D/FW - Lava 10 - Grapevine
New restaurant opening on the horizon. Located 114, west bound service road between Texas Trail Dr. and Main Street. Exterior signage indicates Strait of Malacca cuisine.
Nothing of consequence found on Google...... yet.
If it is.....you won't see many customers in there. Not too many Malaysians/Singaporans in the NE Tarrant county area last time I checked. I do know there are some out there in my travels to Secret Recips in Carrollton (Malaysian and Singaporean) and Lion City Chinese Cafe (Singaporean)
Well a sizeable Asian population would help get it going yes. I haven't seen too many Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Indian or Chinese places in that area.
I am saying from past ethnic restaurants in affluent neighborhoods that they don't fare too well. Many people in those areas are not as adventurous of palates as you or I. Take for instance Penang in Frisco. I loved the food there which was Malay. Most people hated the smell of belacan (a dried shrimp paste necessary in the taste of the dishes). They tried to make it work for about a year or two and then it was gone. Below is a past post about it:
The Highlight of Penang
The fall of Penang one year later
I am not saying that it won't work for a year or so but they need to build a steady customer base and from numerous posts most people these days don't want to drive 30-40 mins for a restaurant (the "inside the loop" - 635 vs outside argument).
For their sake I hope history doesn't repeat itself and I will keep my fingers crossed. Hopefully it won't turn into a Asian fusion place either. I wish we would have more Malay and Singaporean restaurants in Dallas.
Ok - I would agree with that angle of thought. I'd be quick to add though, that just because a restaurant is ethnic doesn't mean the food has to be plebeian. In any case, just looking at the exterior of Lava 10 suggests it will be an upscale addition to Grapevine dining.
I would also suggest that the owners may be in to make a quick buck as construction of this new mega highway exchange project (to link something like 6+ highways) has already begun. I would imagine that many of the current restaurants will perish, if not be demolished.
(FWIW - my palate is fairly tame - no fish eyes for me please! :) )
I will have to try both of those places. I have never previously heard of either. From my experience in Singapore, they don't really have a cuisine of their own as much as a mix (but not really a blend) of their 4 main influences (Chinese, Malay, English and Indian). It sounds like Secret Recipes is more Malay and Lion City is more Chinese?
Yes you would be correct Secret Recipe is more Malay as the owner Alex Ong is from Malaysia. Alex is there only on the weekends and they have dishes that are prepared only when he is there to help out. During the week Edgar and his chef (both from San Luis Potosi, Mexico) are there and do a great job. Don't let the fact that two Mexicans in the kitchen deter you as they learned the dishes from Alex's teachings. If you want a dish a particular way make sure you let them know (i.e. spicy, more broccoli, less onion etc)
I would highly recommend Secret Recipe over Lion City. I had a bad experience at Lion City and doubt I would return. The owner basically said I could not have the dish I wanted. His sauces were way too thick with cornstarch thickener and he used canned mushrooms. I am not sure but it seemed like just about every table had one lousy dish and one decent dish at Lion City.
My recommendation at Secret Recipe would be the:
Malay Curry Laksa
Penang Char Khay Teow
Vinagrette Pork Stew with Boiled Egg
Fried Tofu With Minced Pork
Grilled Stingray (only on the weekends with advance notice) both styles
Chili Crab and Black Pepper Crab (only on the weekends with advance notice
)Tofu or Water Spinach Goreng
Hot Sour Soup served at lunch
There are just a few others but I don't have my menu in front of me those are dishes off the top of my head.
Dishes I would pass on:
Roti Canai - hey there is a guy in Houston making them fresh in front of you why would I have it here?
Nasi Lemak - I don't get the whole dish - little dried sardines, peanuts and coconut rice (supposedly)...might be good in Malaysia but here it is a flop
So that's what's going in the old Burger King location, next to Kinko's. AWFUL location. (Heck, BK couldn't stay open so that should tell you something.) Their sign is also pretty illegible from the freeway...
who needs a good a location and good signage when it is alread being discussed on the internet...well this is the first i have heard of it.
but i do agree horrible location if you are expecting to get passer by customers. by time you see it you have missed your exit and to turn around is hell right there no matter which direction you are coming from.