Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Genre: Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese
Working in the downtown business district of D.C., I figured there must be good places to eat in order to satisfy all those hungry business men for lunch. Turns out there's a lot more than just places to eat to satisfy business men in the area. I noticed a posh "Gentleman's Club" around the corner of my office one day and couldn't help but walk closer towards it. Can't see much through the windows, but as I was walking away, I saw a sign with images of some real delicious looking Southeast Asian food on it. Right next to the "Gentleman's Club" there is a set of stairs that goes down into what looks like could be the basement of the club. What the stairs actually leads to is a Malaysian restaurant called Malaysia Kopitiam.
I quickly set up a date to not long after this discovery to try it out. Walking inside, the lighting is dim and there's a strange musky smell in the air. The place is decorate with lots of Southeast Asian knick knacks like Buddahs and you receive a picture menu when seated! The picture menu is definitely very helpful if you don't know what the stuff on the menu is. Personally, when I got to a Southeast Asian/Malaysian restaurant, I immediately pick the Laksa, so of course, I picked the Laksa. The menu had a couple of different types of Laksa, and I was having trouble picking between the Curry Laksa and the Assam Laksa. I decided to go with the Assam Laksa dish. For appetizer, I ordered the Roti Canai and the Stuffed Rice Crepes.
The appetizers were delicious! The roti canai tasted like the usual; crispy chewy pancakes with a nice curry dipping. The stuffed rice crepes were a lot like the Chinese stuffed crepes, except the stuffing was jicama (a kind of root that tastes like radishes) and topped with dried shrimp. Again, delicious, but may be slightly strange to someone who's never eaten jicama or dried shrimp before. The Laksa came out piping hot and looking delicious! The Laksa soup was a prefect blend of sweet and sourness. The noodles also comes with plenty of tuna, chicken, fish cakes, bean sprouts, onions, cucumbers, basil and scallions. They don't shy away at all with the portion. Great Laksa I must say!
The second time I went to Malaysia Kopitiam, I decided to try another one of the spicy noodle soups. This time I got the Penang Prawn Mee Soup. There's not as much stuffing to this noodle soup. Its only got shrimp, Chinese spinach, and bean sprouts in it, but you get a TON of shrimp. It's pretty good but the Assam Laksa I found to be way superior. My friend decided to get the Raja Chicken- a boneless chicken in a spicy sauce and served with dried vermicelli noodles. Very good dish as well!
There menu is extensive and I definitely want to go back again to try more! The menu had some great images that really stick in your mind and makes you want to order everything. Looks like they have some sweet shaved ice desserts and great appetizers. I think next time I may just order three appetizers as my entire meal and two desserts! The price is also not bad. Each entree is about $10. If you've never had Malaysian food, I recommend starting with the Laksa which is probably the most typical Malaysian dish. Seriously, when you want Malaysian food, skip Penang, go to Malaysia Kopitiam!
1827 M St NW
Washington, DC 20036