The leaves of the pandan, as the plant is more commonly and less rudely known, flavor many Southeast Asian confections. Most that you'll find in New York are commercially packaged, charmless imports; nearby Curry Leaves is one of very few venues with a regular roster of housemade pandan sweets.
On my first encounter with Old Town, at the Sunset Park location, I was very self-satisfied after pegging it as a Malaysian market simply by scanning the shelves. I would have found out even faster if I'd looked to the right, after walking in the door, and seen the tourism posters by the register, where I settled up for my can of 100 Plus (325 ml.; $1). In Malaysia and Singapore, this isotonic sports drink — it tastes like a thinner, less-sweet Gatorade — helps resettle bodies thrown off-kilter by the tropical heat. Indeed, until recently the 100 Plus website offered the four-day weather forecast for the entire peninsula and Malaysian Borneo, too.
Also shown, Malaysia's nod to a favorite style of spiced-up chicken: Kentucky brand all-purpose seasoning powder (200 g., $1.40).
Old Town Asia Market
133-31 39th Ave., F-09 (inside the Flushing Mall), Flushing, Queens
Also at 777 56th St. (Seventh-Eighth Aves.), Sunset Park, Brooklyn (shown)