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Best New Restaurant 

The Malay Café

Other restaurants have opened in the past twelve months with more splash, money and hype. But the Malay Café, a tiny family owned eatery in Kansas City North, scores in so many other ways: its unique Malaysian cuisine (perhaps the world's first fusion cuisine), its friendly staff, its reasonable prices and the fact that it's so damn unhip that it out-hips all of its trendier contemporaries. Fans of this kitsch-laden restaurant and its owners (Allison Lim, her chef-husband, Sam, and brother-in-law, Steve Yim) love it so much, they refuse to tell their closest friends about it, in hopes that the L-shaped dining room stays the best-kept secret in town. But word is getting out about Sam Lim's soothing, fragrant soups and gorgeously spiced meals, such as Java Mee, a citrusy stir-fried noodle dish, and Laksa Lemak, noodles in a punchy curry broth. Even desserts, including homemade ice creams, custards and a hot peanut pancake, make the trek to a Northland strip mall well worth the expedition.

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