Monday to Friday, the delegate's dining room at the United Nations serves a buffet lunch ($25, plus beverages, tax, and tip) that's open to the public. In addition to a lovely view across the East River and the possibility of rubbing elbows with delegates themselves, the dining room also offers perhaps a half-dozen food festivals each year that focus the buffet on a particular cuisine. On Saturday, I learned that the 2008 festival season will open with the cuisine of Malaysia — specifically, the beloved Nyonya cooking of the "Straits Chinese" who emigrated to the peninsula and flavored their traditional dishes with local herbs and spices.
The Malaysian festival at the delegate's dining room will be held on weekdays from May 12 to May 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations are required, and must be made 24 hours in advance; call 212-963-7625. Men must wear a jacket, no one may wear jeans or sneakers, and everyone must present a photo I.D.
Delegate's Dining Room
United Nations building, 4th floor