Grand Street is now home to a night market-inspired Malaysian restaurant that opened last Monday.
Pasar Malam’s eclectic menu includes roti dishes, exotic burgers and fruit-layered shave ice for dessert.
“The menu is inspired from the dishes we would eat in a night market in Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia,” Salil Mehta, the owner of Pasar Malam and Union Square’s Laut restaurant, said. “We’re trying to serve it in a Brooklyn style.”
He wanted to bring traditional Malaysian and Southeast Asian dishes including spicy chili crab and Ramly burger, a Malaysian cult item that features an egg-wrapped burger with cabbage, and Roti John, an omelet sandwich, consisting of sliced halves of a French loaf fried with a topping of minced mutton, sliced onions and egg..
Mehta said that there aren’t too many Malaysian restaurants that represent the street culture of the city.
“Most Malaysian food is a snack, an entrée and a dessert,” Mehta said. “It’s a little bit of everything. It’s these cultures coming together and supporting each other.”
The restaurant seats a full house daily.
The 60-seat space features hand-carved wooden doors, a six-seat bar and a four-seat chef’s counter with a front-row seating section overlooking the kitchen.
On a recent afternoon, people gathered around a table with chopsticks at their fingers, while the aura of the dishes filled the room with a pleasing smell.
Dave Lucchino was visiting with his friends from East Williamsburg.
Lucchino tried the Goreng Chicken, a dish of chicken deep fried in coconut oil, for the first time.
“The foods are delicious and it has a nice street market vibe,” Lucchino said. “It seems like they put a lot of food love into the restaurant.”
His friend Shashaty had the Green Chicken Curry, a tender chicken dish, simmered in a homemade green curry sauce along with zucchini and red bell pepper.
Shashaty has experience with Malaysian dishes and gave the nod to Pasar Malam’s flavors over those he tried in his native Los Angeles.
“The food I’ve tried at other restaurants wasn’t as great as this,” Shashaty said. “The foods are cooked well and it’s super crispy.”
208 Grand Street
Open daily 3 p.m. to midnight