EAST. Owned by the same people that run Lazia and Wildflower Grill, it seems like the more places I check out in town, the more I find they’re owned by the same people. What’s with all the trifectas??? Is three lucky in restaurant numbers? I came in a bit skeptical as a friend who knows Malaysian cuisine to a tee isn’t the biggest fan and I’ve been spoiled by my trips to Banana Leaf here and here. If you want legit, authentic Malaysian, it’s only a Cowtown trip away.
Alas, we decided to check out EAST on a Friday for lunch and it was fairly busy. The clientele was interesting, not many Asians but mostly business workers and older ladies. I guess that goes with the terrority. Don’t forget, this is a Chinese/Malaysian fusion restaurant. The interior had me tripping out – when you first walk in, it looks like the restaurant is quite large and stretches out quite a bit. But then, you realize it’s a mirror. Hahaha. There was only one waitress running the show, so be prepared for a long, leisurely lunch.
Wooo, who doesn’t love picture menus? Smart, smart, smart. You don’t even need to look at the regular menu. Okay, maybe you do, you know, for the prices.
Roti canai (#2) ($6.95)
Chewy Malaysian bread with a thin crispy skin served with a medium curry sauce. The roti wasn’t bad but was waaaaay too greasy. If you’ve never had roti canai before, try it. It’s like a lighter, fluffier, crispier version of naan bread. Sort of. This one was passable.
“Old Town” chicken satay (#3) ($12.95)
Six pieces of marinated chicken skewers served with diced cucumber, pineapples and peanut sauce. The chicken satay was moist and dipping them into the sauce was even better. A nice touch with the diced pineapple and cucumbers (our only vegetables!).
Chicken curry puff (#4) ($4.95)
Flaky half moon pockets stuffed with meat and potato curry. Similar to a samosa, these curry puffs weren’t bad. The meat/potato filling had a slight heat to them but the puff was a little too dry.
BBQ pork hawker fried rice (#17) ($11.95)
Egg, ginger, green onions, shrimp and BBQ pork. This was my favourite dish that we ordered. The hawker fried rice was absolutely massive – we could barely finish it.
Penang char kuey teow (#18) ($11.95)
Rice noodle with pork sausage, egg, prawns, clam meat, bean sprouts, soy sauce and XO sauce. The char kuey teow was okay but it had a weird, burnt taste to it. It wasn’t overpowering but you could taste the odd, burnt flavour. Skip it.
Silver needle noodles (#23) ($11.95)
Chewy wheat noodles with minced pork, mushrooms, vegetables, fried shallot, and egg in a dark soya gravy. It comes in an ancient style looking pot with a flame on the bottom to keep the dish warm. I’ve never ate this style of noodles before. They were unique, very chewy. I wouldn’t want to eat a whole dish to myself but it was worth trying. Texture wise, it reminded me of rice dollars and Korean dukbokki (fried rice cakes).
It’s nice to see that EAST offers Malaysian dishes, which are hard to find in Edmonton (apart from Tropika). It’s too bad I’ve heard their laksa is not authentic otherwise I would have ordered it for sure. If you’re in the deep north and looking for something different to eat, EAST is a surprisingly decent option.
16049 – 97 Street