Sunday, 19 July 2009
Rasa Sayang, 5 Macclesfield Street, Chinatown, London
The name of the restaurant comes from a traditional Malay song sung by kids. Kinda like, Mary had a little lamb, only that it’d be quite a long name for a restaurant.
Note: We had this meal about 3 months ago, but just hadn’t posted about it until now.
After having peeked in its windows about, oh, 5 times now, we finally decided we’d try it out. The first few times we went by, it was empty and all the brown Ikea chairs were unfilled. Like little dumplings skins without fillings.
This time around, it seemed to have found its fillings and the place was full when we got there. A quick look downstairs and we discovered that there is another floor to this place.
With a menu that consists of an A4 sheet of paper, printed on both sides and laminated, it still took me about 20 minutes to decide what out of the 20 or so items I wanted to have.
So, I did the usual and peered over my shoulder (and everyone else’s) to have a quick look. The Hokkien noodle looked OK but didn’t seem like it was a big enough portion (value for money high on the criteria). The chicken rice looked OK also, but I fancied something with a little bit more spice.
Roti canai, £3 for 2 slices and a bowl of curry
When you can’t choose, don’t. Have everything.
This is puff pastry that is flipped (yes, flipped) pretty much like how pizzas are flipped, over and over again until they’re flipping ready. The pastry is stretched, and folded, stretched again and folded (and so on) until there are many layers in between. It is then cooked over a flat pan, and is usually eaten with some curry sauce.
Stir-fried ladies fingers (okra) with sambal belacan, £5.80
We like sambal. We like okra. Lovely, slightly slimy vegetables, these little okras. Sambal belacan (be-lah-chan) is made from fermented prawns, in a paste, with chilli so it tastes spicy and fishy. Perfect for when you want to impress your first date.
This was almost authentic. I say almost because the dish was quite cold by the time it was brought to the table, so it didn’t have the frying-pan-heat (direct translation of ‘wok-hei’, which is a vague method used mostly by the Chinese in assessing whether or not food is good).
Nasi lemak, £6.80 (coconut rice served with curry chicken, sambal, cucumbers and hard boiled egg)
This was really nice. The rice was cooked wonderfully, with just enough coconut to flavour it. The curry chicken was full of spice, very meaty and tender, with fluffy potatoes absorbing the sauce. Crispy anchovies to finish off the dish, very authentic.
3 dishes tried, another 22 to go.
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