When we want Malaysian food, we usually head over to Chinatown to either Nyonya (if we want roti) or New Malaysian (if we want Haianese Chicken). But since we were already in the West Village, a quick Yelp search led us to Cafe Asean. We arrived around 1:00pm and had our pick of tables. It was raining that day so we decided to sit inside instead of the garden.
We started off with the Sotong, or salt & pepper calamari with spicy mango salsa ($7.75). The calamari was crunchy and pretty tasty on its own. But the mango salsa really made them pop. The Boyfriend said the salsa makes him think of Thailand because it was so fresh and light.
The Boyfriend went with the Nasi Goreng, or Malay-style fried rice with shrimp ($9.00). This was super good! They used a stickier rice, which when fried, has a crunchy texture. It’s kind of like the bottom layer of rice when you cook it with a clay pot. It was flavorful and very delicious.
I decided on the Kari Kapitan, or Malay coconut curry chicken with potatoes and steamed veggies ($8.25). Boy, was that chicken fragrant! It was a bit spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. I dislike when curry is so spicy that you can’t taste what you’re eating. They definitely do not skimp on the coconut milk here and that’s exactly my favorite way to have curry. The serving size was generous – I actually had to take half of it home with me!
The prices are higher here than it is in Chinatown – but prices are always higher outside of Chinatown. The food here is super delicious and I think it’s worth the price difference. I’m more partial to the fragrant coconut flavors so the Malay curry here is more to my tastes than the Chinese-Malay curry in Chinatown restaurants. I can’t wait to be back to try out the laksa!