Rasa Sayang is probably one of the most busiest restaurants within London’s Chinatown. Get there at the wrong time and you’ll have to wait for a seat. But once you’ve tried their food, it’ll all be worth it! If you’ve never tried Malaysian food before, then think Chinese food mixed with spices and aromatic flavours. You’ll love Rasa Sayang if you love your food with a bit of a kick!
With such an extensive menu, we were spoilt for choice and it took us ages to make up our minds. But in the end, we decided to opt for some classic Malaysian dishes.
Satay Chicken (£6.90) – yummy grilled chicken that was tender and moist. The star of this dish was really the sauce – rich, velvety, spicy peanut sauce. We just couldn’t get enough of it! The fresh cucumbers act like a palate cleanser and the nasi impit (compressed rice) were good to soak up the peanut sauce. This is one dish you definitely have to try at Rasa Sayang!
Nasi Lemak (£7.80) – considered the national dish of Malaysia, this dish is made up of a light chicken curry, fragrant rice and a number of different side ingredients: pickles, roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg and anchovies. If you can, try and get a bit of everything into one mouthful – or just mix it all up in your bowl – the combined flavours are just out of this world!
Char Kuay Teow (£7.20) – you can’t say you’ve had Malaysian food, if you don’t have char kuay teow, it’s that simple! A humble dish of flat rice noodles, a variety of seafood, spring onions, Chinese sausage and beansprouts – cooked in a special blend of soy sauce over a high heat. Its the charred taste from the wok that makes this plate of noodles not so humble.
Sotong Kangkong (£6.90) – don’t be put off by how this looks! It’s cuttlefish on a bed of water morning glory. A generous layer of shrimp paste, sprinkled with peanuts coats the cuttlefish and brings the dish together. The cuttlefish itself has a very subtle flavour, so the depth of the shrimp paste was really coming through.
Nasi Goreng Istimewa (Special Fried Rice) (£7.90)- fried rice with sambal and coated with Malaysian’s dark caramel soy sauce. It comes with satay chicken, sunny-side up, fish crackers and anchovies.
For dessert you must try their Cendol Ice (£4.50)- shaved ice, pandan jelly, red beans, coconut milk, evaporated milk and very generous caramel palm sugar! This is Rob’s all favourite
Sago Gula Melaka (£4.20)- Tapioca pearl pudding, coconut milk, evaporated palm sugar and caramel palm sugar.
Overall we’re giving Rasa Sayang 3.5 yums. Most of the food was excellent and authentic. Some were not so great. Service was acceptable, but unfortunately the restaurants decor lets it down. There’s a real buzz inside – but if you can’t keep up with the waiters, they’ll get impatient with you. Still worth a try though.
Opening times: Daily 1200-2300 (Mon-Thu)/ 1200-2400 (Fri-Sat)/ 11.30-21.30 (Sun)
Location: 5 Macclesfield Street London, W1D 6AY