Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

RASA, 25 West 8th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Macdougal Street), Greenwich Village

When I finally dined at Rasa, I was hoping to find a dish that would make its way to these pages, but I didn’t think beef rendang would be it. Rendang is one of the more common Malaysian dishes and it seems like a cliché to choose it as the one to write about. I almost think of it as the Pad Thai of Malaysian food. If there’s one dish you expect on the menu, it’s this one.

But this restaurant, which has been serving the changing crowds of 8th Street for three years now, serves a killer version. I’m happy to see a cute, homey Malaysian restaurant thriving on this strange restaurant street. All the other businesses seem to come and go so fast, but I hope this one sticks around for a long time. Especially because the food is so good.

Beef Rendang at RASAThe beef rendang isn’t the only dish we tried (we also had sweet and fried-to-a-crisp calamari and a sour/spicy laksa). But it was the one that stood out. In fact, the tender beef that’s simmered slowly in a coconut curry broth might have been the best version I’ve ever tasted. The flavors were sweet and complex with aromatic spices and a generous garnish of toasted coconut flakes. The beef itself was just irresistible.

We almost didn’t order the rending because we’ve had it so any times before at other places and there are many more Malaysian delicacies to discover for the first time. But whether this is your first time with this flavorful cuisine or you’ve had rendang a thousand times before, it’s worth starting here at Rasa.

RASA
25 West 8th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Macdougal Street),
Greenwich Village
(212) 253-9888
rasanyc.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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