The Market on Market St. opened a couple of years ago and I had always been meaning to check it out. It sounded similar to NYC’s Eataly concept with restaurants and fresh goods housed under one roof. Although there a handful of sit down places, the only one that interested me was Azalina’s which serves Malaysian food.
The Hokkien Mee was a tastier version of a Chinese lo mein dish, but I preferred this much more because the flavor profile had more depth. My main criticism is probably that the portion was pretty small for the price. For $12, I had a bowl of noodles with 2 shrimps that I scarfed down in minutes.
The roasted chicken was served over a bed of basmati rice, and it was also quite tasty. I probably preferred it over the Hokkien Mee because it was even more interesting and unlike most other chicken and rice dishes I have had. I think the chicken was really well marinaded and had a smoky grilled taste. I could have done without all the greenage as it gave the dish a herbier taste than I would have preferred. Again, my main complaint is the portion size.
Overall, I enjoy the food, but I think considering the prices, I probably won’t make the biggest effort to come back unless I’m in the neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I needed more food. The portions are quite reasonable. It just costs more than I think it should (potentially high rent for the location aside). I’m growing into a big fan of Malaysian food as I find more opportunities to explore its cuisine. It feels very familiar to Chinese food with a flavor profile that seems more similar to Thai, but somehow stands distinctly on its own. My novice taste buds aren’t confident to call this the best Malaysian food in SF, but it definitely satisfied my appetite.
1355 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
PAFO Ratings for Azalina’s:
Ambiance 2½ stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 3½ stars