[London] Roti King, a Malaysian – Singaporean street food restaurant, is peculiar in that it is both exceedingly popular and a cherished secret.
This is partly because of where it is located.
Though conveniently placed a couple of minutes from Euston station, Roti King resides in the basement of 40 Doric Way.
The fact remains that despite the restaurant being relatively non-descript – with sparse signage, the line that winds from below, all the way up the stairs and into the street, conveys just how well-loved the place is.
The restaurant itself was warm and cosy, made so not only by the amount of bodies tucked into a relatively small space, but also by the heat of the open kitchen emanating into the dining area.
The vibrant aromatics of spice, coupled with freshly cooked fish and the effulgence of slow cooked meat contributed greatly to the welcoming atmosphere.
If you are looking for a light lunch, then one of the Roti dishes (a type of Malaysian flat bread) would do, the best being the Roti Canai Special (£6.50, SGD$12.05) soft elastic flatbread with beautifully spiced bowls of unctuous fish, lamb or chicken curry.
Other Roti dishes include Roti Telur (with egg fillings), Roti Cheese, Roti Spinach and Cheese, and Roti Sardine. If you prefer a more substantial option, consider having the Chicken Murtabak and Lamb Murtabak, which are like pan-fried roti with meat fillings.
Price range from £5.00 to £6.50 (SGD$9.27 – SGD$12.05).
Going heavier would mean ordering a Kari Laksa (£7.50, SGD$13.90), one of the best in London by all accounts.
This was a delicious coconut milk broth topped with a delicate skirt of chilli oil and filled with succulent noodles and a mixture of well-cooked seafood.
The Nasi Goreng – stir fried rice with eggs, seafood, and chicken (£7.00, SGD$13.00); and the Beef Rendang – beef slow cooked in aromatic spices and coconut sauce with rice (£7.50, SGD$13.90) are some of the must try Malaysian classics.
Special mention also go to the Lamb Murtabak (£5.50, SGD$10.90) and the delightful Nasi Lemak (£7.00, SGD$13.00) – steamed coconut rice served with peanuts, fried anchovies, cucumber, egg, chilli sambal and spiced fried chicken.
Keep in mind that Roti King has a temperamental card machine so it would be best to take cash with you.
However, do not worry too much, you will find that this restaurant is one of the most affordable in the area, promising great value for money.
Roti King is situated within a basement at Kings Cross, of short walking distance from Euston metro / train station.
40 Doric Way, Kings Cross, London NW1 1LH
Tel: +44 20 7387 2518
Opening Hours: 12 – 3pm, 5 – 10:30pm (Mon – Fri), 12:00pm – 10:30pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Google Maps – Roti King
* Written by DFD’s London Food Correspondent Leander Dias SaltyCritic. Leander was born and raised in Dubai, a burgeoning city with diverse food culture. Since moving to London to read for his English MA at UCL, he has utterly immersed himself in the local food scene, writing extensively about everything he eats everywhere he goes. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.