Opening News

Pretty Asian restaurant brings Viet-Thai fusion to Dallas' Preston Center

Asian restaurant brings Viet-Thai fusion to Dallas' Preston Center

Malai Kitchen
Malai Kitchen

There's a new Asian restaurant opening in Dallas' Preston Center: Malai Kitchen, the small chain from husband-and-wife Braden and Yasmin Wages, will open a location inside Preston Center Shopping Center at 6130 Luther Ln., in the space most recently occupied by Bartaco.

According to a release, it'll open in the fall.

Malai Kitchen does a modern take on Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, featuring creatively designed dishes inspired by traditional Southeast Asian cuisine.

The first location opened at the West Village more than 10 years ago in January 2011. A second location opened in Southlake in 2016, and a third in October 2017 at Fort Worth’s The Shops at Clearfork.

The couple draws inspiration from annual trips to Southeast Asia, says Braden.

"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," he says.

"Our foundation, from day one, has always been to showcase our own take on Southeast Asian cuisine," Yasmin says in a statement. "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."

Bartaco opened at 6130 Luther Ln. in December 2018, but closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Prior to that, it was Kent Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen, which lasted five years before Rathbun turned it into a catering kitchen.

The Preston Center Malai Kitchen will offer an estimated 3000 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 28-seat patio — with air conditioning during the summer and a firepit for the winter — and a 500-bottle showcase wine room visible from the dining room.

The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, and nearly everything is made from scratch, 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.