Medan Pesar is a gift to anyone looking to spend less than $10 on an incredible, filling meal. It’s the only place in the East Village currently serving a full menu of Malaysian dishes, like nasi lemak with beef rendang and curry laksa noodles. At $10, the laksa is the second most expensive dish on the menu, and one of our favorites. It’s spicy, filled with shredded chicken and tail-on shrimp, and packaged in a way that prevents any sogginess.
Before 2020, we wouldn’t have been inclined to publish anything about the architecture of a takeout container. But to skip over Medan Pasar’s double-decker takeout tub of curry laksa noodles would be like saying you took an Uber without mentioning you were picked up by a Tesla. Stacked engineering ensures the thin spongy noodles, fried tofu, shredded chicken, and tail-on shrimp stay fresh in their own plastic bunkbed just above the orange sea of coconut curry in the lower compartment.
You can stop by Medan Pasar for takeout on East 7th Street or order delivery online. Once you do, you’ll probably join us in prioritizing this Malaysian restaurant every time you want really good takeout without spending a ton on dinner.
After eating this dish, we couldn’t help but imagine dried anchovies and stewed meat robbing a bank together. They’re a fantastic team. No dish will better convince you of this fact than Medan Pasar’s nasi lemak with beef rendang. The kick from the coconut-infused pulled meat and sambal is perfectly offset by some cold cucumber hunks, a crunchy pile of peanuts and dried anchovies, a fried egg, and some slightly sweet coconut rice. Put the leftovers in the microwave for a couple of minutes the next day, and it’ll taste just as good as it did fresh.
The tail-on shrimp and soft rice noodles absorb this laksa like they’re being tested on the intricacies of spicy, coconut curry. But the best bites of this dish involve the long pieces of fried Japanese tofu, which quickly transition from crunchy and firm to soft and bouyant after swimming in the laksa for a couple of minutes. If you’re into spicy noodle soups, get this.
We always order a mild dish to provide some relief from the heat. This carved half-chicken with crispy skin and a soy-ginger glaze is a great option. It comes with a couple of rice balls and roasted garlic gloves all in the same takeout bucket.