Month: May, 2007

Return to Skyway

Friday, May 4th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Friends

Wasn’t I just in Chinatown?

No matter: this time, I hopped the B from the Upper West Side to join the B brothers at Skyway for what some foodies claim to be the Sripraphai of Malaysian food — a high compliment indeed. I was last at the restaurant in the Fall; this time, with two additional diners, I hoped to be able to delve a little further into the menu.


Roti canai — pronounced “Chennai,” after the city formerly known as Madras — is also called roti prata (or paratha ) in Singapore. The traditional Mamak (Indian Muslim) griddle-fried dough pancake is available around the clock throughout the streets of Malaysia, where I first sampled it off the ubiquitous roadside stalls of Kuala Lumpur. Best served piping hot: buttery-crisp on the outside, fluffy and flaky within, I had relegated the simple snack to fond memory when I recently learned that the dough is stocked frozen in Asian and Indian markets. Hmm, interesting.

Here at Skyway, the roti is served with a side bowl of soupy chicken curry for dipping.

Roti canai

Both SYB and HYB opted for the “fresh coconut drink,”; the regular (un-fresh?) coconut drink, which appeared as a separate (less expensive) item on the menu, turned out not to be an option when HYB attempted to order it, to the slight chagrin of our server.

Fresh coconut

We each picked one dish to contribute to our family-style dinner: pork and preserved vegetables (HYB;); the vaguely-named “squid with special sauce” (me); and the pearl noodles (SYB), not pictured here.

Pork and preserved vegetables

Squid with special sauce

Ah, good stuff. Those noodles were just as delicious as I remembered, and what was left of the squid dish, with its special, “kicky” sauce — check out that enormous red chile pepper — was deemed worthy of being packed up for home. Unfortunately, not one of the three of us remembered to retrieve the takeout box from AH’s refrigerator later that night… but I guess that’s what a couple buckets of bubbly will do.

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Oh Yeah

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007 | All Things, Eats

Another destination on the seemingly endless tour of Chinatown lunch spots: New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe on Bayard. The restaurant is most often compared to the two other hu cai eateries on the same street: New Green Bo and Shanghai Cuisine, local favorite of chef Ming Tsai.

NYSD is the youngest (and seemingly least popular) of the restaurant trio; decor-wise, it sits a notch above the other two, in that there exists at least some attempt at ambience: exposed brick walls, scads of fake greenery, curious cave-like wall and ceiling treatments… taken as a whole a little odd, perhaps, but as Chinese restaurants go, I’ve seen worse.

The restaurant feels more spacious than most Chinatown restaurants, too, in large part due to the depth-enhancing mirrors strategically placed along the back wall, which briefly fooled the eye of my dining companion this afternoon. We crossed over a short, fountain-lined footbridge into the back room, which was lined with framed, vintage-looking Shanghai ladies advertising posters.

Yeah Shanghai

I forewent the highly recommended (but possibly too heavy for midday) honey roasted pork — I wonder if it’s anything like “candy pork“? — in favor of the bargain lunch specials, served over rice and accompanied by a bowl of hot and sour soup — most $4.25 – $4.95.

Beef and Scallions

And of course, we could not pass up a bamboo steamer full of those pinched pouches of molten deliciousness: the Shanghai soup dumplings. New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe serves up respectable rendition, certainly, but I would have to give the edge here to New Green Bo.

Xiao long bao

*chik… chika-chiKAH*

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May flowers

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 | All Things, Friends

On the phone with SYB last night, the subject arose of the jokes kids tell. The evening’s downpour, followed by the unexpected sight of a brilliantly pink-bloomed tree in the plaza outside my office, called to mind this one — among the first I ever learned:

Question: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
Answer: Pilgrims!

The joke is a lot funnier if you happen to be an eight-year-old… or just have the sensibilities of one. Ah, kids.

Downtown flowers

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