100 Favorite Dishes, No. 62: Spicy Crispy Wings At Malai

Malai Spicy Chicken  Wings. JPG.JPG
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Malai's upscale Asian concept is right at home in the West Village. The made-for-television neighborhood is peppered with fancied up ethnic restaurants like Mi Cocina, Taco Diner and Baboush, where diners can get everything from barbacoa, to babaganoush without getting their hands dirty or parking their own cars. But these wings take cultural cuisine to the next level -- at least for Uptown. They might even be dangerous.

I was surprised at first when my waiter asked how spicy I wanted my spicy crispy wings, but told him quickly I'd take them as hot as his kitchen would make them. Not more than five minutes later a steaming bowl of deep-golden chicken flecked with red chilies and green cilantro came to my table. They were sticky, sweet and left whole, an unrefined touch I can appreciate, though it made for sloppy eating. My waiter was there with a warm, wet towel as I finished, though, and the intense flavors warranted the mess. These wings are seriously good.

How hot were they? Pretty hot. Two cold beers for four double wings hot. A slightly tacky forehead and a couple of deep breaths as you ate hot. But not this hot.

Hungry for more? Check back every morning for another dish, and download our Best Of App for Android and iPhone for more picks on the go.

No. 100: The Cleaver and Block Burger at NHS Tavern
No. 99: The Bone Marrow at the Meddlesome Moth
No. 98: Arepas at Zaguan Latin Cafe
No. 97: Jalapeno Poppers at City Tavern
No. 96: Elotes: Everywhere
No. 95: Dan-Dan Noodles at Royal China
No. 94: Smoked Ham Mac and Cheese at The Porch
No. 93: Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's Oak Cliff
No. 92: Regina Margherita At Cane Rosso
No. 91: Devils On Horseback At The Chesterfield
No. 90: Ginger Soy Baby Back Ribs at Tei Tei Robata
No. 89: Croissants From Rush Patisserie
No. 88: The Reuben At The Cock & Bull
No. 87: The Brisket at Pecan Lodge
No. 86: The Roast Chicken At Bolsa
No. 85: Chicken-Fried Egg at Union Bear
No. 84: Brisket Tacos At Manny's
No. 83: The Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes at Smoke
No. 82: The Oxtail Ragout at Central 214
No. 81: The Italian Beef At Jimmy's
No. 80: Pulled Whole Hog BBQ Eggs Benedict at Smoke
No. 79: Veal Cheeks At Bijoux
No. 78: Sweet Shrimp At Yutaka
No. 77: Pho At Lemongrass
No. 76: Shanghai Buns at Jeng Chi Dumpling House
No. 75: Pepper Bomb At Goodfriend
No. 74:Veracruz Cafe's Sopa de Atlahua
No. 73: Fish and Chips at the Londoner
No. 72: Italian Combo At Carbone's
No. 71: Breakfast Schnitzel At Crossroads Diner
No. 70: Berkshire Pork Belly Buns at Howard Wang's Uptown
No. 69: Bolognese At Princi Italia
No. 68: Cabrito a la Parrilla at El Ranchito
No. 67: Kimchee French Fries At sSahm Food Truck
No. 66: Just About Any Burger At Off Site Kitchen
No. 65: St. Pete's Chili Dog
No. 64: Mesa's Enmoladas
No. 63: Pork and Octopus at Oak

Location Info

Malai Thai Vietnamese Kitchen

3699 McKinney Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Tyler DeLisle
Tyler DeLisle

I've been on a big wing kick lately, so I rushed out to this place over the weekend.  Obviously quality chicken that was plump and nicely cooked.  The sauce was very tasty, and interesting mix of flavors I haven't had before, but I went with just "spicy" instead of "extra spicy", and there was hardly any heat to even notice.  My big gripe was just how greasy they were.  Felt like they were dipped in oil afterwards, felt like I had to take a shower and heart medication.


Oh yeah, the BBQ ribs on green noodles with papaya salad are pretty addictive, too.


@Nic: Nah, West Village has a big free parking garage tucked right into the center of it, where you can most always snag a spot (maybe up near the top, but the elevator takes two seconds and dumps you right next to Malai).

Whitney Filloon
Whitney Filloon

Nah, there's a big ass parking garage if you can't find a spot on the ground. These wings are indeed the shit. $5 during happy hour too (all day Sunday)

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