VALUE FOR MONEY: 6.8/10
VENUE & ATMOSPHERE: 6.5/10
NOTE: All meat is halal. Alcohol is served on site. All meat is HMC certified. Certificates are available. Please double check the halal status of any of our restaurants before visiting.
I love my birthday. So sue me (please sit down haraam police). This year I visited (and dragged ShakerFries to) the Sony World Photography awards, which (inshaaAllah) I hope to enter next year. With it being my birthday, I also had dibs on where we ate for dinner. After a bit of umming and ahhing, we finally made our way to Rasasayang, as I was craving some ‘home food’. Yeah I said it *queue ShakerFries’ eye roll*. My mum being Singaporean, Singaporean and Malaysian food has played a massive part of my life, and therefore, my tastebuds are that way inclined when it comes to my appetite being satisfied. Nestled in the heart of Soho, Rasasayang is a small, modest looking eatery, yet is always bustling. I have visited on 2 prior occasions, and can safely say that Bar Roti King, Rasasayang is the most authentic halal Singaporean/Malaysian restaurant I know, serving all my favourite dishes, including roti canai, Hainanese chicken rice, and chilli crab to name a few.
We managed to secure a table within a few minutes. Bare in mind that all tables are quite squished together (much like Roti King), and so if a private, romantic meal is what you’re after, this place most certainly isn’t where you want to go (This place has a capacity of 80)!
For drinks we ordered the cincau bandung, which is a sweet rose milk drink topped in grass jelly, which is consumed across the Far East and is made from the Platostoma palustre plant. The sweetness of the bandung is not for everyone, but is certainly complemented well by the bitterness of the grass jelly. ShakerFries was chuffed that they had iced milo, a national favourite in Singapore, and one we enjoyed on our trip there earlier this year. What was a little less impressive was the £3.50 price tag. Oh well, you can’t win them all! Ice Milo is a wonderfully cold, chocolatey malt drink that is extremely refreshing, and isn’t too dissimilar to the concept of Ovaltine.
For starters we ordered the vegetarian, pan-fried carrot cake (£7.90) and the chicken wings starter in Rasasayang marinade (£4.90). The carrot cake was a winner for us both, made from mooli (a type of turnip), egg, radish, bean sprouts, and lettuce. It was soft, tasty, and aromatic, with an added crunch from the beansprouts. The wings were a little less of a winner for me, as although they had a crispy exterior and the sauce was perfectly spicy, the wings were lacking in meat for me which made the overall taste a bit dry. I don’t have a picture of these unfortunately!
For mains, I ordered a Hainanese chicken rice (£7.90), as I knew it would be light yet flavoursome. The chicken was slow cooked in chicken stock to a perfect tenderness, accompanied with rice, and a flavoursome chicken, bean sprout, coriander, chicken soup, and ginger and garlic chilli sauce. It’s a very simple dish but it is so satisfying! The best part is, that you don’t leave feeling bloated and disgusting after. The taste of this meal made me nostalgic as it took me back to the hawker centres in Singapore.
From his experience of Rendang curry in Bali, ShakerFries decided to order the slow-cooked Beef Rendang with rice (£8.50). The marinade of the beef was beautifully aromatic and spicy, and is perfect for those who enjoy a spicy ‘kick’. The only minor let down was that the beef was a little tough and overcooked, hence was quite heavy.
Overall the bill came to around £35, which is fair considering how much we ate (2 starters, 2 mains and 2 drinks). The service is quick and friendly, and the portion sizes are incredibly generous. I would certainly say from experience that the taste of the food is authentic. I have tried the chilli crab, laksa, and the roti canai in the past and all were beautiful! It’s a shame that Rasasayang now serve alcohol, as I’m fairly sure they never did before. However, this is the only place serving halal meat which provides an array of authentic Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine, from their drinks, to their food and dessert. The restaurant could do with a bit more space and is incredibly simple in terms of decor, although I believe this adds to its charm and to the experience. Overall, Rasasayang is a hidden gem, and for a fair price, you can get incredibly close to the taste of food served at a local Singaporean Hawker centre.