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Restaurants & Bars 27

Laut is unreliable

Pan | Dec 2, 201007:47 PM

I went to the now bizarrely Michelin 1-starred Laut tonight with a friend for his birthday. He was very happy with his meal. I was not. I had the lack of luck to have a waitress who doesn't know me or my taste and is clearly not from Malaysia, Singapore, or Indonesia. (I know because she pronounced roti canai "roti ke-NAI," rather than "roti "CHA-nai.") The best thing we had was probably the roti telur, which had some hot pepper in it. The sauce for the roti telur and roti canai was pretty good and had some spiciness. But the kangkung belacan needed to be renamed "kangkung with not much belacan and no hot pepper." We were brought some sambal belacan on the side, asked for and got much more, but it still didn't taste right because it wasn't wok-fried with the sambal belacan. The acar was decent, and the shrimp Malaysian curry was not bad, but I just found the experience disappointing. To make matters worse, I couldn't help but remember the wonderful inexpensive meal my girlfriend and I had at Rasa Sayang in London's Chinatown in August, which tasted like some stall in Malaysia. I also found Laut overly loud this time; I really don't mind a convivial level of loudness, but there were a couple of extremely loud and rowdy groups of drinkers who were encouraged by the staff to, shall we say, express themselves (the staff participated in extremely loud toasts and drank shots with the parties). I really will hesitate to recommend this restaurant again. I now doubt there is any consistently reliable Malaysian restaurant in Manhattan. I guess I should try New Malaysia in the Chinatown Arcade again before giving up.

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