TABLE FOR ONE: MA*YA (this restaurant has closed)

Friday night after a comedy show in the East Village I decided to head to a Ma*Ya, a thai restaurant that was recommended on Time Out NY on Demand - channel 1112.

Ma*Ya has a few tables on the first floor, and a bunch more downstairs. I sat upstairs, and I felt as if i were in a hut on the outskirts of Bangkok, as I watched the rain pour down.

As I perused the menu I was given a complimentary basket of shrimp chips with peanut dipping sauce. I always love free snacks and food. And I loved this snack, with its delicious tasting sauce. What a great start!

The menu is made up of tapas, appetizers and entrees. I tried a tapas of stir-fried panang curry peanut with beef ($7.50) (which I believe is actually Malaysian). It was very good, and I enjoyed the vegetables that came with it as well.

I asked both waiters what their favorite dish was, and both told me it was the appetizer of crispy ribs in spicy tamarind glaze ($8.95)-so I ordered it. They were really good too. It was very sweet, but also had a nice kick of spiciness to it. It was cooked perfectly, the meat fell off the bone.

I really enjoyed the food and atmosphere here. The place is cool and hip, with a real homey feeling though. In fact, I enjoyed my experience so much, I went again with my family on Sunday.

I was very excited to try more of Ma*ya's dishes, and they didn't disappoint. We asked Kevin, my waiter from Friday night for recommendations, and we heeded his advice. We started with the Malaysian flat breads with chicken curry dipping sauce, the spicy thai chicken lettuce cup, and the Asian crusted Ahi Tuna.

The flatbreads ($4.95) were excellent. Warm, crispy, and the dipping sauce was addictively tasty. The chicken lettuce cups ($7.95), were refreshing, flavorful, light, and also tasty. The tuna ($7.95) was rare and simple, but very nice.

For entrees we had Grilled skirt steak with Thai chili dipping sauce, Jumbo Shrimp and Japanese eggplant in red curry coconut sauce, and the Crispy filet whole fish with Thai long bean basil spicy three flavor sauce.

The steak ($16.95) was perfectly cook, tender, and didn't even need the sauce, which was too tangy for me. The Jumbo shrimp ($16.00) was excellent. The red curry sauce had the perfect balance of sweetness and spiciness and I loved the dish. The standout of the night was the Crispy whole fish ($18.95). The meat just fell of the bone and the flavors were powerful and amazing; it was truly a great dish.

I really love this place and recommend it for anybody in the neighborhood, or if you want to go on a cool date with your signifcant other, family, or by yourself, it's worth the trip to the East Village. The prices are great, and it truly is a great bang for your buck. So for great flavors in a great atomosphere Ma*ya hits the spot. 

Ma*Ya (Hurupan Kitchen)

234 E 4th St, New York 10009
Btwn Ave A & Ave B