by Neon London0
What The Hell Is Peranakan?
What the hell is it then? Peranakan cuisine (also known as Nyonya) is a fusion of Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine and results in a menu that is full of tangy, aromatic and spicy dishes.
Rasa Sayang has one of the most extensive Peranakan menus in London and we were excited to find several dishes on the menu that we hadn’t come across before. Our favourites included the Kueh Pie Tee (£3.90 for 4 pieces), a classic nyonya favourite consisting of a edible crispy cups filled with turnip and carrot topped with egg strips, caviar and chilli sauce and the classic Malay dish Beef Rendang (£7.90), which may just be our favourite Beef Rendang yet. For any fish lover though, it has to be the Curry Assam Fish Fillet (see pic below) (£8.80), a spicy coconut based soup with perfectly cooked fish fillets and fresh veggies.
In keeping with the Peranakan theme we opted for street-fave frothy pulled tea Teh Tarik (see pic below) (£2.20) and bandung (£2.80) to accompany our food. Bandung is milk flavoured with rose syrup and a popular drink found at the street stalls in Malaysia and served with rich dishes like Rendang. We definitely preferred the Tarik tea!
With its simple set up, generous portions and a price tag to smile about, Rasa Sayang is ideal for a quick lunch or casual dinner. All of the food was delish, fresh and surprisingly light and for a return visit we have our eye on the Crispy Roti Canai (£3.90) crispy pan-fried flat bread served with curry, the Tauhu Bakar (£3.90) grilled beancurd skin stuffed with fresh cucumber and bean sprouts with a spicy sweet dip and a test of the classic Lor Mien (£7.50) braised noodle in signature thick starchy gravy and topped with five-spice crispy chicken.
With so many chopstick and rice parlours in Chinatown it’s difficult to know which one to choose. But next time you are faced with the choice, we recommend heading into the heart of Chinatown to Rasa Sayang for a taste of Peranakan.
Tip: Save room to try the Sago Gula Malaka (£3.30). It’s similar to an English rice pudding (don’t let this put you off) but rather sago in a rich coconut broth flavoured with palm sugar and we’d choose it over rice pud any day.
5 Macclesfield Street London, W1D 6AY
T: 020 7734 1382
Monday – Thursday 12pm – 11pm
Friday – Saturday 12pm – 12am
Sunday 11.30 – 9.30