Warisan Cafe is one of those types of restaurants that I love writing about. There is little mention online about them, only that they serve the best fried chicken in London. The menu is small because they stick to what they cook best. And although it is very centrally located, it is practically hidden. BW actually stumbled upon the tiny hidden restaurant when taking Aadam for a walk in the morning and rushed back to tell me about it!
As Mum and Dad were in town visiting, BW and I took them along with us to this family-run restaurant. We navigated our way down the stairs with the stroller (I guess a pre-meal workout isn’t a bad idea), got familiar with the menu, and ordered.
I kid you not, this popular dish was on every single table. Known as Nasi Ayam, a.k.a Haianese chicken rice, the dish comes with a mound of rice cooked in chicken stock, a bowl of chicken broth soup, and a roasted chicken leg.
The chicken was incredibly soft and almost fell off the bone, and although seasoned lightly, it paired perfectly with the rice. The rice had been cooked with the chicken stock plus heavy notes of star anise, cinnamon, lemongrass, and a healthy amount of garlic.
It is not a dish for everyone, but certainly a steal at £5.50 for those who love Nasi Ayam.
A vibrant yellow chicken curry that had been cooked with a hefty amount of turmeric, coconut milk, and chillies. Whilst I did enjoy the spicy undertones from the chilli as well as the creaminess from the coconut milk, the abundance of turmeric did not add much flavour to the curry that it very much needed. Not a bad option, but perhaps not something I would order again.
Plump, juicy, and insanely garlicky chicken wings that had a desirable crunch when bitten into. These were fantastic and I kick myself for ordering just the side portion instead of a big bowl of them!
Thick, fluffy rotis that were served with a fantastic, aromatic curry sauce for dunking. A little burnt for my liking but a nice meal accompaniment.
A forgettable side.
The curry noodle soup arrived bubbling in a hot clay pot and was served with chicken, wide rice noodles, and pillowy tofu puffs that had soaked up the soup and burst when bitten into. The base was more tangy than I had expected and given the spiciness of the broth, I would have preferred the laksa to have been more creamier.
Thankfully, the staff at Warisan cafe were happy to make a non-battered (so gluten free) version of this sweet and sour seabass dish for us, and just deep-fried the entire plain fish instead! It arrived lying on a bright red, tangy, and spicy pool of sauce that had been cooked with sweet peppers and onions. This fish, alongside the chicken wings, were one of the best dishes of the evening.
The total bill, including lots of drinks and service, came to approximately £50 for four people, around £12.50 each. As we had over ordered, I reckon it would be fairly easy to keep it under a tenner per person when we return next – a great contender for my Halal Cheap Eats.
I absolutely loved Warisan Cafe – sure, it is a little rough around the edges but it really stands out amongst all the halal Malaysian restaurants in London. The food comes out fresh from the kitchen, meaning there is some wait for the meal, but it is worth it. Be sure to go a little early as the place tends to become packed towards dinner time.
|Address||Basement, 190 Sussex Gardens, London W2 1TU|
|Nearest Station||Lancaster Gate or Paddington|