200 Main St.
Gaithersburg, MD 20878


Neighborhood: Gaithersburg

Cuisines: Thai, Tapas/Small Plates, Malaysian/Indonesian, Pan-Asian

Price Range: Inexpensive

Dress: Informal

Noise Level: Chatty

Reservations: Not Needed


Best Dishes:
Pork dumplings with cabbage; sweet potato/ginger/squash dumplings; Madras Magic dumplings; firecracker shrimp; skewered pork; mee goreng; chicken stir-fried with basil; Malita sticky rice.

Cheap Eats 2011: Batik

A pan-Asian small-plates spot in a shopping mall with a dining room that conjures a tiki bar? It might sound like a case study in ill-conceived ideas. Yet Batik is a pleasant surprise. You can come on a date, swing by for a post-work beer and snack, or catch up with friends over a table of small, artfully presented plates.

The best of these come from the "dumpling bar." Batik doesn't roll its own dumpling skins, but the fillings are fresh and imaginative--dive into them and it's hard to resist over-ordering. The staff also pushes the noodle bowls, but except for a stellar rendition of drunken noodles, your calories are better spent elsewhere--for example, on more dumplings.

Also good: Firecracker Shrimp; Thai Way, Madras Magic, Soul-Full, and Main Street dumpling preparations.

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.