Taste Good Malaysian Cuisine - Elmhurst, Queens

I went for lunch yesterday with 6 other food board types (including a couple who are on HO) & had my 1st Malaysian restaurant meal. Yep, you read that right. So, I have absolutely no idea whether or not what I liked or disliked had to do with Malaysian cooking, the specific place, the dishes we ordered or my own lack of any concept other than “like… not liked”.
From my uninformed perspective, I was not blown away but liked quite a few dishes. Others may add names to what I’m talking about, as I had no part of the ordering and didn’t even look at the menu to see what each dish was named. There was a 4 vegetable dish (with a name like “fantastic four”?) that I thought was excellent. Strips of okra, combined with purple eggplant, long thin green beans and a bean that looked lima-ish. All crisp, well seasoned and tasted great. A squid dish also hit the spot and it was covered with the same excellent “sauce” (very thick and tasty on its own) as was on another good dish – a whole “cod” (the filet piece I had looked and tasted like a skate wing). A fish head curry casserole was flavorful enough but didn’t wow me. Noodle dishes were similar to lo main or chow fun and were credible versions. Its ironic that, over many years of handy non destination worthy take out and delivery of mediocre “Chinese” food, I’ve more often than not gotten “Singapore Chow Mai Fun”, while here I wind up eating lo mein instead. Did we just not order a version that I would’ve been able to benchmark or is that not a thing in real Malaysian places? The roti (roti canai) was okay. The Rojak had nice crispy pineapple and other good things that were tasty but I don’t think this dish would impress me anywhere. I’m missing several other things, including at least one or two others that I know I liked. And they were out of fish cakes. Bottom line is that I had a nice lunch with good company in a friendly place with just about no clunkers at $23pp all in. Cant really complain about that.


Nice report, @SteveR - I’ll add my 2c, as he was kind enough to include me.

My previous experience with Malaysian food has been scattered - I’ve always enjoyed Nyonya in Chinatown/Little Italy.

My favorite dish was the whole stingray, which I ate for the first time - texture similar to skate. The sauce/sambal was similar to the one on a few other dishes - onion, tomato, chili, aromatics. It was sweetish from the onions, and not very spicy.

Beef rendang was also also good, but to me the version at Nyonya is more complex. The vegetable dish @SteveR mentioned (four treasures) was well-cooked and an interesting combination - the green beans, okra, and lima beans were bright and tender-crisp, sauce similar to the stingray.

Other dishes were fine, but nothing I’d rush back for. The fish head stew was impressive, tamarind was a prevalent flavor; not my favorite, but others seemed to enjoy it. The noodles were a bit disappointing, especially the mee goreng which was soft and not very flavorful. Squid sambol was fine; the sauce was similar to the stingray which somehow that had deeper flavor.

First time trying rojak (a raw vegetable salad) and popiah (soft salad rolls), which were fine but also not repeats for me.

Overall spice level was quite mild, but I wonder if they had adjusted that down for the group. I realized belatedly that they had substituted tortilla chips for shrimp crackers in a couple of places.

Service was very friendly.

All in all, a nice meal trying new things in good company - and the price was right!

1 Like