London's Malaysian restaurant scene is as varied as the tropical country's culinary heritage. From aromatic spiced food of Malays and Indians, in contrast to the subtle, heartwarming flavours of Chinese cooking; there is no shortage of authentic Malaysian food in London.
Whether you're looking for a hearty nasi lemak, char kuey teow, roti canai, or curry laksa, London has it all. Find hawker delights in pop up markets, homely meals in small cafes and traditional feasts in the heart of Chinatown. Regional specialities drawn from Penang to Johor are all over the city.
Here are 11 of the best Malaysian restaurants in London.
Tukdin is West London's landmark for Malaysian food. Well patronised by the local expat community, this little restaurant is always bustling with familiar faces and smoky aromas of spiced herbs.
Located between Paddington and Bayswater, Tukdin — “Grandpa Din” in Malay — serves a concise menu of homely dishes. Meanwhile, it's unassuming rustic interior adds to the cosiness of the restaurant.
Abundant rice dishes and sharing plates include chicken satay, beef rendang, and curry laksa. However, a visit to the best Malaysian restaurant in London would be incomplete without ordering their famous nasi lemak.
Nasi Lemak is a traditional breakfast dish that is also eaten throughout the day. In Malaysia, this dish can have many regional twists. At Tukdin, the national dish is served with its usual counterparts.
This includes coconut milk-infused rice, sambal sauce (sweet and chilli fish sauce), and breaded fried chicken. In addition, boiled eggs, cucumbers, roasted peanuts, and crispy fried anchovies on the side.
For a sweet finish to your meal, order a teh tarik (pulled sweet milk tea).
41 Craven Rd, Bayswater, London W2 3BX
Tucked behind Euston station, this underground basement restaurant has long been a secret between Malaysian food connoisseurs. Roti King specialises in making soft and buttery flatbread with a flaky interior that are made to order.
Diners can watch Sugen Gopal, the Roti King himself, stretch and flip the dough, before pan-frying these until golden.
Order a plate of plain roti canai accompanied with a choice curry to taste the chef's artistry. The flatbreads at Roti King are light and crisp at first bite. Moreover, when dunked in curry, it has a moreish gooey chew.
Guests are encouraged to tear, dip and devour their dishes with joy. Be prepared to wipe the bowl clean and order another serving. Also try their cheese murtabak, roti stuffed with cheese or lamb murtabak.
As one of the best Malaysian restaurants in London, Roti King also offers a selection of sweet rotis. Try the Pisang (banana) roti. The roti dough is stretched until thin and used to envelope sliced bananas and sugar.
Rightly named The King of Roti, expect to queue for the city's go-to establishment for roti canai.
40 Doric Way, Somers Town, London NW1 1LH
Eat Lah, named after the colloquialism to "just eat", perfectly describes the scrumptious hawker delights served by Robert Ngo. A young contender in the thriving Malaysian food scene, Eat Lah has already built a strong following.
How? With their show-stopping, rainbow characteristic dish, Nasi Kerabu.
Nasi Kerabu is a Kelantanese dish from the northeastern region of Penisula Malaysia. The striking blue-hued rice dish, made from butterfly pea flowers, is both aesthetically pleasing and flavoursome.
It comes with colourful toppings including; sambal oelek (shrimp chilli paste), crunchy red cabbage and fish crackers. Finally, select your choices of protein from coconut chicken, satay, grilled aubergine or vegan tofu. Together, the dish brings an explosion of authentic flavours.
You will also find other familiar treats like Karipap Pusing (spiral curry puffs) and Kuih Talam at Eat Lah.
The business also delivers food box sets of their signature Nasi Kerabu and their sauces across London. In particular, their sambal nasi lemak sauce will certainly add a sweet chilli kick to any dish.
Trading at Lloyd Park E17, Victoria Park E3, and Boxpark Croydon
Mandy Yin's critically acclaimed Laksa Bar deserves a prime spot in London's Malaysian restaurant scene. Opened in 2013, the fiery laksa bar is a showcase for the chef owner's personal love of Malaysian food.
Paying homage to her Peranakan Nyonya roots and upbringing in Kuala Lumpur, Sambal Shiok's menu incorporates the best of both worlds.
Their signature curry laksa is based on a 'campur' style laksa found in Malacca. It is a cross between Kuala Lumpur's curry laksa and Penang's strong chilli Assam laksa. Meanwhile, their special Laksa broth features a powerful shrimp base.
Now, a feast at home is on the cards if you order one of their chilled laksa sets. Pastes and a variety of sauces are also available to recreate their iconic dishes in your kitchen.
171 Holloway Rd, London N7 8LX
Look no further than Normah's for family-style dishes that reminds expats of a familiar dinner setting back at home. Think crowd-pleasing favourites like assam pedas, mee goreng, beef rendang and more.
Despite its inconspicuous location in Queensway Market, Normah's has received plaudits as the best Malaysian restaurant in London. The hole in the wall remains remarkably low priced with full meals under a tenner.
With the warmest of welcomes and attentive service, you'll have no trouble feeling at home in this restaurant.
23-25 inside Queensway Market, London W2 4QJ
C&R Cafe Restaurant
It’s not obvious that in one of Chinatown's narrow alleyways hides a small café-diner. The restaurant is hugely popular with the locals, but if you don’t know about it, you could easily walk past without noticing it.
The owners of C&R Cafe Restaurant immigrated from Johor to London 20 years ago. C&R Cafe is one of the first Malay-Chinese restaurants in the city.
The interior at this small Malaysian restaurant in Chinatown London is simplistic yet functional. For instance, plain bright lights, wooden tables, white tiles and diner benches. In any case, it is designed for quick service turn around and busy city-goers looking for a quick bite.
Despite this, it's longevity in the middle of Soho and Chinatown is a testament to the quality of food.
Char kway teow, chili pan mee, fried Hokkien mee are only a few dishes on the extensive menu. Their dishes use traditional family recipes from Johor that have been passed down for generations.
They also serve a variety of comfort food like Mein Fan Kuih (flat noodle soup) and Lor Bak (five-spice pork roll) which you will typically find in Malaysian Chinese households.
Quality food, affordably priced but fast-paced; of course they don’t take bookings.
C&R Cafe Restaurant
4 Rupert Ct, London W1D 6DZ
Headed by Danny Tan, Laksamania attracts crowds with its large offering of Southeast Asian dishes and customisable laksa soup bases. They use an 8-hour simmered chicken broth, which is then enhanced with rich curry, creamy coconut milk or a sour Assam flavours.
The results? A deep, rich and flavoursome noodle dish that's perfect for chilly days.
Close to Soho, Laksamania flawlessly replicates authentic dishes from the Straits. Their variety of vegetarian and vegan spin-offs of hawker classics are also worth a try.
92 Newman St, London W1T 3EZ
This small all-day cafe and restaurant serves up national favourites like nasi lemak, nasi campur and roti canai. Beyond the food, the furniture, surfaces and small decorative items helps to transport diners to Malaysia.
Evoking the same atmosphere of common bistros in Kuala Lumpur, the cafe is frequented by expats. In the afternoon, you’ll see locals gather with friends and family for coffee and some snacks.
Enjoy an alfresco lunch with a cup of white coffee and their signature Karipap Pusing (spiral curry puffs). These curry puffs are light and crisp with a satisfying crunch on each bite. The stuffing, made from potatoes, onions and curry spice, strikes a good balance between sweet and spicy.
For mains, make sure to try Nasi Goreng Kampung, which translates to Village Fried Rice. In contrast to egg fried rice served in Chinese restaurants, the Malay style fried rice adds fried shallot and fried anchovies. This gives it a richer and unique flavour to the rice dish that leaves you craving more.
Alternatively, for laksa lovers, Putera Puteri’s curry laksa is a must-try. Deliciously spicy and filling, it will also leave you sweating - you’ve been warned.
179 Queensway, London W2 5HL
Unambiguously crowned by Londoners for the best roti in London, Sugen Gopal, has opened a second venture in the city. Located in Victoria Market Halls, the sister branch is more accessible. Welcoming another halal Malaysian restaurant in London, Gopal’s Corner focuses more on Malaysian Tamil cuisine.
The sister branch also serves signature roti but specialises in Thosai, a south Indian style savoury pancake. It’s served with chutney, masala and sambhar which is a lentil-based stew to make a filling meal.
Order their banana leaf rice and curry, a dish made popular in the Straits by South Indian diasporas. As the name suggests, small dishes of vegetables, curries and rice are served on a banana leaf.
However in true Roti King fashion, Sugen Gopal takes the seemingly simple dish to exhibit exemplary renditions of south Indian cooking. For a more authentic culinary experience, eat this by hand.
Finally, polishing off the meal with an Ice Milo is a no brainer.
191 Victoria Street, Victoria London, SW1E 5NE
Often recommended by Malaysians living in London, Melur is the go-to for authentic homemade Malay cuisine. Described as a Malaysian and Indonesian restaurant, Melur offers cornerstone dishes like satay, beef rendang and laksa.
However, we recommend their special dish, Nasi Kandar, because it's a rare find in London.
Served only on certain days and in limited portions, Nasi Kandar, or Trader’s Rice, is a local dish from Penang. Traditionally, the rice dish is served with a selection of filling sides.
At Melur, these include crunchy spiced chicken, dried salted fish and tender beef rendang. Vegeterian sides include stir-fried vegetables with sambal, and many more. Above all, curry (or dhal gravy) is poured on top, adding more flavour to the colourfully complex dish.
Lastly, don't leave without ordering their Teh Tarik. This is because the milk tea at this top Malaysian restaurant in London has an extra creamy tang to end your meal on a sweeter note.
175A Edgware Rd, Paddington, London W2 1ET
Add Makan Cafe to your checklist on your next trip to Portobello Market near Notting Hill. Tucked away amid antique street stalls, this no-frills cafe serves up Malay street food classics.
Emitting a casual and comfortable atmosphere, Makan Cafe is the perfect place for a pit stop before you continue antique hunting at Portobello Market. For example, light music playing in the background, bright lighting, and friendly servers.
Order their traditional Malay breakfast which comes with spicy deep-fried chicken. Generous portions, tasty and affordable, this place is almost always filled with patrons.
270 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TY
Best Malaysian Restaurant in London
Thanks to the culinary uprising in London, there are many options to tuck into a rich, heartwarming meal from the Straits. Here’s our list summarising the top Malaysian restaurants in London.
- Roti King
- Eat Lah
- Sambal Shiok
- Normah's Place
- C&R Cafe Restaurant
- Putera Puteri
- Gopal's Corner
- Makan Cafe
List of Halal Malaysian Restaurants in London
Here is a list of halal Malaysian restaurants in London. These are based on the restaurant having halal options rather than being fully certified.
- Roti King
- Normah’s Place
- Putera Puteri
- Gopal’s Corner
- Makan Cafe
- Eat Lah
- Sambal Shiok
- C&R Cafe Restaurant
See the full list of the top halal restaurants in London.
Think we've missed your favourite restaurant? Help us grow this list by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.