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Malaysian restaurant?

b
boogiebaby Feb 17, 2006 06:24 AM

My mom wants to go to a Malaysian restaurant for their anniversary (the whole family). We went to one a while back, but I can't remember the name or where it was! I want to say it was in Anaheim or Westminster or something like that. It was in a U shaped shopping center, on the right side when you pulled into the parking lot and the shopping center had several other asian stores. The restaurant itself was small, and wider than it was long. They had a pretty extensive menu from what I remember.

I know this is a longshot, but anyone know the place I'm talking about? Otherwise, anyone else have any recommendations for a decent Malaysian restaurant? No Kuala Lumpur -- we didn't care for it (my mom is from Singapore and picky about her Malay food!). We're in the SFV but are willing to drive for good food.

  1. b
    berkobits Feb 17, 2006 09:30 AM

    We really like the local malaysian place, Belacan, on 190th and inglewood in redondo/torrance. Admittedly, I have not eaten much malaysian, but everytime I go to this place I like it more and more. Phenomenal lobster, shrimp, noodle, beef dishes.

    I had my birthday here, we got a bunch of dishes for everyone and they were pretty much all excellent.

    1 Reply
    1. re: berkobits
      l
      LBQT Feb 17, 2006 01:54 PM

      Ate there with a fellow 'hound not too long ago, and we both loved it as well. Freshly prepared tilapia, straight from the fish tank --yum!

    2. l
      Like-Go-Eat? Feb 17, 2006 10:19 AM

      Maybe the best this side of the Pacific is Little Malaysia Restaurant. I go for the Curry but there is so much more. Authentic and made by a chef from Malaysia. Fish, Chicken, Beef – try them all. I know Elmer Dills rater this place very high but I am unable to find the write-up.

      Little Malaysia Restaurant
      3944 Peck Rd Ste 8
      El Monte, CA 91732
      (626) 401-3188
      Located in a little strip mall with many Asian / South Pacific Stores.
      Just North of Romona Blvd.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Like-Go-Eat?
        h
        huckleberry Feb 17, 2006 02:15 PM

        i'll second this recommendation. their rendition of the char kuey teow is the best i have been able to find around -- great flavor and wok "hay" (heat). also the yin yang noodles are excellent.

        in addition, penang malaysian restaurant in west covina is also a family favorite.

        Penang Malaysian Restaurant
        987 South Glendora Avenue
        West Covina, CA 91790
        626-338-6138

        1. re: huckleberry
          l
          Like-Go-Eat? Feb 17, 2006 04:00 PM

          Thanks for the second. I made the rec. based on the food. I thought the food may be the most imortant issue for a dinner to recall "good old times back home." This little place may be the one that was visited before. It is on the right side of a U-Shaped shopping center next to other asia stores. There are small and large group tables inside this wide but not deep resturant. A large asian grocery store is in the rear. After eating we walk around the other stores and get the feel we are some place in the middle of the Pacific. I love the curry chicken here here.

          Little Malaysia Restaurant
          3944 Peck Rd Ste 8
          El Monte, CA 91732
          (626) 401-3188
          Located in a little strip mall with many Asian / South Pacific Stores.
          Just North of Romona Blvd.

      2. g
        greengelato Feb 17, 2006 10:58 AM

        i think you are talking about pennang...which is in west covina. it's a national chain but the east coast versions are much better (IMO).

        1 Reply
        1. re: greengelato
          c
          condiment Feb 17, 2006 09:07 PM

          It is indeed likely to be Penang - which I like much better than the two or three I've tried in NYC.

        2. Pamela Jul 13, 2006 01:21 AM

          Today, a friend and I went to PENANG MALAYSIAN CUISINE. This restaurant is located at:

          971 S. Glendora Avenue
          West Covina, CA 91790
          (626) 338-6138

          We ordered one appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert.

          We ordered the ROTI CANAI appetizer. This consisted of a large, flaky, layered pancake-like bread that we dipped in a small bowl of curried chicken. This was flavorful and tasty. My only complaint is that rather than include simply a large chunk of chicken with the bone intact, they should cut up the meat; otherwise, the bread is only drenched in curry sauce, without any chicken or pototoes scooped into its fold whatsoever. A second recommendation is to include more potatoes. We had a small chunk of potato and that was it.

          I was going to order the penang SATAY CHICKEN (or beef) as an appetizer, but since this was on the lunch menu, my friend ordered the satay chicken as her entree. The lunch special satay chicken consisted of four sticks (while the appetizer consists of 5 sticks). The satay chicken was done right (similar to how I remember it in Malaysia), and had this sweet paste/dipping sauce.

          I ordered the BEEF RENDENG, after reading a review by Jonathan Gold. This consisted of white rice, a small amount of sliced pickled cucumbers, and a small amount of curried beef. Not a bad dish, but the portions were rather small. The taste and flavors, however, were adequate--and spicy.

          We finally finished the meal with the peanut pancake. This dessert was not bad, but it was definitely not the same peanut pancake that I had in Malaysia a long time ago. In Malaysia, the peanut pancake is a soft, sweet pancake. Penang Malaysian Cuisine, however, uses the same flaky, layered "pancake" bread- thing that was part of the roti canai appetizer. It was a mediocre to poor duplication of what a peanut pancake should be.

          Overall, I give a medicore rating to this establishment--at least in terms of the food.

          In terms of the service, let's just say that "Bad" is not simply a Michael Jackson song. I give the service at Penang Malaysian Cuisine a resounding two thumbs down. This was one of the worst service I have ever received in any restaurant I have ever visited. There was only one server and a host who functioned as a server if necessary. The problem was that she never found it necessary to serve customers. The designated server would pop into the kitchen and would not come out for what seemed to be eternity. We waited an unforgiveable time before we even ordered, and we waited longer than usual for our food, which came out separately, rather than all at once. The only way we were able to order the dessert and get our bill was because I had to walk up to the register to get the host's attention. I told her that no one was helping us and asked if we could order dessert and then get our bill. Both the host and the server were rather dismissive of the customers. This was quite curious, considering they weren't even very busy. Although there were customers in the restaurant, they could have easily provided prompt and courteous service to everyone--especially since it was around 1:30 p.m., right after the lunch-time rush.

          Also, my friend and I both ordered the coconut rice in lieu of the plain white rice. We both received plain white rice instead of coconut rice, even after making it clear when we ordered that we wanted the coconut rice.

          All in all, I think you're better off going elsewhere for more authentic Malaysian food (where though, I don't know), and certainly you'll receive better service elsewhere.

          1. boogiebaby Jul 13, 2006 06:19 AM

            Thanks for the review! Doesn't sound too tempting based on your review.

            Roti Canai is usually served with either dal or curry. If it's served with curry, they only serve the sauce portion, not the meat, etc. That's probably why they just gave you one piece of meat and one piece of potato. If you order it in Singapore or Malaysia, they serve the dal/curry on the side, but you can also request it as Roti Banjir -- that means "I want Roti Canai but pour lots of dal all over the top instead of on the side").

            Good to know about the peanut pancake -- that's one of my all time favorite things and I'm sure I would have been very disappointed if I ever order it!

            1. Xericx Jul 13, 2006 06:50 AM

              Belacan has a really nice Roti Cani w/ curry sauce. Belacan is nice...the beef rendang wasn't as good as the version I had at the Singapore Banana Leaf in the farmer's market but was decent nonetheless...servings were small at Belacan, but they had a varied menu.

              1. j
                jazmin Jul 13, 2006 08:34 PM

                Singapore's Banana Leaf in the Farmers Market on Third and Fairfax will not dissapoint. It is excellent.

                1. b
                  brahms Jul 18, 2006 10:44 PM

                  Unfortunately, I have to disagree. Banana Leaf serves unauthentic food. Don't waste your time there.

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