I had to post about this because I'm still glowing the next day! The Panang Fish cooked in a bananna leaf at Panang on Queens Blvd is out of this world! It's a big steak of chilean sea bass that has the soft buttery mouth feel and subtle flavor of the cod in miso paste at Nobu but it's served with a killer onion tamarind relish that just shoots the whole thing sky high! Oh! It's so good! I was sopping up the little bits of sauce with the rice for far too long trying to draw out the experience.
Everything there feels like a labor of love, from balanced yet vibrant flavors of the cooking to the warm take on south asian industrial minimalist interior to the waiters who are eager to steer you towards the more adventurous malasian dishes and off the menu bananna pancakes which I'll have to try next time.
When I visited on a sunday night the place was hopping, mostly with malasian young people. I'm so glad business if looking up, the last few times I'd visited the food was terriffic but the dining room was nearly empty. They've also updated the menue since the last time I was there- they've reorganized the menu to emphasize different categories of malasian food, removed the chinese american standards and raised the prices very slightly. The three of us ate like kings (or spoiled princes - we were blissed out but not stuffed to death) for $44. SO GOOD!