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Jul 24, 2012 09:26 PM

Kaya Malay Bistro (new) - Broadway @ Oak

Where Wimaan Thai used to be, is now a place called Kaya Malay Bistro. I drove by on the opposite side of the road so wasn't able to get a good look. But this stretch of Broadway is gaining in Malay/Singaporean options what with Banana Leaf and Red Ginger a mere blocks away. Then there's Tropika up on Cambie/14th, and the new City One at the plaza at Oak & King Edward.

Anyone been to Kaya ? There's no reviews of them around yet.

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    1. re: LotusRapper

      I saw that a few days ago and sent a text to another board denizen whose pithy comment was "The word 'bistro' is worrisome." I am interested in the lunch boxes.

    2. Seems they're now open. Doors were open and they had a sign saying "happy hour 'til 6."

      1. I suspect that the owner is also the owner of Tamarind Hill in New West.

        3 Replies
        1. re: flowbee

          That's not a bad thing, innit ? My friends who live in NW rave about Tamarind Hill.

          1. re: LotusRapper

            I've heard the one on Lonsdale isn't bad either, though I don't know if they are related.

            1. re: LotusRapper

              Yeah, I remember getting takeout from there ages ago and enjoyed the beef rendang. Apparently they have whole wheat roti at Kaya? Must try...

          2. Went there Friday night. Didn't love the laksa (out of balance - too strong on fish flavour, not enough sweet/hot) but the fried green beans were great. Rendang had good flavour but the beef needed a bit longer on the braise. The roti + sauce - superb. Stuffed chicken wing was under seasoned.

            So, it was OK.

            Usual opening week delays but the staff were extremely eager to please. They had Dead Frog on tap and on special for maybe $4.5-5 (after happy hour ended).

            1. Anyone been to Kaya recently? Is it any good, now that its been a couple of year? None of Banana Leaf/Red Ginger/Tropika do much for me. City One is OK, but I'd love to find a good Malaysian spot in town.

              9 Replies
              1. re: À la carte

                Best Malaysian I've had recently was at Spoon Kitchen on 4th. I can't bring myself to go to Kaya for the dumbest reason: they have a jar of mini-chocolate bars in the window that has been there since they opened. I guess it is supposed to be decorative but it just puts me off!

                1. re: grayelf

                  Are they for the taking by customers, or are they just static decoration (ewww !) ?

                  1. re: grayelf

                    They seem to have the usual suspects on their menu but their blurb is a bit weird. What did you have there GE?

                    1. re: À la carte

                      Spoon Kitchen is delicious and service is excellent but the place is like a cave and being @ ground level not an attractive space at all.

                      1. re: Sam Salmon

                        We had two different kinds of fish (ginger black cod and Kam Heong), the papaya salad (two orders), the chicken satay, the spring rolls, the lettuce wrap, the house green beans, the pad thai -- there were six and a half of us so we got to try a reasonable swath.

                        I would reorder everything but the standouts were the fish, the salad, the spring rolls and the lettuce wrap. The portion on the salad is pretty tiny, hence the second order, but the rest I thought were reasonable.

                        We did not find service to be excellent, it was in fact rather odd, possibly because we asked to be moved to the front of the empty restaurant. It is VERY dark at the back and we came in at 6 to accommodate a small.

                        Lots of Malays eating here, and a number of kids, so be warned if that's not your scene. It was pretty full by the time we left at 7:45 on a Sunday. The food arrived a bit too all at once without being served family style, if that makes sense. I couldn't get shots of everything because of the cavalcade of dishes. I would go back for sure, as I'd like to try some of the curries

                        1. re: grayelf

                          I forgot to mention that we had a couple of orders of roti canai at Spoon Kitchen and found it not wanting.

                          1. re: grayelf

                            Sounds like its definitely worth a try! Thanks GE and SS.

                  2. re: À la carte

                    I haven't been really recently, but we've been going there about once every few months. Along with Penang Delight, it's probably one of the better Malaysian restaurants in town. I haven't tried Spoon Kitchen yet thought.

                    I really like Kaya's whole wheat roti. I know it sounds weird, being whole wheat, but they manage to pull it off. Their dishes aren't super authentic but imho they're not quite as dumbed down as Tropika or Banana Leaf. Their "nasi kunyit" rice is better than their hainanese rice, which you order by the bowl.

                    Some pics: Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab (yum), "Seafood Bouillabaisse" in Assam Curry Sauce, Sambal Green Beans (standard), Singapore Laksa (not great but not terrible either), Hainanese Chicken, Whole Wheat Roti, Nasi Kunyit (turmeric & coconut milk rice), and Kuih Dadar (pandan coconut crepes).

                    1. re: dennisthefoodie

                      OK, you've sold me on this too, notwithstanding static chocolates. And adding Penang Delight to the list as well.