Sunday, July 31

Yazmin Malaysian Restaurant

After having a taste of Malaysian food in Northern California at the restaurant Banana Island, I came home craving pan-fried noodles and roti canai with spicy curry sauce to dip in. The only Malaysian restaurant I could think of in Alhambra is Yazmin, a place I have never been in but was familiar with since its location is in the busy heart of Main Street, next to the Edwards Renaissance. With its courteous staff, affordable prices, and relaxing, spacious ambiance, Yazmin is worth a look.

Upon entering, I noticed the walls were adorned with colorful paper artwork and fans. There are booths parallel to opposite sides of the wall; this creates an illusion of a large environment that made me keep scoping out the diners on the far other side.

The expansive menu includes noodle soup, fried noodles, seafood, and vegetarian; they have lunch special prices (~$4.75) on Monday-Thursday (excluding holidays). Although I went on a Sunday, the prices were still within a reasonable range (~$6.75).

For the appetizer, the roti canai, which is a flaky, thin fried pancake, came in a pair with a bowl of curry dipping sauce. My grubby hands rushed to tear off a piece, but retreated as the roti canai was piping hot and burned! Once it cooled down, I was able to savor the chewy, fried bread. Instead of crispy and light, Yazmin's version of the pancake was more soggy and greasy. However, the curry sauce was good enough, being spicy opposed to creamy.

The main dish I ordered was Char Kuei Teow, which was fried flat rice noodles with bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken, egg and leeks. When asked if I wanted to order it spicy or non-spicy, I opted for spicy but once it was delivered, my taste buds did not detect anything so their chili sauce must not be very hot. I ordered mine sans chicken, and overall, this oily stir-fry dish went down the palate easy enough. At many Chinese restaurants such as Sam Woo, this fried flat noodle dish is quite popular but with beef instead of chicken and shrimp.

As for dessert, we ordered a ice blended taro drink with bananas and tapioca and many other things I could not identified called Mo Mo Cha Cha. It was possible the best dish of the meal, and the waiter informed us that it could be served both hot and cold. Try the latter and it makes for a satisfying summer cooler. Here a tip: instead of sharing it like I did, order one for each individual because it will disappear fast!

Throughout the meal, the waitresses and waiters were attentive and brought an extra bowl and napkins for the dessert without us having to ask. This made the meal even better as I felt the staff prided themselves in what Yazmin served.

Despite my limited knowledge of Malaysian food, Yazmin delivers a passing grade in my book, which means it is miles better than say the bland and tasteless Noodle Planet/World. But Yazmin adds to that with their wonderful service, bright and clean atmosphere, and great prices, which makes this lone Malaysian Restaurant stand out on Main Street.

Yazmin Malaysian Restaurant
27 East Main Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 308-2036
Sun - Thu 11:00AM to 9:30PM
Fri - Sat 11:00AM to 10:00PM

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Blogger Lyndsay said...

I too have limited knowledge of Malaysian food, but I simply love Yazmin. I cannot claim that they have the best food in the area, but they have some memorable dishes that I cannot find elsewhere. Although I do not have the menu in front of me, one of my favorites is the garlic eggplant which includes tiny dry shrimp over a plate of stir-fried japanese eggplant. If you aren't a fan of eggplant, they have several other vegetable plates done up in a similar style. There is also a dry beef curry with a unique, spicy flavor. Rather than the usual plain rice, spend the extra money for the wonderfully fragrant coconut and hainan rice on the side.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Aariq said...

Where was this "Banana Island" you speak of? I'd like to try it if its not too far.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Jae Ly (pronounced Lee) said...

The Banana Island I went to was:

banana island
311 Lake Merced Blvd
Daly City, CA 94015-3114
(650) 756-6868

Enjoy! Here's a link with more info:

7:27 PM  
Anonymous aariq said...

awesome! thanks.

8:21 AM  
Blogger elmomonster said...

I, too, love roti canai. I've only had the one served at Penang, another Malaysian restaurant in West Covina. It's the best thing ever!

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Kok Yong said...

The Yasmin has the most authentic Penang Har Mee this side of the planet. It as noodle soup made with a shrimp and base over fresh shrimp, cooked sliced pork and kangkong. Ask for a little more fried onion to bring out the taste. They also have the best Asam Laksa outside of Penang, Malaysia (where I am originally from). As mentioned earlier, the eggplant is outstanding, and so is the Indian Pasembur (salad), Rojak (miixed tropical fruit) and Nasi Lemak. The weakest link are their curries. They are much heavier than those I prefer from home and lack a variety. However, curries in Malaysia vary from region to region and one's preference depends on where you live. If you're in the neighborhood, you really have to give it a try.

The other Malaysian restaurant to sample is the Kuala Lumpur located on the corner of Green Street and Delacey Street in old town Pasadena. They have an outstanding Curry Laksa that is on par with the best and a much better roti canai. The have a slight better Nasi Lemak as well.

There's one other Malaysian restaurant called the Little Malaysia that's located in West Covina. They too have a pretty authentic menu and tasty variations of the dishes menitioned above.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

ooo... i am an eggplant super fan! sigh. i want the spicy eggplant sooooo badly right now. with rice.

Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.

2:53 AM  

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