24 Sep C&R
As I’m writing this, part of me is saying ‘why are you telling people about this place, they have enough customers, keep it to yourself!’. That’s how much I love C&R, not as my mum accidentally calls it, C&A (sorry mum). This is Malay food central. Notable dishes include roti canai, flaky roti accompanied by red curry sauce, fried Hokkien mee (noodles) and beef rendang. Incidentally, there’s no fancy meaning to C&R. It literally stands for Cafe & Restaurant! As direct as it is in name, so is it in style. C&R is unashamedly noisy, some might say chaotic. To most, it’s both lively and unpretentious – want good food, get good food.
One must try on the menu is nasi lemak, Malaysia’s national dish. Last year Miss Universe Malaysia actually wore a nasi lemak dress! (The link also shows you what else people’s love of nasi lemak has inspired ?) Traditionally served on a banana leaf, the core of the dish is coconut rice. Surrounding this creamy fluffiness is chicken curry, a hard boiled egg, pickled vegetables, chilli hot sambal, slices of cucumber, peanuts and tiny deep fried fish. It is a wonderfully rounded dish with sour and spice balancing richness from the rice, and texture from the soft egg to crunchy fish morsels. Nasi lemak has it all, and the C&R version is top notch.
I decided to go for the chicken curry. This comes with either steamed rice or lo mein (egg) noodles. I chose rice as it’s the perfect vehicle for soaking up all that curry sauce. Malaysian curries generally use fewer spices than Indian cuisine, focussing more on fresh chillies. It is spicier than your high street curry but it’s fantastic, definitely worth a little nose sniffle! The chicken is on the bone, soft and easy to eat. Large chunks of potato lie submerged in the fragrant coconut sauce and if you’re lucky you’ll see some curry leaves rising to the surface. This is my idea of comfort food! I often dream about curries like this which remind me of my childhood and good home cooking. No surprise I wake up hungry.
The drinks here are good too. They do a line of freshly pressed fruit juices. My favourite is watermelon juice, so sweet and refreshing! It goes perfectly with spicy food if you need to cool your tongue every now and again like I do. Mr Munch normally gets a coconut drink (it has little coconut chunks bobbing around) but this time he opted for the ginger drink. It’s nicely presented with shavings of fresh ginger on top, a nice touch. Sweet at first, the ginger heat lingers. Ideal for ginger lovers!
Pretty much anytime you come here there will be a queue outside but don’t be put off. It moves quickly and the staff are pros at turning tables around. If in a group you need to have everyone with you before you get seated – can’t be wasting valuable table time! My advice? Forget reunions, you’re going to want to be there with someone who doesn’t talk much cos you’re going to be concentrating solely on the food in front of you. Of course, I’m kidding. But I’m also not ?
C&R is a hidden Chinatown gem. Go and get your Malay food fix! ?
If you like Malaysian food, give this post a thumb up!
Total receipt (2 people): £24.50
1x Ginger drink 3.5
1x Watermelon juice 3.5
1x Nasi Lemak 9
1x Curry Chicken Rice 8.5
Rating: 10/10 ?A Majoe family favourite?