Monday, November 10, 2008

Rasa Malaysia near San Jose airport

Rasa Malaysia is situated conveniently close to the airport and kitty corner from the Costco in Santa Clara. Apparently it used to be called "Penang Village" and the sign out front hasn't been changed yet.

While V and I were waiting for our friend D to join us, we decided to go ahead and try the "Onion Roti". This is usually called "Roti Canai" and is a staple at all Malaysian restaurants. We love this appetizer at "Banana Leaf", the popular Malaysian haunt in Milpitas. According to Wikipedia...

Roti canai (pronounced "chanai," not "kanai") is a type of flatbread found in Malaysia, often sold in Mamak stalls. It is known as roti prata in Singapore, and is a close escendant of Kerala porotta.

It goes on to say about the origin of the word "Roti canai"...

Roti means bread in Hindi, Urdu, most other North Indian languages, and Malay. The term "canai" derives either from:

  • Chennai, a city in India which is formerly known as Madras. Roti canai is presumed to have been introduced by immigrant labour from the Madras region where a similar combination of parotta and dalcha - the accompanying lentil curry - is served. [1]
  • "Channa", a mixture of boiled chickpeas in a spicy gravy from Northern India which it was traditionally served with.
Back to the food, the Roti Canai at Rasa was very good and has specks of green onion in the bread. We were off to a promising start.

D arrived and decided to go vegetarian for the day. Between us, we ordered the "Mango Vegetables with Tofu", "Kang Kung" and "Hot Pot Curry Vegetables with Tofu" with a side of jasmine rice. To summarize, all the dishes were wonderful and we were especially fond of the Kang Kung. Kang kung is water spinach and it was stir-fried in a spicy garlic sauce.
The bill came to ~ $60 with tax and tip for the 3 of us. The price is on the high side for the portion size, but Rasa Malaysia is a great stop close to the airport.


A Virtual Vegetarian said...

Having lived in Malaysia and Singapore I miss authentic Malay cuisine...Straits Cafe in Burlingame is quite nice, but I think hubby dear and me would love to try this restaurant..thanks for the review!

PG said...

I went to this place a while back and while the food was good, I could not help feeling like there was an undertone of a fish flavor in all the dishes although we ordered vegetarian dishes. So I never went back. Did you not get that?

VnV said...

Well, not really. We did not get any fishy smell at all.

A Virtual Vegetarian said...

PG, if you get the "fishy" smell it usually means hey could have used Nam Pla....fermented fish sauce.

In any asian restaurant like thai, vietnamese I ask that they do not use fish/oyster sauces, however the restaurants don't "wash" the wok they cook in (use only hot water to clean out the soap) so there is always a residual odor/smell....:(