Nostalgia at Roti King

Roti King 6.7/10

FOOD: 6.8/10

VALUE FOR MONEY: 7/10

SERVICE: 7/10

VENUE & ATMOSPHERE: 6/10

NOTE: ALL MEAT IS HALAL, NO PORK OR ALCOHOL IS SERVED ON THE PREMISES.

When I tell ShakerFries that Singaporean/Chinese/Malaysian food is my idea of heaven, he turns his nose up at me. ‘But you’re Indian, you know that right? How can you NOT enjoy a classic lamb karahi with butter naan?’ Yes, my heritage is Sindhi, and we originate from India, but post-partition, the Hindu Sindhi’s fled and settled worldwide, particularly in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Consequently, you can find my family in Barbados, Spain, India, Singapore, Malaysia… the list goes on! My mother was born and raised in Singapore, hence my palate has always been inclined towards more ‘Oriental’ flavours than the strong Indian spices. Where am I going with this? Well ever since I heard of Roti King in Euston, claiming to serve authentic Malaysian food, I’ve wanted to try it. One day after work, I used the ‘we need to spend more quality time together’ card before leaving for my mums, and I gently hinted that Roti King would be great for some fast, reasonably priced food.

Success. Roti King is situated just 2 minutes walk from Euston station. The queue when we arrived was fairly long, and extended all the way up the staircase from the basement onto the pavement. I had read online that queues were to be expected, but that it was worth the wait, so we stuck it out. To be fair the line moved relatively quickly, and within 20 minutes we were seated, albeit on a table with 3 other city workers. To say it was intimate would be an understatement, as the eatery is incredibly small, so I wouldn’t recommend coming here with your significant other if romance and a DMC is what you’re after. Luckily, we weren’t in the slightest bit bothered by this, and quickly made our order: chicken roti canai, char kway teow and 2 ice Milos.

The food arrived in minutes. For those who don’t know, roti canai and char kway teow are both Malaysian street dishes, easily available at Hawker centres across Singapore and Malaysia. I was dying to try the roti canai, as I have fond memories of consuming this dish with my mother in the hawker centres on our regular trips to Singapore. Roti King served up this beautifully simple speciality with 2 warm, fluffy, plump parathas and spicy chicken curry. The curry was a little oily, but the flavours were all beautifully authentic, and the crisp paratha was the best accompaniment!! This dish made me incredibly nostalgic, but I still had my eye on the char kway teow, which is a National favourite consisting of ricecake strips stir-fried over very high heat with light and dark soy sauce, chilli, chicken, whole prawns, bean sprouts, chopped Chinese chives, stir-fried with egg. After telling me that the roti canai was no different to Indian curry and paratha, ShakerFries seemed more impressed with the char kway teow. I was equally pleased at the rush of flavours and spice that tickled my palate, and satisfied with the soft texture of rice noodles. The fact that this was all washed down with a pint of cold, refreshing Milo (basically a chocolate energy drink famous in the Far East) made this meal even more authentic. The reviews were right, it was most certainly worth the wait, and explains the sheer number of Malaysians who were waiting in the queue outside.

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The bill was £20 for both of us. Not bad at all for London considering the portion size was decent. The service was great and I can confirm that this place most certainly is comparable to the Hawker centres of the far East! All in all I recommend this place if you want simple, cheap, fast Malaysian food! It was a great way to wet my appetite before travelling out to Singapore next year. Only disclaimers: be prepared to queue and share your table.

Address: 40 Doric Way, Kings Cross, London NW1 1LH
Phone: 020 7387 2518
Website: http://rotiking.info/

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