Preston Center’s Luther Lane has been looking sad lately, with a few “For Lease” signs fading through windows. The former Bartaco space can remove the sign because Malai Kitchen will soon occupy the space. The modern southeast Asian restaurant I fell in love with in the West Village is opening its fourth North Texas location in Preston Center this fall.
It’s always nice to share stories of small business successes, and the husband and wife team who owns and operates Malai Kitchen, Yasmin and Braden Wages, are delighted that guests love and keep returning to their restaurants which are well known for their lively yet casually refined atmosphere, which showcases creatively designed dishes inspired by traditional Southeast Asian cuisine.
Open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, everything is made from scratch when possible; from curry paste to fresh-squeezed coconut milk to house-made sriracha. Malai Kitchen also offers an abundance of healthy options and most items can be made gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan, and dairy-free upon request. Put the Thai Tacos with pork and the Mango Sticky Rice Smash on your lists of dishes to order. You’re welcome.
“Drawing inspiration from our annual trips to Southeast Asia, Yasmin and I are devoted to constantly evolving our food and drink menus to keep them fresh and relevant to food trends in Thailand and Vietnam,” explains Braden Wages.
To complement the food menu, the Wages’ offer a beverage program including 16 wines by the glass, six house-brewed Asian-style beers on tap, and unique signature cocktails integrating southeast Asian flavors and fresh ingredients to pair with Malai Kitchen’s food offerings.
“Our foundation, from day one, has always been to showcase our own take on Southeast Asian cuisine. We are thrilled to welcome new Malai guests in our soon-to-open location in the Park Cities/Preston Hollow area. We already feel the welcoming nature from the neighboring businesses and think our concept fills a niche in the space of modern, full-service Asian inspired cuisine in this particular area of Dallas. We plan to create a fantastic gathering place for repeat guests and new ones alike,” explains Yasmin Wages.
The Preston Center Malai Kitchen location will offer an estimated 3,000 square feet of interior dining with seating for 115 guests. In addition, the new restaurant will house 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.