Traveling in DC offers many rstaurant options. Many are quite good with a fairly high, but fair price tag. Malaysia Koptiam is a decent find, without the $$$$ price descriptor.
I sat down in an average Asian restaurant ambiance thinking that I may have made a mistake in my selection of a restaurant. The place isn't a dump by any standard, but it's not fancy and the setting alluded to the possibility that the food could go either way. Now, if you have read any of my reviews, you know that ambiance alone a restaurant does not make.
While the ambiance is plain, it's clean, comfortable and quiet despite a decent Monday evening dinner crowd.
I ordered a few appetizers, and after trying both, though tired from travel, compelled to write a glowing review of this restaurant.
Appetizers were Otak-Otak (salmon, mince chicken,shrimp, egg, in banana leaves) and Baby oyster omelette. Both were REALLY good.
Again- REALLY GOOD!
For entre I started with the seafood hot pot. It was piled high with seafood and fresh vegetables. This dish I would certainly recommend for those who don't care for spicy food. The dish is, quite conveniently, located in the " non-spicy" section of their menu. For me, this dish was a bit bland, I thought it could have had some more of the flavorful 'humph' I experienced in the appetizers. It was good though, not disappointing.
While the hotspot was not as mind blowing as I had hoped, I was convinced that they would blow my mind with something else. Especially after those appetizers. I am all about lots of spice so I went a little crazy and ordered another entre. The sembal squid, extra spicy.
It was bland, again. I have had sembayal dishes in the past, none were sweet. This one was, with canned pineapple, sricha hot sauce, and I fear, ketchup. It was really sweet, not like I had ever had before. It's possible this is the real way to make the dish, but not with canned pineapple. Period.
So- go to Malaysia Kopitiam, just get a bunch of their great appetizers and stay clear of their entres!