So last Sunday, my brother called me and said, “Hey, do you want to come out for dinner? We’re going to this Malaysian place, it’s pretty good, blahblahblah…” He said some other stuff about a new girl joining us or something… but I was thinking about Malaysian food. And off we went.
Roti Canai ($2.50), one of the items I order at every Malaysian restaurant I go to, came quickly. The accompanying curry dipping sauce was spicier than I’m accustomed to this being, but it was a good slight heat in my mouth. Unfortunately, trying to be polite, this dish wasn’t touched until probably 5 minutes after it arrived at our table, and this bread is best eaten quickly. It hardens otherwise and you’re left breaking crumbly pieces off in your hands to dip… but the thicker parts remained chewy and delicious, and I would definitely order this again.
I believe this was the special cheong fun (rice noodles). Either $5.95 or $6.95, sorry. I was really surprised by this dish because I’ve had plenty of these rolled up rounds of rice noodles before, and know the name, of course, but I had never considered they might be served in a restaurant, in a large platter (I usually have them in small takeout burger sized stryofoam containers, individually portioned), and with a different sauce. I have to say, I found this dish wonderful – the nuanced spices playing a symphony in the back of my mouth, blending to create a unique sensation of slippery rice noodle in my mouth with the sesame, the hoisin sauce, the spicy sauce, everything. Again, trying to be polite, I didn’t get to eat too much of this dish…
(and that is why I don’t like eating family style with people I don’t really know… hahaha)
I have no idea what this dish was called… but it was tofu with ground pork and it came, sizzling on this platter. I’m not a tofu person. But I do indulge my brother and have a piece every once in a while, at his insistence. I was happy to have tried this dish, though. Again. Out of politeness, I only had one piece and let the other people, who really liked this dish, eat more of it.
Being a bossy kind of girl, I’d picked three of the six dishes we wound up ordering, even though I was one of only two people at the table who hadn’t been there before. I chose this dish, which in English read “Hokkien Mee” ($5.95), thinking it was something I’d had before based on its description. This was not the dish I thought I’d had before (which was thin egg noodles, a heavy dark soy sauce, shredded white meat chicken), though the description of “thick yellow noodles cooked in heavily flavored soy sauce with shrimp, pork, squid and vegetable” – well, alright, I guess I’d focused only on the “heavily flavored soy sauce” part. Whatever. This wasn’t heavily flavored actually, though I found it pleasant enough, it was my least favorite dish of the night. However, some of the other diners – either out of politeness or I don’t know – claimed they really liked the dish since it had pork fat in it (which I didn’t see or taste). I’d liken this to an off version of fried udon.
A random fish dish, chosen quite randomly: it was called IKAN BAKAR on the menu, seasonal price. The waiter told us it was sting ray (or, more commonly known in Western restaurants as skate/skate wing), deep fried, covered in spices and wrapped in lotus leaves. It wasn’t spicy, but this is not a method of preparation I’d recommend for skate, which tends to be light, delicate, and should be treated as such. I thought the spices were interesting, but I only managed to try a little piece because I was busy eating other stuff. I don’t think most people liked this dish. My brother thought it was too tough.
And last but not least, beef satay! The restaurant’s namesake! Again my choice, one of my standard orders at a Malaysian restaurant, though the diners who’d been here before said that it wasn’t that great. And they wound up not eating any, thereby letting me eat three of the six skewers, whoohoo! While not the best satay I’ve ever had, it was definitely not among the worst, either. Cooked properly, with a thick, hearty peanut sauce neither too sweet nor salty, and not watered down, I happily munched on these and the accompanying cucumbers.
(Oh right, the service: standard, not overly attentive, it’s still your run of the mill Asian restaurant. But funny moment: my brother ordered a Thai iced tea, and the older gentleman who was our waiter said “No, MILK tea.” and my brother said again, Thai iced tea, and the guy said “This is a Malaysian restaurant, I’ll give you Malaysian milk tea,” and my brother was like okay. So I ordered one as well, and so did a few other people. Later on, my brother wanted a refill, and asked the guy for Thai iced tea. Again. So the guy kind of gave him a look, decided it wasn’t worth it, and walked away… hahaha so when he walked away, I said, “Dude, he just told you before, this is a MALAYSIAN restaurant, stop ordering Thai iced tea!” and my silly brother said, “Oh… I didn’t hear him.” Hahahahaha. The guy looked sincerely offended, and I’m not denying his validity in being offended….. but that’s a different story for a different kind of blog than I run here.)
Yvo says: Overall, some pretty good food here, and I’m sure some dishes are outstanding on the menu. The kitchen definitely has that potential in them, I just haven’t discovered which dishes they are yet. I would definitely go back if it weren’t so far out of the way for me (I have no car and umm since I didn’t drive, I don’t really know where it is in relation to the part of Flushing closest to the trains). I would love to go back (hint, hint, to my brother). Our entire bill, 5 people, all of the food you see above plus I believe 5 MALAYSIAN iced teas came to $17 a person.
46-01 Kissena Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11355