[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

There's plenty of great food at Nyonya, the Malaysian restaurant right below our office, but not much of it is vegetarian friendly. Even their vegetable dishes seem to come with salted fish or shrimp paste by default. Your only real options are a poor vegetable platter sold as Malaysian Buddhist ($10.95, has any dish with the word "Buddhist" in the title ever been any good?), and an excellent Mixed Vegetable Curry ($12.95).

At 13 bucks, the curry may seem a little pricey compared to their under-$10 lunch specials, but it's huge—easily big enough to feed two or three with a side of rice. It arrives at your table in a big clay pot, chunks of tender eggplant, broccoli, and cabbage poking up through the rich and aromatic coconut-based curry broth. Poke around in there and you'll find other vegetables hidden underneath the surface—carrots, bok choy, chunks of fried tofu, and tender nuggets of taro root. Get a side of the Homemade Roti Canai ($3.50) along with it. The crisp, flaky, and buttery flatbreads make the ideal vehicle for dipping and sopping up that sauce.


199 Grand St, New York NY 10013 (map) 212-334-3669 ilovenyonya.com

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.


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