Satay House - YES Madison Heights [DTW]
Based on a lead from Phamburg (we’d appreciate more from PB, please), I tried Satay House in Madison Hts. this eve. I have a very good first impression! www.satayhouseus.com
It purports to be “Malay Thai Chinese Cuisine”…with the emphasis being on Malay, which as you know has Indian influences. I think the “Chinese” angle relates to the historic ethnicity of the owners. (Much to the resentment of natives, a majority of well-off Thais/Malays/Vietnamese/etc., are not actually ethnic Thai/Malay/Vietnamese/etc., they are ethnic Chinese.) Secondly, I think the “Thai” angle of this place simply stems from the owners wanting to make sure customers would embrace the food. Americans are familiar with Thai food, but not with Malay food.
Typical of Warren and Madison Hts, Satay House is in a blah mini strip mall. Nothing pretty, but that doesn’t need to mean a bad thing, of course. The prices are equitable, but they are not mass quantity / silly cheap. (Though, “10% off on everything” still is in effect just thru tomorrow, FYI.)
I started with the first listed appetizer, a #6 Roti Canai Indian Pancake - $3.50. The menu says something about a pancake with a chicken and potato sauce. Well, the sauce didn’t really have much visible chicken or potato, but just one taste convinced me that Satay House is a legitimate “keeper.” This sauce may(?) have a canned mix for a base, but it could hold its own at big city streetside stalls in Southeast Asia. Enough said. Mmmmm. With an edge, to boot.
Next, I had #42 Malaysian fried noodles. I was very happy with this dish (see photo). My wife thought it was a bit too salty and that the noodles were slightly overcooked. Regardless, for $7.00 in Metro Detroit, I thought it very favorably compared to other ethnic places’ offerings.
Lastly, I had the Capitan (fried) noodles. The sauce had some flavors that didn’t wholly suit me. It was alright. I wouldn’t know whether or not they were authentic flavors. I’m just saying that I plan to try something different next time. And, I can assure you, there soon will be a next time! Hainanese or Redang chicken rice is on my list as well, naturally, as their satay :-)
If you really dig Asian food, you will be happy for having driven 20 minutes to try this place (order more than one dish in case one doesn’t suit you). If you’re not a devoted Asian food fanatic, but happen to be passing thru the area, I still recommend you check it out.
I think this is the only authentic Malaysian restaurant in Detroit area, definitely worth a try for someone who wants to sample the cuisine.
The menu does not focus on Malay food (as those eaten by ethnic Malays in Malaysia) despite what its website claims, but contains a hodge podge of Malaysian-Chinese (char keow, Malaysian-Thai (Tom Yum soup Malaysian version is different from what you'd get in Thailand), Malay (Nasi Lemak,etc.), and Malaysian-Indian dishes (Roti Canai or as Singaporeans call Roti Prata). All in all, the places offers a nice sampling of Malaysian cuisine, which is a beautiful amalgamation and fusion of many different cultures and their cuisine influences.
Satay House got the stamp of approval from my co-worker, who spent some years in Malaysia. Although I think she was happy just to see ANYPLACE Malaysian!