Thursday, July 1, 2010

The 'new' Nyonya - Chinatown, NYC

It's been a while since we went to Nyonya in Chinatown. There are always so many other new restaurants to check out whenever we are in Chinatown (which is pretty often :P), we just never gotten around to going back to Nyonya. Since Kheng was visiting us last weekend, we decided to take her there. After all, Nyonya (in my opinion) serves the most authentic Malaysia food and is the most affordable Malaysian restaurant around. After a long walk in the blazing sun, we arrived at Nyonya only to find the shutters down. Oh nooo, is it closed??? In fact, it looked like it's been closed for quite a while, with graffiti on it's shutters and stuff. Feeling really disappointed, we decided to go to Jaya instead. We were just about to make our way to Jaya when we looked across the street and saw....NYONYA!! Yay!! So, Nyonya is not closed...they just moved across the street! Wooohoooo!
The new Nyonya looked great! Way cleaner than the old one. Simply love the new decor. It now has a more hip, trendy and updated look. It looks as though they hired quite a number of new staff as well. Way more friendly and pleasant than the old ones. The only thing that remained the same was the trademark uniform, black shirt and pants, with a short sarong around the waist. Oh, I must also add that the prices have also gone up. Not by much though, but it is definitely more expensive than what it used to be.
So, with the new address, updated decor and price hike, does the food still taste the same? Well, we'll soon find out. After taking our order, it look the waitress only less than 5 minutes to bring out our drinks. Kheng ordered the Malaysian Ice Coffee ($3.25) and Kevin has a soda ($1.50). As usual, Chinese Tea and Ice Water is on the house. We order the Pasembur ($7.95) to share as our appetizer. Shredded cucumber, jicama, bean sprouts, tofu, shrimp pancake, jelly fish, hard boiled eggs with ground peanuts, fried onions and their special sauce. Truthfully, I wasn't really expecting much but boy, was I pleasantly surprised! This Pasembur was really really good! Just like what you can get in Penang (the island, not the restaurant)! Yeah, I dare say that it's almost as good as the Pasembur (also known as 'cheh hoo') from my favorite stall in Island Glades, Penang. So so gooood.
For my main, I ordered the Fish Head Noodle Soup ($7.50), of course :P As usual, the Fish Head Noodle Soup here never fails to hit a spot for me. I have said it before but I will say it again. The Fish Head Noodle Soup here is the bomb! The fish is so yummy and the carnation milk and salted vegetable broth is totally out of this world. You know, the Fish Head Noodles here is even better than some of the ones you can find in certain hawker stalls back in Malaysia.
Kevin and I are creatures of habit. Guess what he ordered? Yup, you got that right. Char Koay Teow ($6.75)! It's alwaysss Char Koay Teow...hahaha. I stole some of his Char Koay Teow (with the excuse that I need to do a taste test :P) and I must say that it's pretty good. They must have fried it over really high heat, cause I can taste the 'wok hey' smell in the noodles. Really good. If you were to serve me this plate of Char Koay Teow back in KL, I would have believed it if you told me that you bought it from one of the local hawker stalls. Yeah, it's that good. However, please note, I said KL and not Penang. Nothing beats or even can compare to Penang Char Koay Teow. There's just something about it that puts it in a class above the rest ;)
Kheng ordered the Nasi Lemak ($6.50). It is served with curry chicken, sambal ikan bilis (chilli anchovies), half a hard boil egg and some achat (pickled vegetables). I didn't try the Nasi Lemak, so I don't know what it tasted like. Kheng finished everything on her plate, so I would assume that it was pretty good. It looked authentic and smelled good though, so I think it's pretty decent.

Overall, we had a great and authentic tasting Malaysian meal. What's the damage? Our total bill came up to $36.43 (excluding tips) for three people. Not too bad at all. For less than $13 a person, I feel that it's fairly decent. Out of all the Malaysian restaurants that I have been too, I must say that Nyonya still holds the record for being the most authentic and affordable. However, I need to add that despite the new look and new location, Nyonya still doesn't accept credit cards. Everything is cash only. Oh well, that's a small inconvenience that I am willing to put up with for yummy and authentic tasting Malaysian food.



Nyonya Restaurant II - Chinatown, NYC
199 Grand Street,
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 334 3669/6701
Fax: (212) 343 343 7422
Web: http://www.penangusa.com/location_nyonya_grand.html

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