Nyonya | New York Magazine | The Thousand Best

One of Manhattan’s few Malaysian restaurants, Nyonya is a boon for diners looking for something more adventurous than the Vietnamese and Thai influences that dominate most of the city’s Southeast Asian fare. You may recognize roti canai (Malaysia’s popular crispy pancakes), but dishes like fried baby oysters and achat (a Malaysian vegetable pickled in spicy turmeric powder with sesame seeds and peanut) will challenge even the most sophisticated palates. And that’s just the appetizers. Entrée standouts include Malaysian spare ribs, mango shrimp (sautéed with shredded mango), and endless variations on noodle soups and casseroles. Note, however, that Nyonya offers little for vegetarians: About half of the so-called “vegetable” dishes contain fish, and the squeamish may be alarmed by the high number of entrées featuring fish heads or frogs’ legs. Nor is this the best option for a quiet meal — the wood-paneled, tiki-hut-like dining room is constantly bustling. But that’s also what makes Nyonya a great choice for a quick yet memorable dinner before a show at nearby Bowery Ballroom. Bring your posse, as the menu is made for sampling.