Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Aneka Rasa - Delicious Malaysian at great prices

Anyone who has read my other blog knows that I very much enjoy whining about trying to pay for school, etc., so naturally when I heard about the $6.95 lunch special at Aneka Rasa on weekdays from 11:30-3:30, I immediately set a date to have lunch there.

To quote from their website, "Aneka Rasa’s food is inspired and prepared by Malaysian chefs to reflect authentic Malaysian Cuisine. Malaysia has long been the crossroads in Southeast Asia and the country’s foods reflect that. Malaysian cuisine blends Thai, Indian, Chinese and local Malay tastes to create original Malaysian cuisine. This includes the spiciness of Thai food, the exotic spices found in Indian food, the wok stir-fry style of Chinese food, and original Malaysian tastes."

Looking at the menu, this notion of "crossroads" was very apparent, as they had everything from Pad Thai and Seafood Fried Rice, to Indian Mee Goreng and Ginger Duck. Choosing an entree was easier said than done. The lunch special went as follows:

House Salad
Soup of the Day
Rice {White, Chicken Flavored, or Coconut}
Choice of Appetizer {Stay Beef (2 pcs.), Satay Chicken (2 pcs.), Crab Rangoon (2 pcs.), Vegetable Spring Roll (2 pcs.), Vegetable Samosa (2 pcs.)}
Entree {one of 20 choices}

There is also a Noodle Lunch Special running slightly cheaper at $5.50 but as far as I could tell, it did not include the appetizers, rice, etc.

The "soup of the day" was Tom Yum, a delicious sour and spicy lemongrass broth with cilantro, mushrooms, and perhaps a couple of other vegetables. I am a huge fan of Tom Yum, and despite its lack of any meat or seafood, it was a great start to the meal.

For my appetizer I chose the beef satay, which, along with the rice and salad, was served at the same time as the entree. It was doused in a delicious peanut sauce and was devoured rather quickly. My coconut rice was really interesting in that it had a great coconut taste but I couldn't tell how exactly it was done, since it seemed too light to have been cooked in coconut milk. The salad was a small assortment of julienned vegetables in a sweet, tangy dressing. For my entree I chose the Indian Mee Goreng, descibed as "Indian style stir-fried yellow noodle in an authentic tasty mild squid sauce with tofu, shrimp, egg, and bean sprouts." It had the taste of your typical, but very tasty, Thai noodle dish, but every once in a while I would get a bite of Tofu that had a great kick of Indian spices in it.

Christopher started with the Crab Rangoon, the wonton of which was a lot thinner than I'm used to, reducing the greasy heaviness of a lot of crab rangoon. He opted for the chicken rice, which as expected had hints of chicken to it. For the entree he chose the Spicy Salt and Pepper Crispy Pork. It was quite good in my opinion and nicely seasoned with the salt and pepper, though since it was all deep fried it got to be a bit much for him toward the end. I'm sure I would have finished it no problem.

For his main course, Bryan chose the Penang Pad Thai. "At first, I was going to get something else, since I thought I'd be more adventurous than Pad Thai, but then I noticed that this was not the normal stuff you get at your average Thai restaurant. The Penang Pad Thai had squid and shrimp, which were both cooked well and not rubbery. The flavor was very nice, and the amount of spice was as well. (I could have handled a little more spice, actually.) I loved the spicy and tangy Tom Yum soup, thought the coconut rice was very interesting and delicious; and, my chicken satay appetizer was juicy, tender and scrumptious! What I can't get over was the unbelievable value. Plus, I'm excited at the fact that this deal can be taken advantage of during a normal lunch hour! When are we going back?"

Starting at the top left and going clockwise we have the Indian Mee Goreng, Penang Pad Thai, Spicy Salt and Pepper Crispy Pork, and Tom Yum Soup, all with their respective rices and appetizers

Aneka Rasa on Urbanspoon

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