Bentara. 76 Orange St. New Haven

Jeff Ghazali is a legend in New Haven for his food’n’drink parties that he throws in his house, as well as the owner of the city’s only Malaysian restaurants, one of the best Asian places in the area. The menu is neither overly expansive nor too restrictive, but if you’re flexible with taste – and hungry – it can be hard to make choices. So just solve that problem and order a few dishes to share, as Delusionaryculinary always seems to advocate, family-style.
Roti Murtabak (ghee bread filled with a mixture of ground beef, onions and eggs with a curry sauce) was tasty, as well as heavy and greasy, and Tofu Sumbat (bean sprouts and julienne cucumber stuffed in four tofu triangles served with a very spicy shrimp paste or milder peanut sauce) was a lighter affair, spongy but with a crispy layer.
The mains are even better: Ikan Percik (Grilled Salmon filet with coconut turmeric lime sauce and steamed baby bok choy and a large halved grilled tomato) was well-balanced and textured. There’s so much more to try here, and with a huge wine list (though sadly our AlbariƱo choice wasn’t available) and some coconut-based cocktails, many repeat visits are in order. It helps that service is excellent and food comes out quickly, even on a fairly busy Saturday night.