I was very excited to visit the the first! ever! Malaysia noodle festival, held at lunchtime today on the little triangle where 14th St. meets 9th Ave. Eight restaurants set up booths and served one or two dishes each, most priced at a gentle $5. It seemed like a pretty big deal, since there were at least six photographers milling around, along with a couple of video crews doing interviews, and some Secret Service-type guys manning the perimeter.
And people, lots of people. The lines were manageable when I arrived at 11:45, but by the time I left a half hour later, it was difficult to find room to stand and nearly impossible to snag a table (although everyone was willing to share what little space they had). I started with a plate of Mee Goreng from Laut, topped with a shrimp fritter, which was medium-spicy, greasy and good. Then I chose a bowl of Laksa Kelantan, because I'm unlikely to get another chance to sample food from the Bentara Restaurant in New Haven. I liked its fishiness and coconut flavor, but it was pretty bland, even with hot sauce.
The event looked to me like a big success, so here's hoping there's another one next year. Perhaps in a slightly larger space.