Everywhere Dallas Chef Braden Wages Eats and Drinks on His Days Off

The man behind Malai Kitchen has a taste for bagels, soba and mezcal

November 22, 2022 7:12 am
Braden and Yasmin Wages of Malai Kitchen in Dallas, Texas
Braden and Yasmin Wages of Malai Kitchen
Malai Kitchen

Malai Kitchen opened in Dallas’s West Village neighborhood in 2011, and today counts four DFW locations under its banner. Led by husband-and-wife team Braden and Yasmin Wages, the concept was inspired by the couple’s extensive travels through Thailand and Vietnam. That means dishes like xiu mai, pad thai, flavor-packed curries and a wok-fried whole branzino. It also means six Asian-style beers brewed in-house at the Southlake location’s nano brewery, which isn’t something you see everyday. 

When Braden Wages isn’t in the kitchen at one of his restaurants, you might find him around town sampling other facets of the local cuisine. In either case, he’s a great resource on what to eat. So we asked him to put together a perfect full day’s itinerary, from breakfast to after-dinner cocktails. Follow his lead, and you too can start your day with bagels, take a midday soba break and wind down with mezcal.


“I’m more of a quick breakfast kinda guy. My go-to is a bagel from Sclafani’s across from our restaurant. I always order the sesame bagel with lox to set me up for whatever the day may bring.”


“When I have the luxury of time, I love getting my fix of chef Teiichi Sakurai’s Duck Dipping Soba from Tei-An. But given the pace of life, a muffaletta from Jimmy’s is equally satisfying! It’s both memorable to eat and memorable to get because Jimmy’s is also a gem of a grocery store. I often find myself filling my wine fridge with unique Italian reds I find on their overflowing wine shelves.”

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Ascension is always a fun coffee experience. What I appreciate about it is that I always come out of there having learned something new about coffee — a new region, bean, growing process or sustainability lesson.”


“My favorite dinners are ones I get to share with my kids. That being said, our favorite place to eat as a family is Doce Mesas. Their service is fast and friendly (always key when dining with small children), the food is always fresh and the margaritas are on point. The personal touch from their team with our kids is a special bonus that keeps us going back, too.”


Jettison is one of the coolest spots I’ve been to for drinks in Dallas. It’s a little hidden (adding to its charm), with incredible bartenders, and exquisitely crafted classic and creative cocktails make this really stand out. If you’re a mezcal fan, you’ve got to try the Avion with a Oaxacan salt rim. Words can’t do it justice.”


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