Saturday, 21 May 2016

Roti King, London Malaysian restaurant review

Barbecue ribs, warm madeleines, gong bao chicken, bacon cheeseburgers, roast leg of lamb, mutton kothu parotta, reuben sandwiches, sticky toffee pudding and jamon croquetas.

Everyone’s got a bucket list of dishes. These are a few of mine.

Another dish which I’d call for on my death bed is Roti Canai - the Malaysian flatbread which is traditionally served with a little pot of curry on the side. It’s just so compellingly addictive - crispy on the outside, soft and a little bit elastic and so rich with butter.

Whilst en route to meet friends in London I made a pit stop at Roti King, an unassuming basement restaurant in a side street near Euston, and managed to eat the best roti canai of my life.

The signs were good when the restaurant was already packed to the gills at 12.20pm and by the time I left around 1pm there was a queue of around 15 people snaking up the steps. Furthermore, the roti chef stands on view inside the entrance of the restaurant displaying his skilful folding, tossing and stretching of the roti dough - a notoriously difficult skill.

As I shared a bench with a couple of annoyimg Londoners berating the Welsh rugby team and lack of things to do in Wales (I feel increasingly Welsh day by day), I necked a lovely mug of teh tarik.

Then the main events arrived.

Two stonkingly good roti canai were served with a mega-deeply flavoured on the bone lamb curry. At £5.50 it’s a great value lunch and a generous portion. Even more impressively, if you have dhal instead of lamb then it’s a mere £4 - one of the best value lunches in the capital.

As I had to line my stomach before a heavy session on the booze, I of course ordered another dish.

Roti Telur (£3), was another stonkingly good flatbread made from the same dough as the roti canai, I think. This time it was stuffed with a golden fried egg and served with a beautifully flavoured pot of dhal on the side.

Roti King is the king. If you’re looking a for a roti canai love-in, then this is the place to have it.

The Details:

Address - Roti King, 40 Doric Way, London NW1 1LH
Web -
Telephone - 020 7387 2518

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Pettigrew Bakeries, Cardiff review

Despite the unrelenting invasion of Geordie chain bakery Greggs and their disturbingly addictive sausage cylinders, things are looking up for baked goods in Cardiff.

In the last few years purveyors of banging bread and kick ass pastries One Mile Bakery, Nata & Co, Cocorico, Brod, Cup & Cake Bakery and The Early Bird Bakery have all opened their doors. Furthermore, Alex Gooch’s multi-award winning bread is readily available from retailers including Bean Freaks and Penylan Pantry.

Now, the team from the lovely Pettigrew Tea Rooms have tastefully transformed an old hardware shop near Victoria Park into Pettigrew Bakeries.

When I visited first thing on a Sunday morning, a multitude of baked goods were still being unloaded from the ovens. I stocked up on the below (the bill came to around £10.50), dashed home and snaffled the lot immediately. The concept of delayed gratification has always been alien to me. 

A salted caramel tart was a thing of wonder and joy. A molten slick of well balanced sweet and salty caramel was cradled by a perfectly short pastry case.

A sourdough loaf was full of complexity with a cracking crumb and golden crust. 

Surprisingly, Pettigrew’s sausage rolls aren’t made in house but are supplied by Coopers of Shrewsbury. A pork, Shropshire blue and caramelised onion roll was still rather lush - the bulging bronzed pastry cocooning a generous amount of flavour-packed sausage meat. 

I wasn’t entirely sold on a piece of bread pudding - whilst it was well flavoured with cinnamon and raisins, it was slightly dense and claggy. 

But, a chocolate brownie was a stunning example of its type - all goo and crunch of nut.

Pettigrew Bakeries is a lovely addition to the Victoria Park area of Cardiff. Viva la pastry revolución.

The Details:

Address - Pettigrew Bakeries, 595 Cowbridge Rd E, Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF5 1BE
Telephone - 02921 321270