Though I’m still firmly within my Restaurant Hiatus, sometimes you can’t say no.  My darling friend MD/PB, whose name you may recognize from my many travels (Argentina, Greece, Turkey and Spain, for starters), took the leap and accepted a job in San Francisco.  During her last month here, our crew tried hard to meet up, but with everyone’s crazy schedules, some people met up at times and other people met up at other times… I managed to only be able to go have lunch with her the week before she departed on her cross-country drive, so I broke my hiatus just to say goodbye. 

Best of luck, my dearest.  I know we’ll see each other soon because I visit San Francisco once a year, and now I have even more reason to do so.  Muah<3

Though I’ve heard of Nyonya for ages, I’ve actually never been to the one in Chinatown nor the one in Brooklyn, which is where we went.  We started off with my standard order – roti canai, or a sort of Indian bread served with curry.  This was pretty good – chewy, crisp, with a very nicely flavored curry to dip the bread. 

Since it was sooo freakin’ hot that day, I decided to get a cold dish – Hainanese chicken, which is basically butter poached chicken served over a vinegary soy sauce mixture and chili sauce on the side.  I order the white meat for this dish because there are no bones and I’m lazy as all hell. 

This was actually really one of the best versions I’ve had of Hainanese chicken.  The meat was tender, still juicy and not overcooked, and just perfect.  A slight swipe of the chili sauce and the soy sauce blended together to make quite a tasty dish, and the butter-rice they serve with this chicken dish was great to soak up all that soy sauce too.  Yum! 

We also ordered beef satay to share, and I thought these were quite good as well.  Tender, with a great chunky peanut dipping sauce, I was happy with it. 

Yvo says: If the one in Manhattan is as good as this one, I may find myself there sometime soon. However, as neither are very close to where I live, I don’t know that I’ll be inclined to switch loyalties quite so quickly. I was very happy with all of my dishes, though, and would not be opposed to visiting again!  Service was pretty standard.  This food (plus a few more dishes; there were other people at the tables whose dishes I just didn’t photograph) – five adults and two small kiddies, and a handful of drinks… came out to $15/person with tax and tip.  Not bad at all, right? 

Nyonya on Urbanspoon


      • SK says

        I was thinking the same thing. The chicken is usually not poached in butter, either; it’s poached in water/stock.

        My favorite meal at Nyonya is the Nasi Lemak. It’s a mound of jasmine rice, teamed up with a serving of chicken curry (a dryer version than the one served with their Roti Canai), dried anchovies, pickled vegetables, and a hard boiled egg. It’s all served on one plate, just like you would eat at home. I’ve only been to the Chinatown location. The food is similar to the Penang chain, but I think Nyonya is better.

        • says

          Whoops, that’s what happens when I don’t proofread; that should read buttery chicken.

          Two other people at the table actually ordered nasi lemak; I just didn’t photograph their dishes. I’ve heard a lot of people say Nyonya is better than Penang, but there’s only a Penang near-ish where I live, so I tend to go there when I want Malaysian food.

          BTW, how are the photos in this post? Better?

  1. T.C. says

    Not been to Nyonya before. It’s been too long since I had Malaysian. I want some char kway teow.

    Hainese chicken always reminds me of white cut chicken.

  2. CT says

    This reminds me that I haven’t had Malaysian food in a long time! I love roti canai! We were a Nasi Goreng family growing up, but I like a solid Nasi lemak too!
    Please consider this my invitation to myself to join the chinatown Nyona trip! :)

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