New York has relatively few Malaysian restaurants—and fewer still that don’t mute their cuisine’s robust flavors for Western palates. Six-week-old Rasa aims to fill the gap with real Malaysian cooking, and Chowhounds say it succeeds.

Its owners and chef undertook the same mission at Laut, a Michelin-starred ‘hound favorite whose Malaysian-grounded menu digressed into sushi and Thai specialties. Rasa does the same, but the dishes that captivate Chowhound jkmnlo are straight-up Malaysian: tender beef rendang, cooked slowly in lemongrass and coconut, and chile crab in delicious tomato, egg, and chile sauce (sop it up with the pillowy fried mantou that come with it, jkmnlo advises).

Photo of beef rendang (left) and char kueh teow (stir-fried noodles with shrimp paste and bean sprouts) from Rasa / Facebook

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