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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rasa Malaysian (San Jose)

Malaysian / Singaporean restaurants are becoming more popular here in the South Bay. The most popular one is Banana Leaf in Milpitas. Layang Layang in Cupertino is another well-known one. We used to go to one called Cafe Sochi in Cupertino but that closed down a long time ago. The manager went to Penang Village on Coleman near the San Jose airport and we went a couple of times but hadn't been back in a long time.

I read in the Metro that there was a new Malaysian restaurant called Rasa Malaysian (no relation to Rasa Malaysia) that was operating in the same space as Penang Village. I thought we'd go check it out to see if it was any good. We arrived around 6:45 and were seated immediately. We heard the manager speaking Hokkien to the cook so we asked if she was from Penang. She said yes. We said we want authentic Penang-style food, not "fixed" to American tastes. She said they would try to accomodate us.

The menu definitely has fewer choices compared to other Malaysian restaurants but the prices are just as high - the price for Wan Tan dry noodles -- $8.25! We overheard the manager talking to another Malaysian couple that people can call ahead and ask for certain dishes not on the menu like stingray or crab, and she will go out and buy it to prepare that night.

The kids had a kway teow th'ng soup noodle dish. The soup was very thin and lightly flavored with white pepper. The rice noodles were brittle and broke apart easily in the spoon - a sign that they were rehydrated from dry noodle sticks. No pass.

I'd been feeling like I'm coming down with something so I didn't want anything fried or Char Kway Teow that night :-( . Most of the dishes on the menu were spicy so I opted for the veggie combo. Nothing really Malaysian to this dish, but Annie said the taste was familiar and took her back. Best dish of the night.

Annie got the prawn mee which is another soup noodle dish in a spicy shrimp broth with prawns and chicken. The soup was not right - it is usually more clear with a layer of spiciness on top. It did not make us want to keep slurping it up. The noodles were lifeless, having no chew or spring. The prawns were overcooked, the fishballs unexciting.

Based on these three dishes, I'd say we would not go out of our way to visit again. We had better Malaysian food in Houston. Of course, nothing beats the real thing.



Anonymous said...

This was the one that replace Penang Village. I miss Penang Village's prawn mee :(

Rasa Malaysia said...

Rasa Malaysian...too funny. I wanted to open a real Malaysian restaurant one day!

The prawn mee doesn't look appetizing at all. Actually, it's OK the soup is dark in color, it means a lot of shrimp heads are use, but the prawn mee just didn't look right. BTW, I have saved up enough prawn heads for my Penang Hokkien Mee again this weekend! I am simply too excited. Slurp slurp...will post pictures. :)

Jay said...

Nate, I'm sitting here nursing some sort of a cold (not to complain) and those gorgeous bowls of soup just make me wanna crawl in and soak. Sorry your food wasn't as good as it looks to me, but I'm satisfied.;-)