Meeting my friends at the front of the queue was the first blessing on arrival at Roti King, a small basement-Malaysian restaurant in Kings Cross. The queue was long, the restaurant small, the table turnover rate rather slow – I, aka London Munch (@londonmunch), was a lucky one.
The place is small, bright and cosy. It feels familiar – probably ’cause I’ve seen every square inch of it and its food on Instagram. The open kitchen right by the entrance greets you with curried aromas and a roti-making spectacle. It’s bustling inside and there’s an air of fortune amongst the customers, heightened by the sight of the static queue through the window. We were excited…and hungry!
The customary opening of the menu and having a look was done but we already knew what we wanted – Roti Canai Special – 2 pieces of roti with Curry Lamb – all round (£6.50 each). We added 2 (between 4 of us) Char Kuey Teows, stir fried flat noodles with eggs, chicken and prawns (£7 each), for good measure. To drink – 3 cold Teh Tariks and 1 cold Milo (£3.20 each).
The drinks came out in good time. We clinked our tea/Milo glasses to cheers and took a sip of the popular Malaysian drink. The “pull” tea came through nicely, spiced and refreshing. The condensed milk added the perfect amount of sweetness for my liking. Not too sweet at all. The cold Milo was tasty too.
The 2 Char Kuey Teows were next to arrive.
Despite the beauty and smells of this noodle dish we decided to wait for the Roti Canais so we could take that ever impressive bird’s eye shot of the food for the gram…until 5 or 6 minutes passed and we decided to give into our bellies instead. Too small to share but perfect for 1, these noodles were delicious. Nicely spiced, beautifully flavoured and scattered with a generous amount of prawns and chicken. To be fair the noodles by themselves would have sufficed. (Admission: I love rice noodles).
The Char Kuey Teow plates were wiped clean and the wait for those famous Rotis commenced…
The wait (20 minutes after the noodles) was longer than our hungry, excited bellies could bare so we gave the waitress a friendly reminder that we were still waiting.
The staff whilst constantly busy were still very attentive, friendly and kept that all important pleasant look and smile about them (Well done guys – we appreciate you).
Finally the Roti Canais came.
The bowl of curry looked smaller than I expected but the rotis looked as glorious as they had done in my dreams – golden and delectable. I dived straight in with my spoon to get a taste of that curry. Mildly spiced, it was thick, heavy and rich – a very flavoursome curry. I tore into the roti for a dunk. It was as soft as you like, buttery, elasticated gorgeousness! The first mouthful was a lovingly made ball of yummy-ness. Then I dug into the chunks of lamb with a piece of that roti. Soft, tender juicy goodness – just what you’d hope for from a good curry. This meal was more filling than my eyes first imagined and left us with that happily bloated feeling.
The bill came up to £13 odd per person. Cash only, so we left £15 each, grabbed our coats and exited jubilantly.
Roti King is one of those restaurants I’ve know about for years. Hearing and reading that it’s a little hidden gem serving good quality, authentic Malaysian food with standout rotis at very reasonable prices – and to beware of the long queues. This is exactly what it was. Now to find a time machine so I can go back and have more of this cheap and very cheerful delight. 🙂
2 important things to note:
- Get there early or prepare to wait in a long queue.
- Cash only restaurant but if you forget there’s a cash point nearby.
Thank you London Munch for this guest post 🙂