Malaysian/Singaporean: Laut

Eating Out



Recently, I had the opportunity to try Laut, located in the Union Square area, for the first time.  Laut is the world’s first Michelin-starred Malay restaurant – quite an honor!  As I’m a big fan of all cuisine Malaysian and Singaporean, I was so excited when an eating buddy suggested we try this place out.

We ordered two starters – the first was the Five Spice Pork Roll:

Wrapped in what I think was crispy tofu skin and then deep fried, the roll contained pork marinated with five spice. For those unfamiliar with five spice, it is a spice mix that contains star anise, cloves, fennel, cinnamon and Szechuan pepper.  The resulting aroma is warm and spicy.  Laut’s pork rollwas a perfect combination of savory, sweet and with just a tad of a kick. Delicious!

For our second starter, we ordered one of my usuals – the Roti Canai:

I had written about roti canai previously (in fact, in Singapore I visited a restaurant all about roti!) – this crispy, doughy, chewy pancake is accompanied with a chicken curry dipping sauce.  Different restaurants vary their rotis, but Laut’s was a great manifestation – chewy yet flaky, generous and served piping hot.  Eating buddy and I were cleaning out the bowl of curry with the last remnants of roti in no time.

For our first entree, we ordered the Ikan Chili Garang (first picture).  Ikan means “fish” in Malay, and this dish featured a  fried fillet of flounder with shrimp paste and chilli sauce.  I’m not exaggerating when I say this is one of the better fillets I’ve had recently.  The meat was juicy, not overcooked, tender and flavorful, and the fried crust on the outside was delicately seasoned.  I would definitely recommend this dish!

We also ordered the Assam Lemak Udang:

The word assam is Malay for tamarind, and a sour sweet flavor is characteristic of all assam plates.  This dish starred black rice at its center, which was a shoo-in for me as I loooove black rice.  Additionally, it had shrimp, lemongrass, garlic, cherry tomatoes and okra, all in a sour spicy coconut milk.  Assam was new for my eating buddy, but after a spoonful of this delicious sauce, she was sold. Have you had assam dishes before?

To finish off our delicious meal, my eating buddy and I each ordered a Mango Sticky Rice:

Mango Sticky Rice is a pretty traditional Thai dessert, and Laut didn’t go too crazy with this one, keeping with the conventional preparation.  The sticky rice was properly glutinous without being too mushy, and the mango pieces varied between sweet and tart.

If you’re looking for Malaysian and/or Singaporean cuisine in a trendy, modern setting – definitely give Laut a try.  The dishes each have a fresh, modern flair while still remaining true to original recipes.  Two thumbs up!

Delectable Malaysian and Singaporean dishes, served in a restaurant with great ambiance.


15 E. 17th St. (btw 5th/ Broadway)



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  • Reply
    Kristin ~ Bien Living Design
    November 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Yum, looks delicious! Will have to add it to the list…. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    You had me at mango sticky rice. That’s one of my absolute favorite desserts. I’ve never heard of black rice or assam but that sauce sounds just amazing. I’m going to have to find out more about black rice now!

  • Reply
    Ngoc N
    November 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    mm I love Malaysian food. That stick rice and mango looks great.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Yum — these all look delicious!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Yum! Is this your first 4-apple review? Exciting! There are so many restaurants I want to try in New York. I’ll have to plan a return trip soon 🙂

    • Reply
      November 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      I do have a few other 4-apple reviews, but not many! They are a rare rating 🙂

  • Reply
    November 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I really shouldn’t have read this before dinner! I’m starving and this looks soooo gooood.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I love Malaysian but unfortunately my favorite place in Seattle closed down.

  • Reply
    Meister @ The Nervous Cook
    November 28, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I recently met a friend for lunch at this lovely little spot and was super impressed. Now I just want to go back and try everything you managed to munch that I missed! What a delicious round-up, thanks as always for your great Gotham snooping.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try this when I come back to NYC again. Mmmmmm!

  • Reply
    November 29, 2011 at 11:11 am

    omg. that Ikan Chili Garang looks sooo good!

  • Reply
    November 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Wow this looks so delicious, what a great recipe! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    roti canai and sticky rice! mmm. so much deliciousness.

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