LDNGuide

The Best Malaysian Restaurants In London

The best flaky roti canai, tender beef rendang, and fried noodles in the city.
The Best Malaysian Restaurants In London image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Do we strongly believe that roti canai should be its own food group? Do we keep seeing beef rendang in our dreams? Do we know where you should go if you’re looking for some top-tier Malaysian food? The answer to all of these questions is a big resounding yes. From a one-woman show in Queensway to a Soho spot specialising in laksa, here are the best Malaysian restaurants in the city.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Malaysian

Queensway

$$$$Perfect For:Catching Up With MatesHalalLiterally EveryoneLunchVegansImpressing Out of Towners
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Normah's isn't just one of the best Malaysian restaurants in London, this is one of the best restaurants in London. One restaurant, one chef, one roti beef rendang that will inevitably become two. Yes, this low-key, small Malaysian spot inside Queensway Market is the kind of place where sharing seems like a good idea—the fried chicken, laksa with king prawns, assam pedas seabass, and that roti beef rendang are all essential orders. But you’ll quickly become as protective over the food in front of you as a poodle with a chicken bone.

Whoever you choose to bring to this bustling spot in Chinatown—a group of friends for a catch-up or yourself at lunchtime—they'll leave full and satisfied. The menu of Malaysian and Singaporean classics has something for everyone. It serves the kind of wholesome, nutty beef rendang you’ll crave at least once a month. There's buttery roti canai with a halal spicy chicken curry, and its vegetarian version of char kway teow is one of the best in town. A meal here is also excellent-value—£30 can take you a very long way, especially if you come with a small group and share. 

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

This Malaysian spot has gone from street stall, to pop-up, to food hall concession, to small but superb Clapton restaurant. At Mambow, flavours dance around Malaysia and Singapore, from five-spice pork and prawn bean curd rolls, to sensational Sarawak black pepper chicken curry, to fiery otak-otak prawn toast. It’s all deeply flavoured, aromatic, and enlivening stuff. The music is pumping, the wines are juicy, and it’s the kind of food that will have you scraping the plastic plates clean and doing a little jig. Not that there’s much room for that, mind.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

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Sudu means spoon in Malay—and that’s exactly what you’ll be encouraged to do at this charming restaurant in Queen’s Park. Spoon mouthful after mouthful of tender, rich beef rendang into a pillowy, egg-filled roti, or straight into your mouth. But it’s not just the excellent versions of Malaysian classics that make Sudu a standout spot. The aromatic chicken rice, comforting nasi goreng kampung, and the charming server who turns out to be the bartender’s mum do a good job of tricking you into thinking you’re at a friend's house.

It was at this Paddington spot (from the people behind Sudu) that we cheated on beef rendang. We have no remorse. Because the sambal tumis udang petai—a stir-fried prawn and petai dish—was equal parts spicy, creamy, and addictive. And that’s not all that’s great about this moody restaurant. The menu is filled with comforting Malaysian classics done extremely well, in a cosy and intimate two-floor space. The street level dining room is ideal for small groups while the basement is where to bring a date, tucked away in their mini cave.

Weekdays are dreary with the potential to be depressing, so eating lunch out is a must. As far as antidotes to dreariness go, Dapur is up there. Getting a plate of fragrant coconut rice and all the trimmings—ayam masak merah and beef rendang—from the weekday and daytime-only cafe is just the ticket for anyone who’s looking for a pick-me-up. There are six or seven Malaysian curries to choose from, but the familiar (the rendang) and the fiery (chicken in a tomato chilli sauce) are always good. The outdoor seating is delightful and the rendang is the necessary hug everyone around Holborn craves for a working lunch.

This casual spot on Holloway Road serves dishes like fried chicken, gado gado, and sambal prawns with rice. But the real star of the show is their special laksa—featuring king prawns, poached chicken, soft tofu puffs, noodles, and a shrimp-based broth that makes you sweat in excitement. Summer, winter, spring, and all the rest—you'll want this whenever. Bear in mind it’s a popular spot and it can get a little crowded. But for hefty, flavour-packed portions and a drink for around £30 a head, Sambal Shiok will quickly become a weeknight dinner go-to.

If you haven’t heard of Roti King, where have you been? This cult Malaysian restaurant is in a basement in Euston and specialises in roti canai—soft, flaky flatbreads served with a bowl of delicious curry. The dhal one is a little cheaper, but the mutton version is our favourite and worth the extra pounds. They also serve really great versions of Malaysian hawker stall staples like char kway teow, nasi goreng, and a proper laksa. Hit it for a tasty, casual meal with a few mates, though be warned that there can be queues at peak hours. And in case you were looking for one more reason to go, it’s BYOB. There are also locations in Battersea and Waterloo.

Open since 1998, this Chinatown staple has been around longer than most of the people you follow on TikTok have been alive. And once you try the nasi lemak you’ll understand why it continues to be a top pick. You’ll find all the traditional Malaysian dishes, but the go-to move should be that nasi lemak. Fragrant rice with a coconutty curry sauce poured on top alongside tender chicken that’s been cooked in that same coconut-heavy curry. It’s walk-in only and your whole party has to arrive before you get a seat, so consider that before inviting that friend who’s always having “TFL troubles”.

Despite an expansion from two-and-a-half to six tables, you still might easily pass right by this diminutive spot at the King’s Cross end of Caledonian Road if you’re not paying attention. And you’d be missing out. The Malaysian specialities are all consistently excellent, especially the mee goreng and the kway teow goreng. With a menu big enough to keep you coming back time and time again, Hawker’s Kitchen is as perfect when you’re in a dosa mood as it is when you’re in the mood for a rich and satisfying curry laksa.

Zero points for guessing what Laksamania in Fitzrovia specialises in. Pick between things like a Singapore curry laksa, with a coconut curry broth, shredded chicken, and king prawns. Or opt for the sour and spicy penang assam number—just be prepared to ask for about 70 extra tissues when your nose inevitably starts running. It’s one of the best places for laksa in London and the sprawling downstairs dining room makes it a great place to come with a group, or even on your own for a lunchtime date with a bowl of steaming hot broth. 

Malaysian Deli, a friendly little spot in Brockley, always feels sunny. There are mustard yellow walls and warm smiles are given from the team behind the counter which is covered with the kind of bright floral table cover you’d find in your grandma’s house. The perfect solo portions of nasi lemak are served in bamboo trays, and while the beef rendang can be a little tough, the chilli-hot, tangy sambal makes up for it. Roti chanai, satisfyingly flaky and light, should be dipped in the chicken curry with no hesitation about getting messy—that part is inevitable.

Chicken satay is one of those dishes where mass mediocrity has been quietly accepted in London. But Med Salleh Kopitiam, in Queensway, takes its food and its satay seriously. It’s clear that care and attention is given to the chicken on a stick. The tender meat is yellow from a thorough marinating and caramelised to the point of char on the edges. Other things on the menu like char kway teow and fried chicken are similarly respected, meaning it’s hard to eat a bad meal here. Given the restaurant’s size—it’s a many-roomed, wood-panelled, cavernous space—you’ll be comfortable no matter what.

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9.1

Normah's is a hidden spot inside Queensway Market serving the best Malaysian food in London.

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