Weekdays are dreary with the potential to be depressing, so eating lunch out, or making a bit of an effort, 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 daytime Malaysian café is just the ticket for anyone who’s look for a pick-me-up. There are six or seven Malay curries to choose from, but the familiar (the rendang) and the fiery (chicken in a tomato chilli sauce) are always good. The chicken is cooked to an almost deep-fried crispness on the edge, and its sauce has the slap-on-the-back you need, as does the homemade sambal. The rendang is the necessary hug everyone around Holborn craves on a working lunch—it’s not open on weekends—and, all in all, it will set you up perfectly for the rest of the day. Which, in our case, is usually a second lunch.

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The Best Things We Ate This Week guide image
The Best Things We Ate This Week

A running list of the best dishes we’ve eaten recently.

Suggested Reading

Sambal Shiok review image
Sambal Shiok

Shambol Shiok is a neighbourhood favourite serving Malay specialties on the Holloway Road. Come for the laksa and stay for the shrimp sweats.

Tarim Uyghur Restaurant review image
Tarim Uyghur Restaurant

Tarim is from the same people who run Dilara and is a great option for big plate chicken or lamb skewers around Holborn.

Roti King review image
Roti King

Roti King is a cult Malaysian restaurant that does a great roti canai, and excellent Malaysian noodle and rice dishes. It’s cheap, BYOB, and cash only