New Malaysia Restaurant Review: New Malaysia and Hainese chicken

New Malaysia Restaurant Review: New Malaysia and Hainese chicken

Sometimes all you need is a simple dish to be happy. I present to you, Hainanese chicken with rice from New Malaysia. How simple is Hainanese chicken rice? Um… it’s boiled chicken. Pretty amazing right? Sure, they boil it in stock and not plain water, but it’s a pretty simple dish. New Malaysia serves it up with rice that’s been flavored with chicken and two types of dipping sauces. And there’s also a small bowl of clear broth that comes with the dish. Typing all that out and I just got kind of hungry again.

Patrick, Jeremy, and I hit up New Malaysia after some basketball. There’s nothing like some pick-up basketball to remind you that as you get older, you certainly do a better job of eating than you do with recreational basketball. Dunking in real life is impossible. Dunking a piece of chicken in some sauce is really delicious though.

The other two dishes that we got were pork chops and fried rice and seafood curry noodle soup. I got to try a piece of the pork chop on Jeremy’s plate and it was fried to perfection. It’s nice to get a good crispy exterior to the pork chop. It’s not like a crispy exterior of a fried chicken or anything like that. It’s about as crispy as you could expect batter-less pork chops could be.

I’ve noticed that Asian preparation of pork chops usually involve thinner pork chops than any western preparation of pork chops. Even if you just step into a Whole Foods, you’ll see the pork chops are thick, some close to 1 inch. If you go to an Asian grocery store in Chinatown, the pork chops are always thin, always less than half an inch. I’m not sure why there’s a difference but I can tell you pork chops from Asian grocery stores are probably less than half the price of a pork chop at Whole Paycheck.

So if you read food blogs, you might have heard about our President Elect Obama picking Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary. I’ll be the first to tell you that I know absolutely nothing about Vilsack. But someone is supremely disappointed in the pick, and that man is Michael Pollan.

I’m not a real big fan of Michael Pollan’s politics. I’m just going to take this moment to digitally doodoo on him for a little bit. The whole sustainable food movement is admirable in many respects. Many of their most ardent supporters pour their hearts into the movement. They genuinely believe in their cause. And for the most part, I don’t mind it. You want to give me an apple from my own state? Fine.

My problem with the movement is that it paints the opposition as idiots. Pollan would have you believe that if you can’t grow kiwi fruit in frigid North Dakota, then you shouldn’t eat kiwi fruits because shipping it from California is not so sustainable. I mean uh… seriously? The problem of shipping kiwi’s all over the globe is one of energy and transportation efficiency. I’m not causing global warming by eating my damn kiwi. If we want to talk about alternative fuels, and better technology for transportation, let’s talk about that. I feel like carbon mileage is a way to guilt people into buying more expensive products locally. I feel like I’m being shamed into eating local by a guy who wants to implement a silly plan for the whole country.

If this eating sustainable and local works so well on a large scale, it should be easy for the Union Square Farmers Market here in NYC to accept food stamps. We can’t even do that? How are we going to feed an entire nation on this idea? The reason people choose the kiwi from California or another country half way across the world is simple. It’s cheaper.

Look, I’m all for carbon emission credits, tax breaks on electric vehicles, repealing farm subsidies, broader early education on healthy habits, and any other lovely liberal leaning things you want to do for this country. But if the conversation about carbon mileage actually becomes the conversation about what it should be – engergy, then we can get somewhere. If we keep allowing ourselves to be Karl Rove’d into believing the message is about me eating a kiwi, we’ll never get anywhere. If Pollan is real about energy, he’ll be telling us about a national gas tax to keep gas perpetually around $4 dollars like it is in Europe. He’ll be telling me about utilizing nuclear energy. Stop telling about that cows fart and my kiwi traveled 4,000 miles. I don’t give a damn.

P.S. – Hurray! It snowed!

New Malaysia Restaurant48 Bowery St.New York, NY 10013212-964-0284