In the words of Jay Z, I got no patience, and I hate waitin’. Thats what BW told me as we waited the longest time to be called for our table. Now I usually don’t make it a point to take BW to restaurants that don’t take bookings, maybe since the third time we tried for Hoppers and moved on after being told it was over two hours’ wait. However, I enjoyed my meal at Roti King so much the first time, my little husband got tired of my constant yapping and decided that we should revisit to see what all the hype is about.
People flock to Roti King for their rotis so it makes sense to order their top-seller, the roti canai special; two flaky Malaysian flatbreads that have been freshly made and is served alongside a bowl of curry (chicken, lamb, or veg). Whilst you wait, you can watch the roti king work his magic at the roti counter, flipping and stretching the dough, and finally frying the dough on a buttered griddle.
Finally, our portion arrived and I loved it. The roti is very similar to a paratha, but a super flaky, insanely buttery version with numerous layers of dough, trapping the hot air inside. The outside layer had a good crisp, and the accompanying lamb curry, although a little fatty, was good for dipping the flatbread into.
A staple Malaysian dish that is usually eaten for breakfast, but is so good that it appears at lunch and dinner time too! Roti King’s Nasi Lemak had all the essentials (coconut milk infused rice, roasted peanuts, crispy anchovies, and hot sambal sauce), plus some freshly friiiied chicken, because lets face it, this is the only version you really want.
The mini drumsticks were deliciously golden and crunchy, and had been marinated in a simple lemongrass-based sauce. Combining everything together in one bite made an explosion of flavours and I really recommend ordering this if you haven’t had Nasi Lemak before.
Knowing that I would be uncomfortably full after this meal, I stayed light with water whilst BW opted for the soya bean with grass jelly drink. A nice classic Malay drink but I prefer the rose syrup version!
I must say I was a little more ambitious the last time I ate here, I opted for the teh tarik which is tea mixed in with a a healthy amount of condensed milk to make it sweet and frothy. My lovely dining companion had a cold iced lemon tea which she throughly enjoyed.
A humongous bowl, think BOAT-sized, of kari laksa arrived filled with an array of goodies like squidgy fried tofu puffs, prawns, fishballs, and a few chicken pieces, plus some bouncy egg noodles too. The coconut milk based soup was rich, fiery, and just warmed your insides up especially after having waited outside in the rain.
Of course I had to order the roti with cheese, because there is no bad combination when it comes to cheese. A good, yet heavy, accompaniment, but I felt the shredded cheddar they had used was quite sub-par and maybe another cheese would have made this realllly good.
The total bill amounted to £12 and £16.50 for both visits, excluding drinks and service, so between £6-10 each. Wow, now that’s what you call cheap eats. All the dishes that we had ordered were pure and utter comfort food, and the thought of ripping apart the piping-hot roti and dunking it into the lamb curry still makes me slightly drool – ah. In terms of service, this is a no-frill restaurant so don’t expect the staff to stay at your table for a chat, and the wait for the food can be a little frustratingly long, but go with some good company or a book to keep you occupied.
If you are planning on visiting Roti King and don’t want a long wait, I suggest either getting there for 12pm sharp where you’ll find a smallish queue, or 9pm where it starts emptying out. Don’t forget to visit the ATM beforehand as this is a cash-only restaurant.