broth was usually much complex than what you get here.

                            1. re: hoi lai

                              Totally agree! Asam laksa is the one thing I get at every Malaysian restaurant I go to. I've looked into making it myself from scratch, but some of the ingredients have proved impossible to find, even at NYC's Asian grocers (mainly ginger buds). Maybe that's why even NY restaurants have a hard time reproducing the goodness. I've bought a pack of asam laksa base at a Malaysian grocery ... can't be any worse than some of the laksa I've been served at restaurants!

                              1. re: hoi lai

                                I guess it's possible you may have to go to Manhattan for that. When Sentosa used to be on Allen St. in Manhattan Chinatown, their Asam Laksa had pieces of fish in it, if I remember correctly, and Skyway on Allen St. has pieces of fish in their laksa.

                          2. re: bigjeff

                            went to curry leaves on 40th road to pick up a container of fresh homemade kaya; wow, so delicious! dark brown color, a very heavy dense pint for $5. thanks davecook for the tip. while we were there, saw a customer dining on a huge plate of nasi lemak, 4 or 5 compartments on the large tray and piles of food. gotta come back for that!

                            1. re: bigjeff


                              New Curry Leaves
                              135-31 40th Rd, Queens, NY 11354

                          3. re: foodforu

                            I went to Restorant Malaysia (that's how they spell it) on Sunday night. 15 minute wait for a table and the place is not much to look at, but it was worth it. I was very happy with my asam laksa and curry fish head. Not perfect, but this was the best laksa I've had in NYC so far.

                            1. re: Puppimus

                              I used to like that place, but I got overly old bean sprouts one time too many. This was as of around 2005, though. Have they remedied that problem? It was never much of an issue in their curry mee and such, because the stronger tastes won out, but it did become an issue in the Ipoh Bean Sprouts.

                              1. re: Puppimus

                                I went there today and had the Asam Laksa and I agree it was the best I've had in NYC although not as hot as some places it was a richer broth. They used jack fruit instead of pineapple and maybe 1 Sardine possibly 2 .Stingy ,stingy

                                1. re: hoi lai

                                  Glad you liked it. Mine had plenty of heat and chunks of fish, but I thought it needed more mint and onion (relatively small complaints).

                          4. I saw an awning on New Utrecht that said Malay Bakery. Any thoughts?

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