I can't think of a New York equivalent off hand. Madam Kwan's isnt touristy because locals eat there too. I guess it's overpriced if you compare its menu to hawker equivalents, but its not expensive. $3 for a bowl of laksa is still a bargain to me. Madam Kwans is the kind of restaurant where youd take out-of-towners for Malaysian classics without folding tables and plastic chairs.
James wanted rendang (as he did all trip long) and I figured they'd have it here. They did in a nasi lemak platter. I had high end curry laksa with unorthodox add ins like eggplant and curlicued chayote(?). A young Malaysian couple whod been on the elevator with us, were seated nearby and ordered exactly the same two dishes, he the nasi lemak, she the laksa. Who knows if that's any testament to our brilliant ordering skills, but I like to think so.
Madam Kwan's * Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia