New Malaysia

Tucked away in a small Chinatown shopping center, West New Malaysia’s allure doesn’t quite kick in until its alleyway doors swing open to reveal an aromatic, fast-paced dining room packed with people. The space is clean, colorful, and no nonsense. There’s even an enormous flatscreen TV for those who aren’t impressed by the crowds. The menu is giant—think a Malaysian-diner concept—and composed almost entirely of real-deal Malay dishes, interspersed with Chinese, Thai, and various pan-Asian offerings. A good half of the menu items are marked with that exhilarating red-pepper symbol, although the chef will gladly make accommodations for those with lower spice tolerances. You could spend countless visits just exploring the Noodle Soup section of the menu, where the price for a heaping bowl of asam laksa or seafood ton yum is set at $7.50. But the Malay spare ribs—the meat from which will likely fall off the bone as soon as they’re picked up—are also essential and perfect for sharing. Ices flavored with red bean, lychee, and black jello can be ordered as post-meal refreshments, but it’s imperative to request a pot of house tea for the table, which fragrantly mingles with any entrée. — Vanessa Karalis

1 2 NYCGO 3 4

New York Lexikon