>After having such a great meal at Penang, I came to the conclusion that I must have more Malaysian food. I heard through some other buds that Malaysian Kopitiam also serves up some delicious authentic Malaysian, so when the living social deal appeared magically one morning, it was a quick and easy purchase. Best Buddy of BOOF, Hugdoll and I, would sadly be parting ways at the end of the month with her moving to Boston for her PhD (she’s a Harvard smarty) and me moving to PA for med school, so we knew that we needed to have one last dinner before our respective departures. I threw out the idea of Malaysian and she was all for it, so we met up at MK for dinner.
MK is located just south of dupont circle right around the corner (literally) from Penang and a slew of other tasty restaurants. the exterior and interior both don’t look like much of anything with its red block letter awning at its exterior and it’s basement interior. there is a very unique smell that the restaurant features and it is not pleasant but it is also not repulsive to the point that you want to leave or vom…it’s just there. it is located in a basement, which i mentioned earlier and it is not necessarily a bad thing but it is weird because you feel like you are going into basement. For example, in other restaurants such as Vidalia, you go below ground in what would technically be a “basement” but you don’t necessarily feel like it when you get inside. nevertheless, the interior is just simple and nothing to annoying or spectacular.
the couple that owns MK has a special place in my heart simply for the fact that they are originally from Ipok Perah, Malaysia but then moved to Melbourne! Australia for a significant amount of time before heading to DC. they are also super friendly and sweet and when you are seated not only do you have a simple paper menu with all of the dishes, but you are also handed a three ring binder with pictures of all of their item menus. kinda genius. pick the prettiest.
after falling in love with this stuff at Penang, I insisted that we start off with Roti Canai which is a flat layer Indian bread served with a bowl of Malaysian Curry Chicken. Clearly, I didn’t eat the Curry Chicken sauce that it is served with it but I didn’t need it because the deliciously flakiness of the bread with that buttery taste is just so delicious, it didn’t need any accompaniment, in my opinion. however, hugdoll mentioned that the sauce was super delicious and one of the tastiest parts of the meal, if not the tastiest.
we also started with the Satay Tofu (pictured at the top) which are grilled triangular tofu marinated in various spices served with cucumber and fresh. onion. This had a very interesting flavor because the sauce that it was marinated in was sweet, with an almost honey flavor but the tofu itself was quite salty. I guess some would call this balance very good, which I guess in some aspects it is but it didn’t really work as well as I would have liked. I think it was a little too sweet and sticky and the saltiness tried to balance it out but then it was too salty. I ate it all but Hugdoll wasn’t that big of a fan; nevertheless, I enjoyed them decently enough to polish them off. I like the vision just not the execution.
Hugdoll ordered the Vegetarian Stir Fried Mix Noodle which is a Stir fried long thin rice noodle and egg noodle with cabbage, Chinese mushroom, Chinese spinach and crispy tofu sheet. This had good flavor but nothing too special. the balance of the dish was really on point with the sweet, salty, sour and then texture all in nice harmony but there was no unique kick to the dish or a wow factor. we both agreed that it was good, just not great.
I ordered the Mamak Mee Goreng which is a stir-fried spicy egg noodle with shrimp, tofu, bean sprout, egg, tomatoes and potatoes top with lettuce and crispy shallot. This spoke both to the vegetarian and pescatarian in me but I was pretty unimpressed by this dish. The dish did have good flavor but I did consider topping it with lettuce was almost an afterthought and really not needed, in my opinion. The main thing I felt was missing from this dish was a good sauce. If there was sauce present, it was pretty absent to me because I didn’t really have throughout my dish at all. It is a little sad because the ingredients are good but it just didn’t have the flavor that I was looking for and was accustomed to after my trip to Penang.
Overall, I had a decent experience at MK and I would be willing to try it again, but maybe try a dish where Curry is the main ingredient because then I would be sure to have some sort of seasoned sauce throughout the dish. The ingredients were good and some dishes were a success, just not as much of a success that I wanted this Washingtonian Top Cheap Eats and Top 100 Restaurant to be.