Down a random side street near Euston is the place to get authentic Malaysian and Singaporean street food. Don’t let the look and the size of the eatery put you off in any way. Two signs, one of Roti King and the other of Euston Chinese Takeaway mark the site.
Roti King is nothing fancy and it is all pretty basic. A very small eating area, together with the chef making the rotis at the front by the entrance is pretty much what Roti King is. Queues of diners going out of the door and up the stairs to street level eagerly wait for a table so that they can have some of the roti and curries. The place is so small that tables are shared between diners and there is a quick turnaround with food and customers. Quality is no way compromised though.
Flaky, buttery, crispy, hot rotis are made by the skilled chef. It is mesmerising to see the Roti King chef at work. You can watch his skills from the covered glass area. Everything happens front of house, from the roti making to the washing of the dishes.
The way the rotis are made are first the chef flattens the dough ball fairly thin. Then through a series of flips and turns, he makes it paper thin. With some additional folds, rotations and more flattening, he makes it a round shape ready for the hot plate. After the roti is cooked, back it goes onto the stainless silver work surface to be scrunched up. And there you have it, the Roti King has worked his magic and the roti is ready to be served with your curry.
Two dishes were chosen for this weeknight meal. One was Roti Telor which was the roti with egg in the middle. This was had with the Dahll Curry. The Dahll Curry was a combination of a dahl with a curry base which gave it a wonderful distinctive moreish flavour. The roti was perfect to dip into the tasty, mild Dahll Curry.
The second dish was the Roti Canai with Curry Fish. Fried pieces of fish in a slightly spicy sauce accompanied the plain rotis. Again a wonderful and delicious dish.
Roti King provides pure comfort food. As the size of the curries are not huge, you don’t feel overly full. A bigger portion of curry could have easily been eaten. There are also some noodle, soup and rice dishes on the menu which looked tempting when other customers had ordered them. If you have a sweet tooth, then sweet rotis are also on the menu. But we did not have room for them, as we were happily full from our dose of the savoury rotis.
If you want to know exactly what Roti Canai is, the menu states:
“Roti canai is a type of Indian- influenced flatbread found in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It is often sold in Mamak stalls in Malaysia. It is known as roti prata in Southern Malaysia and Singapore, and is similar to the Indian Kerala porotta”.
Roti King is closed on Sundays and also they have a rest time between 3pm and 5pm on the other six days. It is always best to get there early to avoid the queues.
Roti King, 40 Doric Way, Euston, London, NW1 1LHRating: