I was recommended the Roti King, near Euston station in London, by a friend who sent me off with this warning: “The food is great, but it looks like it could be a bit nasty from the outside.”
Outside the Roti King hangs an old, disused yellow sign for a Chinese takeaway and by its entrance sits an outside toilet in some sort of shed-like structure, which must surely be hell in the winter?! Thankfully I didn’t need to go). So no, it doesn’t look like much from the outside. Inside, however, the place was packed!
Roti King is a small restaurant, seating perhaps only 30 people at a time. We were informed by a sign on the door to queue outside, not inside where it’s warm and you can feel your toes. (The sign may not have said that last bit). So although it was cold, a little damp, and we had to queue facing opposite the outside loo in a shed, I was hopeful that the food inside would be worth it all.
Spoilers… it was.
When you visit the Roti King you must try the Roti Canai, which is their most famous dish. Roti Canai is a type of Malaysian fluffy flatbread, that’s chewy and made up of layers. Kind of like layers of a very thin pancake. It’s normally dunked in curry or lentil sauce. With the bread acting as an excellent sponge soaking up the traditional Malaysian flavours.
The food at Roti king is as authentic as you will find outside Malaysia. In fact, I had my first Roti Canai in Georgetown, Malaysia and have really fond memories of that experience. I’d been having a hard time finding roti as tasty now I was back in London, until I’d tried Roti King.
Like the food stalls in Malaysia, Roti King is simple, no frills, and is all about the food and the flavours.
Roti King also serves a wide range of other hawker style dishes, such as nasi lemak – a Malaysian coconut milk rice dish, served with sambal, fried crispy anchovies and toasted peanuts. Also mee goren (fried yellow noodles with vegetables).
But for me, this place is all about the Roti Canai and perhaps, maybe some Kopi Putih (Malaysian coffee with condensed milk) to wash it down with.
Cusine: Malasyian Food
Price: £. Good.
Try: Roti Canai and a sweet Roti with bananas.
Service: Bit slow.
Atmosphe: Relaxed. Odd art work.
Where to find them: 40 Doric Way, Kings Cross, London NW1 1LH