Chef Tommy Lai, the first-ever Malaysian chef to receive a Michelin star in New York, recently opened Rasa on 8th Street not far from Washington Square Park with his sister, Camie.
One slurp into my Chicken Curry Mee soup and I knew my first visit to the restaurant would certainly not be my last. Outside, snow was swirling in a fury that seemed to want to envelop the city. But inside, I could hardly have felt more warm and sated.
Asian cuisine of any kind is hit or miss for me and following that trend, I didn't love every single dish. However, I can highly recommend the Satay Chicken Bites with a perfectly crispy spiced coating, the Char Kueh Teow noodles, Nasi Lemak which is a type of curry chicken, the Rendang Beef and the Kang Kong with Belacan Sauce.
Spiked Tamarind Cider kept me warm long after the heat of the soup had faded, while snow continued to fall outside and when it came time to leave, I was sad to go back out into the night. Rasa is a place I look forward to returning to.
Decor is plain and the restaurant is not large, but the food itself proves Tommy's reputation is still well deserved.