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Bentara Restaurant Review: When he opened Bentara in 1995 in East Haven, chef Hasni Jeff Ghazali's goal was to serve Malaysian food for the masses. The success of Connecticut's first Malaysian restaurant, which relocated to New Haven's historic Ninth Square district in 1997, is testament to Ghazali's ability to translate the diverse cuisine of his native land into an adventurous yet fully embraceable dining experience. The appetizer menu is ideal for first-timers who wish to start with something familiar, like spring rolls or satay, before delving into less common---but far more worthy---items like roti murtabak, a spicy beef and egg mixture rolled in grilled, unleavened bread and served with a heady lentil curry. If you've yet to break a sweat, you're probably ready to move on to sotong goreng pedas (hot and spicy calamari). Vegetarian options abound on the menu as well: one of our favorite tofu dishes, Two Soy, combines sweet and salty soy sauces with the bite of numerous green vegetables. Seafood, chicken or beef a must? Try the shrimp asam pedas, chicken ayam percik or beef nasi lemak. Dessert? Order ABC---that's Air Batu Champu, an intricate sweet of crushed ice, evaporated milk, sweetened red beans, grass jelly, palm seed and lychee nuts spiked with ginger and cloves. It sounds odd now, but wait until you taste it.