With queues consistently down the street, Roti King is a hugely popular Malaysian restaurant near Euston. I was keen to find out what all the fuss was about.
Roti King is small and cosy basement restaurant, with roughly enough space 30. The white tiled walls keep the space feeling a little more spacious and bright. If it wasn’t for the contemporary prints the restaurant might feel more like a canteen. The waiters do try and squeeze in as many as possible onto the benches, so be prepared to share.
The kitchen is open so you can see the chefs at work prepping dishes and grilling the roti – there’s constantly one being cooked, chopped and shaped.
Just before 5.30pm on Friday, Lucy and I managed to beat the queue and be seated within 10 minutes – now that’s serious goals for a restaurant with this reputation. Just a two, we did share a bench with two others. It was going to be four, but the waiter kindly asked if we thought there was space – we didn’t want to be too squashed.
The menu has plenty to offer, with not just roti but other traditional Malaysian dishes too. There are eight roti options, four local Malaysian dishes, six noodle serves and two stir fried vegetable choices too. This isn’t counting the lunch menu or sweet options either.
New to the world of Malaysian cuisine, we were lucky enough to be sat on the same table as a native Malaysian man, who recommended one of his favourite dishes from the menu. I really wanted to try everything, so Lucy and I shared a few dishes between us.
The Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah arrived beautifully presented. This traditional local Malaysian dish consisted of a dome of fragrant steamed coconut rice, crunchy peanuts and fried anchovies, fresh cucumber, hard-boiled egg, three pieces of spiced fried chicken and a thick chilli sambal sauce, it had a fab kick of heat. A main for one, we shared this in order to have space for two roti dishes.
The Roti Spinach and Cheese arrived cut into pieces. This almost reminded me of a quesadilla, but with a soggier carb. However was actually a lot more indulgent and tasty than that sounds – rich, super cheesy, with plenty of spinach too, it was really filling.
This is where I realise that roti is actually quite difficult to describe! Roti is a form of flatbread, with the best made being layered and flaky with a really buttery taste.
The Roti Canai Special, chosen with curry chicken, didn’t look much when it arrived, but looks can be deceiving . The curry sauce was smooth and aromatic, with a decent level of spiciness. The chicken pieces inside were so soft and tender. The roti, served warm, was flaky yet soft. It was easily tearable and delicious dipped into the curry – forget rice, I’d much rather have roti!
Roti King does offer BYOB, with a charge of £10 for the table, but we just opted for a soft drink. I am ashamed to say, I didn’t even go for a traditional Malaysian one as I thought they were all hot. However there are actually a number of hot and cold Malaysian drinks on the menu, some of which I really do wish I’d tried – especially the Milo, a chocolate drink which can be served hot or cold.
- Price: At roughly £23 (£11.50 each) for the three dishes and two soft drinks, it’s really cheap as far as popular London restaurants go.
- Food: Great quality, traditional Malaysian food. The Malaysian guy on our table couldn’t rate it more highly at authenticity too!
- Drinks: A variety of hot and cold Malaysian drinks.
- Atmosphere: A bit like a canteen – friendly fast service.
- Wait: Can be long! Aim to get there early to avoid peak times.
I’m so glad I finally got to tick it off my list. I really want to head back to try the other roti, especially the sweet ones I didn’t have space for.
Have you been to Roti King yet? How long would you queue for great food?