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Any Remotely Good Malaysian Food Around Here?

I just got back from Kuala Lumpur (due to circumstances, I wasn't able to be as food adventurous as I would've liked, but I did try my best) and was wondering if there are any decent renditions around here for a teh tarik, char kway teow, roti canai or similar if the urge struck?

I know near me the Asian Wok & Grill (the former China Chef Wok & Grill - they changed the name while I was gone) has some dishes from the area, and I did a little research and some mentions of places like Kopitiam, Layang Layang, Lime Tree, and Old Town Cafe. Any insights into the latter places or any others that I didn't mention?

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  1. The best I've had overall that's still in business is Kopitiam in Lafayette, though I prefer the roti canai, chow kway teo, curry mee, and Hainan chicken at Singapore-Malaysian in SF.

    I haven't been to the South Bay places, so can't compare.

    Singapore Malaysian Restaurant
    836 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

    Kopitiam Restaurant
    3647 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549

    1. Add to your list a decent place in San Mateo - I think it's called Lakawan, off 101 at Hillsdale bay-ward, in a shopping center. Pretty decent, not sure if it's excellent.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bbulkow

        I think you mean Langkawi Malaysian Cuisine in San Mateo. I recently attended a dinner there with a group of Malaysians - they were all quite happy with the food (and felt that it was a very good representation (and we liked it too!)

        Here's a link:

      2. Good char kway teow at a place whose name I've forgotten. SF Chinatown, on Washington Street, across the street from Portsmouth Square. Can't vouch for the rest of the menu.

        2 Replies
        1. re: david kaplan

          I too just returned from Kuala Lumpur. Penang Garden on Washington in the old Golden Phoenix space is OK. I liked the roti canai and the strawberry chicken.

          1. re: david kaplan

            Brief update: can't recommend the char kway teow at Penang Garden (the place on Washington St whose name I couldn't remember in the above post) anymore.


            Penang Garden Restaurant
            728 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94108

          2. We live about 10 minutes from Layang Layang and go frequently. Excellent Myalaysian food in a casual setting. Can get crowded on the weekends for dinner, as it is not a big place. Great savory food as well as great desserts. Great Roti Canai!

            1. You might want to try Banana Leaf in Milpitas. I think their food is really good. I am not an expert on Malaysian food.

              Banana Leaf Restaurant
              182 Ranch Dr, Milpitas, CA 95035

              1. Decent Thai and Malaysian -
                Penang Garden
                728 Washington St
                San Francisco 94108

                Link to their menu


                1. Lime Tree is more pan-Southeast Asian than specifically Malaysian, but they do have a fair amount of Malaysian dishes and the food is pretty good and reasonably priced; with friendly staff. Not incredible, but definitely would qualify as "remotely good"

                  1. I was pretty happy with the Nasi Lemak lunch special at Layang Layang on De Anza in San Jose last week.

                    The beef rendang ($1 extra) was tender and tasty but less intensely flavored than the versions I have had at Indonesian restaurants. The Malaysian-born fellow at the next table told me the Malaysian versions tend to be less sweet than the Indonesian. I prefer the versions I had at Jayakarta and Borobudur but I liked this one as well. It came with a mild vegetable curry, a sambal anchovy dish, onion, cucumber, peanuts, boiled egg and coconut rice.

                    For dessert I had the Pulat Hitam (black sticky rice with coconut milk). It was thick and (unlike the menu photo which showed dark sticky rice surrounded by coconut milk) was mixed and uniformly colored. The flavor was just OK and I would have preferred a soupier version with sticky rice separate from and floating in the coconut milk. My new-found friend agreed and recommended the same dish at Penang Garden which he felt was the best around and very close to what he had in Malaysia. He also mentioned the Curry Laksa and Chicken Satay at Penang Garden and the Prawn Mee (#15) at Layang Layang as favorites.

                    Jayakarta Restaurant
                    2026 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                    Penang Garden Restaurant
                    728 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                    Layang Layang
                    1480 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129