50% off Putera Puteri by Malay Fellas who set cuisine standardHALAL STATUS Fully Halal
When it comes to new restaurants, there are two things (other than the food itself, of course) that always brings joy to the heart: One that’s family-run, or that’s been opened by close friends.
In the case of Malay Fellas, it’s the latter, with childhood buddies Harith and Shubli, who boast almost 30 years of combined cooking experience, having launched their very first joint food venture last year.
While they were initially running a Malaysian kitchen at Tai Pan Alley in Camden earlier in the year, they have now relocated to Putera Puteri in west London’s Queensway.
Their fully Halal menu is well defined, with focus, we were told, on serving authentic dishes and flavours untainted by the influence of the Western palate, with a few such generationally passed down.
To this end, Harith told us that Malay Fellas has the distinction of being the first Malaysian eatery in London to serve a quintessentially traditional breakfast sandwich called a Roti John.
The two friends, who first met in Malaysia when Harith was 15 and Shubli just 12, come from a long line of restaurateurs, with their parents running successful businesses both at home and following their move to the UK.
Harith’s mother used to run the popular Malaysian restaurant Puji Puji in Colindale’s Oriental City, before its demolishment in 2014 forced her to relocate to Balls Pond Road in Dalston.
Meanwhile, Shubli’s father ran Malaysia Hall Canteen in Bayswater, followed later by a restaurant in Paddington called Pak Awie. He is now operating Indo-Malay Melur by Pak Awie on Edgware Road.
The swanky roti manages to walk the thin line between multi-layered chewiness and crumbly-soft goodness.
As for the bowl of deceptively innocuous-looking dhal curry topped with sambal sauce, then the former was textured and delicately tempered, while the latter lent a tangy edge to things. All in all, this dish turned out to be a perfect appetiser of sorts.
While ‘Sarang Burung’, which literally means a ‘birds nest’, was a simple yet clever take on the well-known South Asian breakfast of anda (eggs) paratha, the difference was that the sunny-side-up egg was contained within a donut-shaped buttered roti.
Sprinkled with chives, the addition of the egg just made the accompanying bowl of dhal curry with sambal sauce that much more scrumptious.RECOMMENDED
As mentioned above, Malay Fellas say they are the first restaurant to introduce the Roti John (Sloppy Joe) to London.
In fact, its popularity in Malaysia can be measured by the fact that during Ramadan, which is only a week away, families invariably tend to enjoy this decadent bun immediately after opening their fast with a date.
And we can understand why, because this was an absolute delight. Encased in a pillowy-soft steamed bun was a lightly spiced and ultra tender chicken omellete, all smothered in a tangy orange sauce that brought the entire thing together. We could have easily downed two of these.
The skill with which the chefs were able to balance the gentle spices in this Kari Kambing Mamak curry, thereby allowing the meaty flavour of the wonderfully rendered lamb to come through smoothly, was quite something.
Not only was the superbly infused curry rich and flavourous, but the baby potatoes managed to retain a good bite, with the peppers therein offering that little bit extra.RECOMMENDED
And the ability with which the chefs were able to imbue this Penang Char Kuey Teow with the smoky depth of the wok ‘hei’ was astounding.
Here was arguably one of the best flat rice noodle dishes we’ve had, with the chicken almost shredded in texture, and entirely enveloped in a deeply flavoured, umami sauce, with the heat permeating through beautifully.
WOK & SPECIALITY
There’s a reason why the name Malay Fellas has been juxtaposed to the Nasi Goreng here, given how deliciously fragrant this moist mound of fried rice turned out to be.
With smokiness lingering in the background, the glistening rice was finely spiced, the chunks of chicken moist and succulent, and the finely diced green chillis assuring pleasant heat. An uncomplicated dish; but one which was done with complete precision.
And this authentic Nasi Lemak was another brilliantly executed plate of food, with tender chicken fried to a tee, and a spicy sambal sauce offering a zesty edge.
Malaysia’s unofficial national dish is identified as such because of how the simple sum of its parts culminate into something so delicious. In this instance, it really did.RECOMMENDED
A tremendous bowl of buttery sweet soup, which was soothingly warm, had the lingering hint of the lemongrass in the background, and plenty of noodles that had absorbed all that rich broth.
On this occasion, we opted for prawns, which had the tender chewiness of precisely made crustaceans, as well as crunchy beansprouts, a hard boiled egg, and saturated cubes of soft tofu.
Despite all the praise heaped upon the aforementioned, it is this inhouse-made Pandan Creme Brulee, which Malay Fellas have designated their signature, that perhaps stole the show.
This was exceptionally good dessert was fragrance personified, with just enough sweetness to allow for the subtle vanilla aroma of those pandan leaves to come through with every bite.
Exquisitely balanced, and a flavour profile for a creme brulee we’d never encountered before, but one we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for in the future.
And, of course, we would be remiss not to enjoy this with the classic Malaysian beverage, Teh Terik, which in this case was soothingly milky and satisfying.
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- UBER EATS
Of course, it helps immeasurably when you've been brought up, as Harith and Shubli have, in a household full of restaurateurs. Such invaluable experience has brought them to the point where, for us, they have collectively set down a benchmark for Malaysian cuisine in the capital that will take some beating. There was a level of quiet confidence these two chefs cooked with that spokes volumes even before we got to enjoy their dishes.
We've teamed up with them to offer you a massive 50% off the entire menu until the end of August. You have no excuse not to visit Putera Puteri by Malay Fellas, and arguably one of the best Malay restaurants in London.
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