Something is in the air. Battery Park City is getting fancy new shops and restaurants. People are moving Downtown. The political winds are changing. And now, out of nowhere, suddenly there opens up a new Asian restaurant that is actually quite good.
Malaysian Kitchen has quietly begun its soft opening in the old spot of Liberty Chinese (Or whatever the name was. It changed names so many times to dodge the Health Department) overlooking South Cove and the Hudson River. Owner Kirby Tan has a couple of restaurants in New Jersey, and this is his first New York try. He is from Malaysia.
Mr. Tan sat with me and explained some of the basics of Malaysian cuisine. He said that about 60% of it is Chinese, and the rest comes from the Indian and Dutch cultures. One will find curry and coconut in the Malaysian dishes, for example.
The dining room has been redesigned with murals that Mr. Tan made. Some are photos from his home town in Malaysia. They have added a sushi bar was respectable sushi, and large TV screens. It is a very casual family-friendly setting now with affordable prices.
I tried the char kueh teow (flat rice noodles with chicken). It was an interesting change from the usual Chinese menu item. I also had the milk tea, which tasted a bit like hot chocolate with an orient spin.
There website is located here. Malaysian Kitchen is located at 21 South End Ave, (212) 786-1888