Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Malee


tommy
 Share

Recommended Posts

i was driving around ridgewood last week and noticed a new thai place on east ridgewood ave, next to the train station. anyone been?

this is certainly good news for ridgewood, as long as the place is decent.

the menu seems more limited than the average thai menu, and the prices are certainly "ridgewood prices." hopefully, the food is good.

it's right next to Latour by the train station.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok, the correct spellnig is "malee". so if any of the admins want to change the title, that would be great. yea. and if you could go ahead and come in on sunday, ya see, we need to sort of play "catch-up". yea.

i gave this place a shot tonite.

tom yung koong (goong) - pretty damned good. could have used some more mushrooms and cilantro. the flavor of the broth was right on. i generally use this dish as a baseline for any thai restaurant. and if you find yourself choking after the 2nd or 3rd sip, it's spot on. yes, i choked.

ground chicken and mung bean noodle soup - i don't see this often, but since i love mung bean noodle, i have to order it. this version was very good, and at 2.95 one of the least expensive things on the menu.

chicken larb - a very good rendition of this dish, although it lacked enough ground rice, so that crunchy texture was missing. but, the dish did have *some*.

chicken with basil/peppers - a standard dish at most restaurants. pretty good here. not too gloppy and sweet. nice fried basil.

35 bucks before tip.

my only complaint is that we ordered everything "extra spicy," or whatever the hottest is on the menu. for the most part, the dishes weren't spicy enough. although i'm sure they are dumbing down the spice for the uptight ridgewood set.

i would say that if you live closer to wondee's certainly go to wondee's (hackensack). however, ridgewood welcomes this place. now ridgewood actually has a vietnamese restaurant *and* a thai restaurant. no one thought this would ever happen just a few months ago.

their only competition in town is kailish, an indian and thai restaurant, which a very limited thai menu (but one helluva roasted duck dish that is just brilliant)

byob.

open everyday except mondays for lunch and dinner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok, the correct spellnig is "malee".  so if any of the admins want to change the title, that would be great.  yea.  and if you could go ahead and come in on sunday, ya see, we need to sort of play "catch-up".  yea.

I corrected it. Sorry it had to wait for Monday, I had to teach Jason's grandfather how to use a cell phone yesterday. :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my only complaint is that we ordered everything "extra spicy," or whatever the hottest is on the menu.  for the most part, the dishes weren't spicy enough.  although i'm sure they are dumbing down the spice for the uptight ridgewood set.

.

I recall that =Mark once posted about how he needed to really convince the chefs/waiters at Mei Thai ( or another Thai place??) that he REALLY meant spicy..and now he has them "trained". Perhaps becoming a regular, if the place has promise, will solve the spiciness/heat issue. My local Sushi waitress. who is a trendy/punky/urban chic kind of gal, informed me that Panang, from the Edison area, is opening up a place in my neck of the woods, Lawrenceville. Anyone been? ( to the Edison locale??)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kim - I think if you do a search for Penang (with an "e") you'll find several mentions of this chain on the site.

Jason and I used to go to the East Hanover location all the time when we lived near Morristown. We loved it, but have heard the Manhattan location is not as good as the other Malaysian options in the city. Some dishes we particularly enjoy there are the Stir-fried Pearl Noodles, Tofu Nyonya, Clay Pot Noodle Soup, and the Mango or Pineapple Chicken dishes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Malee,

I believe the menu is very good and out ranks the other Ridgewood Thai resturants. I also order my food exceptionally spicy, but it arrives in my mind "medium".

We are Bergen County folk, and would venture to Saigon Republic in a heart beat.

Lima Bean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Malee,

I believe the menu is very good and out ranks the other Ridgewood Thai resturants.  I also order my food exceptionally spicy, but it arrives in my mind "medium". 

We are Bergen County folk, and would venture to Saigon Republic in a heart beat. 

Lima Bean

yes, the "spicy" was not really at all. but they probably tone it down for the ridgewood set. i've found that even the better places in NYC refuse to make it spicy unless they know you, and then if you *insist*. saigon republic, i think, is vietnamese, and can not be compared, at least in my eyes.

the only other thai in ridgewood is kailish, as far as i know, and that's an indian place with an abbreviated thai menu. do you know of any others lima bean?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we ended up here again last night, as the thai in clifton went out of business.

i insisted that the larb be made as spicy as they could do it, explaning that i eat thai every day and i can handle whatever they have to offer. it came out, well, pretty spicy, but not crazy.

had a curry here for the first time. very good green curry.

the mixed seafood dish wasn't so hot (crab sticks and salmon aren't my favorites to begin with). it also had questionable looking scallops, and shrimp and squid. the preparation was good, but i wasn't a big fan of the seafood. i'd order this again with just shrimp.

the outside seating is nice. it's off to the side, with no cars flying by, and it's quite pleasant, 'cept for when the train comes by at about 60 mph 10 feet from the table. however, the trains are short, if that helps any.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My local Sushi waitress. who is a trendy/punky/urban chic kind of gal, informed me that Panang, from the Edison area, is opening up a place in my neck of the woods, Lawrenceville. Anyone been? ( to the Edison locale??)

Hi Kim, i'm new here and live in your area. The Edison Penang is great, with asam laksa and hainanese chiken being my favorites. None of the other NY locations are nearly that good! In addition, its nice to have the the chinese grocery right there AND stellar "fresh" kimchee in the korean supermarket across the road. Well at least now Plainsboro has a chinese market too, which saves us from having to go so far for decent food!

Is that REALY TRUE we're getting Penang in Lawrenceville!!!????

That might make me the happiest person in the world! Were you able to corroborate this info or find out when its supposed to happen?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is that REALY TRUE we're getting Penang in Lawrenceville!!!????

That might make me the happiest person in the world! Were you able to corroborate this info or find out when its supposed to happen?

Welcome. What are your favorites in the Mercer/Southern Middlesex area?

Nope, don't have any more info about Penang, just what the Banzai waitress told me...I'll ask her for more details next time, I know she lives more north.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, i dont know strictly the boundaries of mercer/middlesex, but here's a brief list of my favorites within 30 min from princeton:

In Princeton:

Ajihei (Japanese. Great yellowtail jalapeno, chef trained at Nobu NY I think. He has good knife technique and sometimes serves uni, which is hard to find around here. For monkfish liver i always go to Banzai)

Happy City (Cantonese. Fantastic crab w/ scallion ginger, singwa melon with shrimp, steamed fish, duck, etc. BUT watch out - sometimes on weekends, when the main chef is not there, they can get overwhelmed and the results are tragic. otherwise, my favorite. also, great lunch specials with english translations, despite the ominous presence of the buffet. the chinese menu is translated into english, which is really nice. but i think there also another, 'white people' menu to avoid)

3495 US HIGHWAY 1, PRINCETON, NJ 08540

(609) 919-9881

Of course Conte's pizza, Hoagie Haven, and Downtown Deluxe are such classics, they hardly need mentioning...

A little north on Rt 27, aka food route:

Schechuan Ace (Obviously, Schechuanese. fantastic hot soup dumplings, hot tendon, three soy sauce chiken. beware of white people menu, ask for chinese translated one, it has most of the real things on it)

Udipi Cafe (South Indian Vegetarian. the only vegetarian restaurant ever liked - great okra curry and a variety of dosa. this is actually closer to Princeton than Schechuan Ace, only ~20 minutes)

Shanghai Park (yummy crab soup dumplings, scallion pancakes and fresh spicy soy milk with little shrimps - curdles as you eat!!)

What am i missing here? Any more suggestions in the area?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I had a tiny sampling of take-out from Malee this evening, so I thought I'd add my two cents. Basically, just go back up top and read Tommy's posts, because I pretty much agree with what he said.

I only sampled the beef pad krapow and the spring rolls. The pad krapow was good (though I thought beef was a wee bit too dry), but it was definitely NOT as spicy as it could have been. I said, "Make it as spicy as you possibly can. TOO spicy. Don't tell the chef that I'm a white guy... tell them that I'm the Thai-est guy you've ever seen and I want it REALLY spicy!" Didn't work... oh well. That's why one should keep some chili paste at home.

The spring rolls were sort of "eh...". Four little finger-sized rolls which tasted primarily of the bean thread noodles. I'm not entirely sure why I ordered them though since I'm not a huge fan of little fried rolls anyway. Come to think of it, I'm not really a fan of big fried rolls either.

I also had two cups of Thai iced tea (one while I was waiting for the food and one for at home). They asked if I wanted the "sweet one" and I said yes, but it sort of lacked that strong bitter tea flavor that usually co-exists underneath the sweetness. I'll have to ask about that next time.

It's a little pricey. Total for my meal was $23 (it would've been $18 at Wondee's). I guess technically it was a meal for two people, but let's just say that there aren't any leftovers sitting in my fridge.

To sum up, I still prefer Wondee's, but it is nice to have a proper Thai restaurant budding in Ridgewood. If I'm in the mood for Thai and don't have the time to go to Hackensack, then Malee is where I'll end up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i made it back to malee for a third time recently.

larb ordered extra crazy thai spicy was suitably spicy, and very good. their version doesn't have as much lime juice as i'd like, but it was still quite good.

pad thai. this was the first time i've had this dish here. i don't care what you say, pad thai is a *very* good thing. malee's version was right on the money. it leaned towards a lighter style, which i can appreciate. it wasn't all gloppy and sweet like you sometimes find. it was delicous. however, it wasn't served with a wedge of lime or lemon, which i found odd.

garlic and black pepper chicken. a very plain looking dish, but it packs a lot of flavor. some version of this dish are very sweet. this was a lighter version, but was heavy on flavor. served with some brocolli. i'd order it again.

the outside seating is very nice i think, especially if you like sitting outside. there are no cars and no people to deal with, as it's in a "corner." however, the trains whiz by about 10 feet away. to grumpy old bastards like myself, this can get annoying. however, the kids all loved it and looked forward to the next train. luckily for me, they are very short trains.

byo.

13 bucks for each of the dishes mentioned above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

A couple of times this week I found myself forgetting about dinner only to remember with enough time to get to Malee for some take out. I really like this place for takeout because (1.) it's close to my house... and (2.) they put everything in very nice containers... and (3.) a white bag with a proper handle allows you to feel like you just bought a pair of shoes or something. Very Ridgewood.

Anyway, on to the food. I think they've raised the heat bar up a bit since they opened. Of course, I ordered different dishes than before so I'll have to go back for a more controlled experiment, but it seems to be a good thing.

Gang-ped-yarg was very good. Roast duck in coconut curry with basil, pineapple, and cherry tomatos. I'm slowly learning that pineapple plus curry makes 201 a happy camper. The duck was in large chunks that gave a good ratio of flesh to skin (I think too much skin wouldn't work as well with a curry) and the tomatos were very interesting. The tomatos had a very firm skin, but once the skin broke, the inside of the tomato just exploded. I'm still not sure how I feel about that, but it was a hell of a thing.

Beef larb was also very good (not as good as pork larb, but that's not an option at Malee :sad: ). I agree with Tommy that a little more rice would help the texture along and some lettuce underneath would've been a welcome addition as well. Actually, it came with some cucumber slices which I really enjoyed topping with larb, but I'd still like some lettuce as well. Is it too much to want the best of both worlds?

Chicken panang was ok, but not something I'd think to order again. Sliced chicken in peanut curry with slices of lemongrass and avocado. I don't think the avocado really added much here, but the curry was nice. The dish was just a little plain for my tastes.

Pork pad-kee-mow was frustrating. I say that because it was VERY good except for the fact that the noodles were scarce and largely stuck to each other in strange clumps. I'm guessing that this was a cooking error and I'll certainly order this dish again to see if my experience was a deviation from the norm. It tasted very good, but the noodle situation was just strange.

Anybody tried the desserts here? Anyone at all? Ah, what the hell am I saying... Tommy, have you tried any desserts at Malee?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...