I’ve been yearning to satisfy my taste buds since I’ve last visited Malaysia, so you can imagine how delighted I was to hear that one of my fave Chinatown spots, Bingo Tea, is opening a Malaysian Cafe in Uptown’s Asia on Argyle area and we (#ChicagonistaLife) were invited to go and try them out.
I was also thrilled to find out that Chef Sonny of the former Penang Malaysian restaurant in Chicago’s Chinatown is now the chef at Bingo Tea Malaysian Cafe. My family used to frequent the Penang Restaurant, so it was exciting for me to find some of the similar and familiar, authentic Malaysian offerings that I’ve been craving.
To understand Malaysian cuisine, one must know a little bit about the country that is smack-dabbed in between countries that influenced them. The Malaysian cooking traditions and practices is a delicious infusion of the three ethnic groups: Malay, Indian, and Chinese. You’ll often find dishes with curry, coconut milk, shrimp pastes, etc.
The Bingo Tea Malaysian Cafe’s menu is perfectly small and straightforward. Perfect for those trying out Malaysian Food for the first time! They have most of the usual Malaysian fare and just as I would like and expect from a little casual cafe like this one. Everything that we tried is delicious! I highly recommend that you try out the Nasi Lemak, Malaysia’s national dish! Nasi Lemak is a rice platter with beef rendang, curry chicken, roasted peanuts, fried anchovies, sambal and egg eaten with the most delicious and fragrant pandan coconut rice. I also enjoyed the Roti Canai that comes with the Indian flatbread that you dip to the chicken and potato curry. Lastly, I was beyond amazed with the Malay Rojak, a spicy but unexpectedly refreshing fruit salad. I’ve never heard of this dish before and now a new favorite! By the way, this location also offers the same drink selections that their Chinatown location have, so don’t forget to try their Taiwanese-inspired drinks.
Overall, I’m excited that I can quickly get my fill whenever the cravings are calling for “great” Malaysian food and going uptown’s Asia on Argyle feels a bit like you’ve traveled to Asia without leaving Chicago is a big plus!
Bingo Tea Malaysian Cafe
1130 W Argyle St, Chicago, IL 60640