Remember last September when we trekked to Hertford for the Malaysian Merdeka Carnival? The best bit about it was getting to eat bona fide Roti Canai fresh off a hot griddle! We soon discovered that in fact the stall selling them was based in London, aptly named Roti King- inside the Malaysian Kopi Tiam on Charing Cross Road. Dinner and a laugh with friends- Win. Dinner and a laugh with friends with the Roti King? BIG WIN.
I finished work on time and had time to kill beforehand, so I took a shortcut through China Town that seemed to be gearing up for Chinese New Year. Before you know it, there’ll be hundreds of little red lanterns strung up all over the streets.
The Kopi Tiam is just a few moments walk away from Leicester Square tube, tucked away in a row of shops. It looks completely unassuming from the front, but inside is a goldmine of good, authentic, home cooked style Malaysian food.
An iced Longan for me (a type of sweet fruit, a bit like a lychee) and an iced Milo for Ismay. Milo is the best chocolate drink you’ll ever taste- it’s amazing hot or cold and is comfort in a cup. When I was a kid, I used to sprinkle tablespoons of the chocolate powder into a glass of milk and eat the chocolately goop. Delicious. Oh, and those eye bags. Yeah. This changing blogging platform business is a headache I wish I had never started!
We ordered the entire menu- well, almost the entire menu- and shared all the dishes, family style. We got 2 fluffy, hot rotis to share between us served with a rich chicken curry to dip into, as well as some beef rendang, Penang char kuey teow (fried flat rice noodles), kangkong (spinach-like veg) with chillies, and a big plate of fried rice that couldn’t have been tastier than if my mum had cooked it.
We ate everything- I think only a spoonful of rice was left
Kopi Tiam is proof that you should never judge a book by it’s cover. I’ve been to fancy restaurants that don’t serve Malaysian food as good as this!…or ones that would allow you to lurk outside it pulling your best blue steel faces…