By: Patricia Kaowthumrong | Photos by: Brandon Iwamoto
South Pearl Street in Denver is home to many notable eateries, and Makan Malaysian Café is fitting right in to the area’s successful restaurant scene. Featuring authentic Malaysian cuisine by chef and owner Karen Wee Lin Beckman, the restaurant opened June 4.
Although Beckman is not a professionally trained chef, she has been cooking Malaysian favorites since she was a child. Born in Malaysia and raised in Australia, she lived in Aspen for a while before moving to Denver where she started a successful catering business. Her customers hungered for a store front, and she delivered by opening Makan Malaysian Café.
“I do my best to make it as authentic as possible,” Beckman said.
The restaurant is designed to be chic and modern with refreshing lime green walls, simple floral accents and large wooden tables. The kitchen is modeled to reflect the open-air kitchens of Malaysia, where customers are encouraged to interact with one another and the chef.
“It’s like you are coming into my kitchen,” Beckman said. “I love interacting with customers. The louder, the better.”
Beckman’s kitchen serves up delicious Malaysian dishes such as Laksa, noodles in a spicy coconut sauce, and Kari Ayam, a stewed chicken curry. Her signature curry puffs are truly a comfort food and are a lovely starter or snack. Beckman even makes all of her own authentic Malaysian pastries and brews Australian-style coffee if you’re in the mood to just stop in for a smooth pick-me-up and a snack.
Original Curry Puffs (2) $4.50
Fried flaky pastries filled with curry-flavored potato and chicken
Satay Chicken and/or Beef $7
Meat marinated in various spices, skewered then grilled. Served with cucumber salad and peanut sauce. Choice of chicken, beef or mix
Nasi Lemak $9.95
Steamed coconut rice accompanied with roasted peanuts, fried anchovies, boiled egg, sambal and cucumber slices
Kaya Toast $4.95
Slices of toast served with a serving of Kaya (coconut jam) and egg (choice of soft boil, hard boil or over-easy)
Noodles in spicy coconut broth accompanied with fish balls, tofu, bean sprouts and cilantro. Choice of egg noodles or vermicelli
Kuih Lapis (2) $3
Steamed multi-layered cake made of rice flour, coconut milk and sugar
Pineapple Tarts (2) $3
Baked short crust pastry filled with cinnamon-flavored pineapple jam. Shaped like little balls