Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Malai Thai and Easter

Happy Wednesday after Easter!

Have you been eating leftover candy for your three square meals? I imagine the antacid companies have a spike in sales this week...but I suppose it's all worth it.

We decided to go to Malai Kitchen for Easter brunch, a Thai/Vietnamese inspired cafe. Yes, that is a non-traditional Easter, but why not? It is definitely one of my faves in Dallas, and I've just gone there once. However, the quality, taste and attention to detail in each of the dishes was remarkable. And the prices, well, are reasonable by my budget but I think they're (honestly) underpricing their dishes. Just don't tell the chef/owners that I said that. The prices are next to each dish.

My parents treated us to a beautiful brunch. Here's what we shared and devoured:

 Some appetizers...

Green Papaya Salad  8                           Shredded with Candied Bacon, Ripe Mango, Chopped Peanuts, Chili Lime Dressing  This was one of the most non-salad salads I've ever had.                                                                                            The flavors of lime, peanuts, mint, basil, carrots, et cetera, exploded out of the dish. My mom and I loved this. Honestly, I've never had a dish with mint and basil (and was tasty!)...this was, for sure.

Malai Favorites Sampler  10                                             Grilled Beef & Chicken Satay, Imperial Rolls, Spring Rolls, & Vietnamese Meatballs

A-ma-zing variety. These little nuggets were full of flavor. I'm usually reluctant about unknown foods with"mystery meats," but the beef and chicken satay (kabobs) were delicious, the meatballs were tasty, and the salad and rolls were incredible (and I'm not a fried "roll" person, really). The dipping sauces were incredible, too.

Chicken Vietnamese Soup (Pho Ga)  6,9
Spiced Chicken Broth, White Meat Chicken,
Thin Rice Noodles, Bean Sprouts, Fresh Herbs

My dad got this soup and loved it. It meant a lot when he said, "how do I eat this?" and the chef/owner politely gave us a lesson in seasoning pho ga--the perfect union of spicy and sweet--using the accompanying plate of sauces, limes, chilis, and basil. It was a nice lesson for all of us. This huge bowl of soup was a SMALL, a mere $6. Insanity.

Some entrees...

Vietnamese Sandwich (Banh Mi)  7
Vietnamese Baguette, Pickled Carrots, Daikon, Cucumbers, Spicy Aioli, Sriracha, and Herbs
Choice of Protien and a side of Cucumber Salad, Wok-Seared Vegetables, or Imperial Rolls

Dad ordered this for his entree, after that giant bowl of soup. It looks beautiful, doesn't it? It reminded mom and me of this awesome little place in downtown Houston, with huge and tasty Vietnamese sandwiches and the sweetest iced coffee of your life. Mmm.

Banh Mi French Toast 8
Thick Sliced Vietnamese Baguette, topped with Flamb├ęd Bananas, and Tamarind Maple Syrup. Served with Savory Breakfast Potatoes

This french toast was very moist, the tamarind maple syrup had a nice light flavor, and the dragonfruit garnish added color and beauty to the pile of french toast happiness. Mom and I split this.

Thai Eggs Benedict 11
 Scratch Coconut Biscuits Piled High with Spinach, Thai Basil, Shrimp, and Poached eggs with Thai Chili Hollandaise. Served with Cheesy Rice-Grits                                                                                                                                               This was, by far, the star of the show. The giant shrimp upon hearty coconut biscuits, the fluffy egg drizzled with Thai chili hollandaise, it was all incredible. The grits were a bit sweet and very creamy. I'm not a big fan of grits but I like these. 

Malai is now one of our Dallas favorites...which I suppose we must repeat in order to be a favorite. You MUST try this food if you're in town. And brunch is served 'til 3 or 4, so thats good. I do hope you had a great weekend and are enjoying your week. Next time you eat brave and try something different!!

A cross in front of our church...each person could add a flower to it. Beautimous.

Happy eating!

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