On a menu that covers a wide swath of Southeast Asia—Vietnam and Thailand, among other places—Café Asean’s Malaysian dishes stand out. At least a couple of hands in the kitchen are Malaysian, and someone back there shows a nice touch with the wok, DaveCook says. His mee goreng—stir-fried noodles with shrimp, tofu, and bean sprouts—was spicy, delicious, and right on target.

Dave says the executive chef, Simpson Wong, who mans the kitchen himself on Wednesday nights, hit the road recently, questing after inspiration in Indonesia. Keeping things fresh might be one reason Café Asean remains a strong neighborhood favorite; “it’s a great local staple,” says local guy sam1, “great food, great prices, no frills.”

Café Asean [Greenwich Village]
117 W. 10th Street (between Sixth and Greenwich avenues), Manhattan

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