Hidden down a darkish mall alleyway off Bowery, New Malaysia promised to at least give me a slightly Blade Runneresque dining experience, if not excellent food that's been praised by many bloggers, Chowhound and glorified with beautiful food shots on flickr. Locals agree, the place was packed and the four of us got there just in time to grab a table without a wait at 7:30.
We each chose one dish to share and an appetizer to start with so our meal was diverse and exciting. The menu offers little explanation (though my sister and I had done some blog and flickr research beforehand to find out what the favorite dishes are) but from our experience, it doesn't seem like you can go wrong.
Our array, which I can totally recommend you copy for your first visit if you're wary of large unfamiliar menus consisted of these dishes, which I've ranked in order of very best to worst (which is not at all bad, just not quite as amazing) :
Beef Sambal: hands down the table favorite. It was tangy, a little sweet, a little spicy and totally perfect. The meat was tender without the fatty bits that can ruin a dish and all the veggies were crisp. This is one you won't want to?miss, I promise.
Roti Canai: a soft warm pancake with a mildly spicy curry dipping sauce. A classic Malaysian dish, make sure to order enough, one appetizer works for two to share or a single hungry person.
Chicken Satay: a wonderful rendition of the restaurant staple–good for everyone, including the less adventurous.
Malaysian Spare Ribs: tender meat in a dark, rich and thick sauce, a great choice for colder months, but a good pick anytime of the year.?The flavor is hard to describe, but it was garlicky and complex. An entire dish could be overwhelming, but it's a great for sharing.
Perhaps the two most daring dishes we ordered were the ones we were most in the dark about,
Hokkien Mee: a dish of those big fat round noodles and a thick mild brown sauce. My sister and I would try another noodle next time, because even though it was quite delicious, we wanted a bit more spice and a slightly more powerful flavor.
Jim was swayed by the equally mysterious Amazing Chicken In House Special Style, a bold statement that didn't quite live up to its name if only for the almost too overpowering vinegary taste. Still, I wouldn't shun the dish, especially if you happen to like vinegar because, like everything else, it was pretty great.
Also great? The small bill: only $25 per person for a gut busting feast and beers.