Whoever you choose to bring to this bustling Malaysian spot in Chinatown—a group of friends for a catch-up or just 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 flaky roti canai with a halal spicy chicken curry and its vegetarian version of char kway teow is one the best in town.
The ground floor usually has some spots saved for walk-ins, with an airy, bright interior, yellow and white walls, and some booths that you can get comfy in. It’s an ideal place to camp out for a couple of hours. But if you like being in the thick of it and you’re organised enough to make a booking beforehand, then the smaller buzzy downstairs dining room is probably for you. It's filled with groups who give the impression that they’ve been here enough times to order without looking at the menu and people hunched over steaming bowls of king prawn laksa. Even on a Tuesday evening, every spot is taken.
Rasa Sayang is easy on your bank balance too. There's a £10.95 weekday lunch menu (optional power nap directly after) that your financial advisor will appreciate. But even without the lunchtime deal, a meal here is still excellent value—£30 can take you a very long way, especially if you come with a small group and order a couple of curries, some rice dishes, and a fried noodle number to share. Just be warned it might not be the place for a quiet catch-up, unless it’s between you and the wok-fried noodles.
If you only get one thing, make it this. Pieces of tender beef which have been slow-cooked for six hours in a hearty, thick, coconut-heavy sauce. Satisfying and slightly sweet, this pairs perfectly with roti canai or coconut rice.
Roti Canai With Chicken Curry
Tasty with a capital T, this curry sauce is rich, slightly spicy, with melt-in-the-mouth chicken on the bone, and potatoes soaked in the curry.
Char Kway Teow
Wok-fried flat noodles in a dark soy sauce, you can either get this with seafood or as a veggie option. Both are great but we’re very into the broccoli and green beans that come in the vegetarian one. Plus it makes a welcome change from the rest of the beige dishes.
The same excellent chicken curry that comes with the roti canai, except served with coconut rice, crispy anchovies, and peanuts. A filling, delicious bowl that’s great if you’re coming in for a solo meal.