As great as the time was that I spent in Malaysia for a few weeks in the late 2000s, there are a few things I either regret and/or miss from that time. One of my biggest regrets was not taking notes (and pictures) of all my food experiences, though to be fair, my blogging focus back then was more about another favorite past time of mine (running.) As far as the things I miss, there are many but some of the best were the simplest: inexpensive iced coffee in plastic bags, the perfect drink for hot and humid days; the view of the Petronas Towers from my hotel windows at night; and the chance to chow down one of their national favorite dishes, the homey and spicy Char Kway Teow (essentially, fried flat noodles) just about whenever I wanted. This is a country I would go back to in a heartbeat given the opportunity.
Since my return, I haven't had the chance to sample the cuisine, despite the opportunities both in the Bay Area and, interestingly enough, Columbus (Worthington's Merlion was a place that closed less than a year after my arrival to the Buckeye State.) That was until a conveniently located Layang Layang in Milpitas gave my spouse and I the perfect opportunity to dive back in for a brief dalliance.
Layang Layang (named for a popular diving spot/island/reef in Malaysia) has had more than a decade of presence in the South Bay, starting up in 2004 in Cupertino, with later locations in San Jose and Milpitas. The Milpitas location stands in a strip mall a mile north as the crow flies from The Great Mall of Milpitas (a former Ford automobile plant.) The interior of this eatery is fairly spacious, with bright colors but not much in the way of accents (other than the faux thatched-roof fronting the cash register/kitchen area, there wasn't much beyond a few small pieces of artwork and kites dotting the wall.
Malaysian cuisine proved to be one of the more diverse cuisines I have encountered, with well-established in-country Chinese, Indian and Malay culinary traditions blending and mixing in with both colonial (Dutch and British) and neighboring country (Thai, Indonesian and Singaporean mainly) influences. Layang Layang covers a good gamut of what I saw in many Malay-oriented eateries, including various rotis (breads), Nasi Goreng (fried rice), and various Mee (noodle), Ikan (fish) and Rendang (red curry) dishes.
|The Roti Canai (Malaysian flatbread) appetizer with curry dipping sauce|
|Layang Layang's Char Kway Teow|
181 W. Calaveras Blvd,
Milpitas, CA 95035
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