Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Malaysian favorites at Laut

For some reason, whenever I'm in NYC I find myself constantly looking for good places to eat near Union Square. Maybe it's because I used to work around the area (well, a little further up, in the Flatiron Building), and so whenever I'm running errands I still go to the same places. Or maybe it's just a natural place for me to be, since it's on the train lines I take most frequently. In any case, I was happy to discover Laut, a nice-looking Malaysian/Thai restaurant just a few blocks off of Union Square.
I was there with MH to take LT out for a very belated birthday dinner, and the three of us split two appetizers, the roti canai (above) a thin, chewy, griddled pancake, and the roti telur (top photo), which was a pancake filled with an egg, scallion, and onion mixture. Both came with a chicken curry dipping sauce. I order one or both of these nearly every time I step foot into a Malaysian restaurant, and these two were pretty decent.
I asked for the nasi lemak on recommendation from my brother, who had passed on the tip that it was excellent. I'm not familiar enough with Malaysian food to say for sure, but this certainly seemed like a great version of the dish—the items around the mound of coconut rice (chili shrimp, chicken curry, little fried anchovies, pickled carrots and cucumbers, and chili onions) were all super flavorful and appetizing. I couldn't decide whether to eat each item bit by bit, or to pair some with others, or to just mix up the whole thing. I think I did a little bit of the first two until I got midway through, whereupon I swirled my spoon through whatever remained and ate the dish all together. Now I can testify that however you feel like eating nasi lemak, the dish will taste good.

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