Malaya: Atlanta, GA, USA
Believe it or not, this was the first delivery order I have ever made in Atlanta. The weather was awful that day, and I was down in Midtown without the urge of wanting to give up my parking spot and also venture out in the rain. A friend had told me his parents frequented this restaurant and enjoyed it more than Mamak. Now this is a big deal to me because I love Mamak for their authenticity, or the closest to authentic actually. So when I saw that Malaya had “char kway teow”, I had to try it.
I love char kway teow. I love noodles period, and I love rice noodles over egg noodles. However, char kway teow is special because there’s a specific way of cooking it. Kuala Lumpur char kway teow is different from Singapore char kway teow which is different from Penang char kway teow. Mamak actually comes decently close to the KL style. Now how does Malaya compare?
Char Kway Teow (Malaya)
- good quantity but not as much as Mamak (sadly)
- flavor is there but a little lower compared to Mamak
- less greasier than Mamak
- lacking in “liao” or ingredients other than noodles: while I like rice noodles, I don’t just like ONLY rice noodles
- wasn’t completely bland but it was light. Perhaps this comes with the fact that there isn’t enough of the other ingredients like meat or egg or vegetables.
I don’t know if I would order this dish from them again. I also ordered the achat (achar) which is a Malaysian pickle appetizer. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it. This helped a little bit by giving more flavor to the noodles since it was vinegar based, but then again, I’m not sure if I would order their pickles because it didn’t taste like how it should be!
- definitely vinegar-y
- good amount of vegetables to supplement what is not in the char kway teow
- not enough peanut paste or peanut sauce: there has to be some sort of peanut paste flavor, that’s what makes this pickle dish stand out. I barely got any of that. There were crushed peanuts for sure, but that’s different than peanut butter/peanut paste flavor.
- too sour: not enough balance between sour and salty-sweet.
- no pineapple
- green beans (which are part of the dish) did not have their ends cut off and at some point, I was eating a “stem”
All in all, I would probably drive to Mamak rather than order from Malaya again. I know that’s disappointing, but being a Malaysian Chinese and having eaten multiple times back in the motherland and multiple Malaysian restaurants in ATL as well as in NYC, this is super sub-par. In summary:
- char kway teow: *** (3 stars)
- ajar/achar pickles: **.85 (2.85 stars)
While my order came from Grubhub, you can find them here:
857 Collier Rd NW #10, Atlanta, GA 30318
If you are stuck at home and really are craving some sort of Asian food, then I guess this will suffice. I’d probably go with Americanized orange beef from Aloha than to order those pickles again though.