First Look: Pasar Malam Brings Unique Malaysian Fare to Williamsburg

By Kelly Dobkin  |  July 2, 2014
Credit: Rob Tallia

The gist: The chef behind Union Square's Laut restaurant, Salil Mehta, and his wife Stacey are behind this new Malaysian night market-inspired eatery now open in Williamsburg. Filling a void for trendy Southeast Asian in the Brooklyn nabe, Pasar Malam homage's to Malaysian street fare runs the gamut from laksas and fresh salads to traditional rice dishes and roti.

The food: Inventive takes on traditional Malaysian and Southeast Asian dishes include spicy chili crab; Hainanese chicken rice (a play on the classic) but using fried chicken instead of boiled; a Rambly burger, a take on the Malaysian cult item that features an egg-wrapped burger with cabbage, Maggi sauce, special mayo and cheese; and a selection of housemade roti in both sweet and savory varieties include the crispy dessert roti tower (pictured in the slide show). Check out the full menu below.

The drinks: Cocktails include a Malaysian take on a margarita that mixes up tequila, 100Plus (a popular carbonated beverage in Southeast Asia) and fresh lime juice; a spiked Thai Tea; and mocktails like the "Michael Jackson" made with soymilk and grass jelly. Fresh sugar cane juice is pressed tableside and served with mint and ginger. 

The space: Inspired by Malaysian night markets, you'll find street vendor signs and local artwork throughout, including a custom mural by Bushwick artists Chris Soria and Mark Evans. The 60-seat space features hand-carved wooden doors, a six-seat bar and a four-seat chef's counter with a front-row kitchen view. The bar backdrop contains Asian beer memorabilia and a bioscope featuring vintage Malaysian cartoons that Mehta collected during his childhood. 

The details: 208 Grand St., Brooklyn; 718-487-4576

Photos by Rob Tallia

Pasar Malam Menu by ZagatBlog

  • Interior seating

  • Bar area

  • Roti tisu - crispy dessert tower

  • Butter garlic soft-shell crab with chili padi garlic and curry leaf

  • Asam Laksa, a traditional Malaysian soup made with lemongrass and sardine gravy with onion, cucumber, pineapple, Vietnamese mint, shrimp paste and served with laifun noodle