Malai Kitchen, a staple in the Dallas dining scene, is set to open their fourth location inside Preston Center Shopping Center at 6130 Luther Lane, Dallas, TX 75225 (former Bartaco space) on Tuesday, November 2. The restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
Husband and wife duo, Yasmin and Braden Wages, who own and operate Malai Kitchen, are known for their modern take on Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
Malai Kitchen, with its lively yet casually refined atmosphere, showcases creatively designed dishes inspired by traditional Southeast Asian cuisine.
Yasmin Wages says, “When we came up with the idea for Malai, our first creative meeting with our mentors was held at Kent Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen. Opening in that same space 11 years later really brings mine and Braden’s story full circle. We are truly humbled to have the opportunity to share Malai Kitchen with this neighborhood and are thrilled to join the community.”
The Food Menu
The Wages’ have refined their menu over the years to create a wide variety of options ranging from a Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich to a whole wok-fried Branzino and Burmese Tea Leaf Salad to the classic Pad Kee Mow. Everything on the menu is made from scratch when possible, including the curry paste, fresh pressed coconut milk, and house-made sriracha. Malai Kitchen also offers an abundance of healthy options and while many items are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, most others can be made gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian/vegan upon request.
“Our menu is inspired by our travels to Southeast Asia – we are constantly working to keep our dishes fresh and exciting while ensuring our staples continue to be the best version in town. Our guests love trying the new dishes and cocktails we bring back from our trips”, says Braden Wages.
Some standout items on the lunch and dinner menu include the Shrimp Pad Thai – wok-seared shrimp, farm fresh egg and local tofu tossed with rice noodles in a tangy tamarind sauce and finished with crushed peanuts; Iron Pot Green Curry Chicken – scratch made green curry stew with chicken, Thai eggplant, crispy carrots, and choice of jasmine rice, brown rice, or rice noodles on the side; Vietnamese “Meatballs” (Xiu Mai) – 4 “bun cha style” pork patties, char-grilled, and served with bibb lettuce, Vietnamese herbs and nuoc mam; Thai Tacos (Pork or Shrimp) – 3 crispy wonton shells stuffed with seared pulled pork or seared shrimp, topped with pickled bean sprouts; and Lemongrass Chicken (Ga Xao Sa) – stir-fried chicken breast with ginger and cherry tomatoes in a lemongrass caramel sauce, served alongside seasoned jasmine rice and topped with pickled bean sprouts.
Weekend brunch is offered Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The menu features traditional Thai breakfast dishes as well as familiar items with a Southeast Asian twist. Some of the dishes include Banh Mi French Toast – light and airy French toast made with banh mi bread and topped with flambéed bananas and coconut syrup; Thai Eggs Benedict – scratch coconut biscuits piled high with shrimp, spinach, Thai basil, poached eggs, and Thai chili hollandaise served with cheesy rice grits and seasonal fruit; Congee with Chicken and Egg – slow-cooked rice porridge with pulled chicken, soft poached egg and sliced crispy bread topped with slivered ginger, green onions, cilantro and sesame oil; and Vietnamese Soup – a traditional Hanoi Style breakfast designed to cleanse and rejuvenate, this savory soup has a rich chicken or beef broth, fresh rice noodles, topped with hydroponic bean sprouts and green onions, served with a plate of fresh herbs, hoisin, lime, jalapeños and a Chinese breadstick for dipping.
The Beverage Menu
Malai Kitchen’s commitment to quality does not end with the food. The Wages’ put just as much love and passion into their beverage program by offering six house-brewed Asian-style beers on tap, a thoughtfully curated wine list that includes 16 wines by the glass and unique signature cocktails integrating the flavors and fresh ingredients from the kitchen.
Co-owner Yasmin Wages says, “We have our own nano-brewery at our Southlake location where we create unique and delicious beers that complement our cooking style and cuisine. We are constantly inspired by the ingredients used in the kitchen and often incorporate them into our craft brews.”
The beer selection offered includes Bia Hoi, a Vietnamese style lager (and the whole reason behind the brewery), ThaiPA, a classic IPA brewed with ingredients from our kitchen, Belgian wheat beer, hazy IPA, American porter and a rotating seasonal beer. Guests can try a few at a time with the house brew flight that comes with your choice of three beers.
Signature cocktails are available such as the Malaysian Martini – Brugal rum, Goslings dark rum, Aperol, pineapple, passion fruit, lime, mint; Lemongrass Fizz – Hangar One Citron, St. Germaine, lemongrass syrup, sparkling wine; Jalapeño Basil Margarita – jalapeño-infused Malai’s Maestro Dobel tequila, lime, agave, tamarind, basil, Hawaiian black lava salt rim; and Mekong Mule – Hangar One vodka, ginger beer, cucumber, mint, lime, Thai basil.
Braden Wages hopes this new location becomes a gathering space for the neighborhood as they enjoy fresh, healthy, Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine in a warm and inviting atmosphere. “Our goal is to delight each guest that walks into Malai with our genuine care, hospitality, and a know-your-name vibe.”
The Preston Center Malai Kitchen offers an estimated 3000 square feet of interior dining with seating for 115 guests. In addition, the new restaurant houses a large U-shaped 22 seat bar spanning a total of 42 feet, a versatile 28 seat patio with air conditioning during the summer along with a firepit for cooler Dallas evenings and an impressive 500-bottle showcase wine room visible from the dining room.
The first Malai Kitchen opened inside Dallas’ premier, urban mixed-use development, West Village, more than 10 years ago in January 2011. Making a name for itself as a unique dining destination, Yasmin and Braden expanded their footprint with a second location in early 2016 in Southlake, and a third in October 2017 at Fort Worth’s The Shops at Clearfork.