>> New Belacan Restaurant | Eat the World NYC

14 November 2008

New Belacan Restaurant


Another Chinese-run Malaysian restaurant in a city full of them, with the food to match. This place is friendly enough, has passable roti canai and is nice and cheap. Vegetarians beware, it is supremely hard to find a dish without some sort of meat in it here.

New Belachan on Urbanspoon


  1. I find it strange that you mention several times (and in a perceptibly negative way) how New York Malaysian restaurants are "Chinese-influenced." Perhaps you mean that they are Chinese run, but if not, I wanted to point out that Malaysian cuisine itself, even in Malaysia, is Chinese-influenced. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Malaysian cuisine distinguishes itself from Indonesian cuisine precisely because of its distinctly Chinese and Indian influences. For instance, Rojak (essentially thickened shrimp paste and dark soy) is as Malaysian as any other dish -- the dark soy is definitely of Chinese origin.

    I would be the last person to defend these restaurants as definitive "Malaysian cuisine," but that judgment comes from the fact that it is nearly impossible to replicate the depth and freshness of true Malaysian cuisine, not because it's too "Chinese."

    Please let me know if I've misunderstood....

  2. I think my distinction is more out of frustration not to be able to find the more ethnic-Malay style cooking as well. You are absolutely right to say that the depth of Malaysian food is truly unique, and I spent a good deal of time in the country, eating Chinese, Malay, Indian, and whatever else I could find. My comments I see could be perceived as negative but were not intended this way. I think it is born from suggesting Malaysian places to friends who lived or were born there, and being told that it was Chinese run, which they were not as interested in. I like all styles, and I actually need to head back to Belachan to do a better post on it one day.


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