Last night we went to Jaya, a Malaysian place in Chinatown that's opposite Nha Trang, my favorite cheapo Vietnamese place, and we were so, so disappointed. I really wanted it to be good because I love Malaysian, the prices at Jaya are reasonable, and I read a number of customer reviews online that claimed this place had the best Malaysian in NYC. So much for that.
The place itself is cute enough, nothing special but cozy, and the service was fine (though they never got around to cleaning our table once we were done, even though I gently asked if they would). Never having been there, and hoping for the best possible experience, I ordered dishes that I'd read about in user reviews, and here's what happened:
Beef Rendang ($12): The meat was fatty and chewy and the sauce was ordinary.
Mango Shrimp ($12): This was basically cold when we got it and the peppers and mango tasted like they'd been cooked directly under a gas flame; with a kind of burnt, synthetic taste.
Assam Laksa ($5.50): Awful. I'm a huge fan of regular Laksa (always a can't-go-wrong choice) but this soup tasted so pungently fishy that none of us could eat it. In fact, the girl who served us announced as she put it on the table, "I wouldn't recommend this dish - it has very strong flavor." I replied, jokingly, but with slight incredulity, "Why are telling us now, instead of when we ordered it?" We all laughed and proceeded to hate the soup.
Panang Chow Kueh Teow ($6.50): Tasted like average Chinese food. Yuk.
All 3 of us considered ourselves foodies, but we didn't finish any of the dishes (I think that's why they didn't clean the table - they couldn't believe we'd leave so much food behind). I'm also a huge advocate of doggy bags, but this was one instance in which I didn't ask for one. When we got home, my girlfriend made toast to fill herself up. Never again.
Next time we'll go to Nyonya or The Malaysia, which are both far superior.
BTW, does anyone have any other Malaysian reccos?
199 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
148 Centre St, New York, NY 10013
90 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013