What's for dinner? Not that mysteriously gooey Chinese takeout. With a place like Malaya in town, there's no reason to deprive yourself of bold flavor, fresh ingredients and maybe even a few dishes you've never tried before.That menu from the nearby Asian takeout joint everyone has stashed in a junk drawer at home... y'know, the spot that offers gelatinous, sticky-sweet attempts at sesame chicken? We can all go ahead and toss those out right alongside those congealed lo mein noodles because, really, that's no way to live. With a place like Malaya in town, there's no reason to deprive oneself of bold flavor, fresh ingredients and maybe even a few dishes you've never tried before (at least that's our opinion). Once we sampled the Malaysian pot roast and spicy sambal wings we shredded our old takeout menu. And then when we returned and tried the Malaysian mango shrimp and Singapore rice noodles we burned said takeout menu. We will not be needing that anymore.
Tucked inside a strip mall, as all the best culinary gems seem to be, Malaya's been dishing out its specialty Malaysian, Chinese and Thai goodness since '95. Two decades—or, in Atlanta restaurant time, approximately a century—of serving authentic Asian cuisine has grown quite the loyal following of regulars, who come for the roti and stay to hang out with owner/chef Michael. (His daughter, Melanie, tells us he and his wisecracking sense of humor have something of a cult following among the regular crowd). But back to the menu. Or, rather, menus. There's three of 'em, and depending on whether you're in the mood for Szechuan beef, pad Thai or Malaysian seafood curry, there's bound to be a dish that'll make your mouth water. Our only advice: start with the roti. The warm, buttery flatbread is flaky on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and it's served with a bowl of spicy sauce that we almost licked clean. From there, it's choose your own adventure, from Malaysian pot roast (rendang) to sambal wings; Thai curries to Hunan beef; or a little bit of everything for dinner. Us? We'd go with that last one. (Plus the roti, of course.)
Panang Curry, $9.95
Kari Ayam (Malaysian Chicken Curry), $9.95
Rendang (Malaysian Pot Roast), $11.95
Singapore Rice Noodles, $9.95
Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday, 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.