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Two Singaporean/Malaysian places, Leicester Sq./Chinatown, London

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Two Singaporean/Malaysian places, Leicester Sq./Chinatown, London

limster | Aug 22, 2008 04:07 PM

Both on Charing Cross Road, the stretch that is approximately the eastern limit of Chinatown.

• Mui & Bay
A solid wan tan ho fun - flat rice noodles with basic wok charring, under a starchy gravy with egg and a variety of seafood (prawns, squid), vegetables and meat. Not as soulful as the version at C&R, where the egg seemed to be cracked raw into the hot gravy for very light cooking. Nevertheless, pretty inexpensive for what it is. No pickled green chilli, but they do have sliced raw ones.

• Malaysian Kopi Tiam
They're newly opened, but this seems to be a reopening for them, from a prior location (iirc, Camden Town). Run by Malaysian-Chinese, and at least one of them is Hainanese. Basic teh-tarik ("pulled tea" - made frothy by repeated pouring from one container to another) could be more forthy, but is otherwise true. Genuine Hainanese chicken rice - solid chickeny flavour on the rice that is cooked in chicken stock, the hint of ginger evident, topped with aromatic crispy shallots. Good poached chicken, fairly tender, deboned (a nice convenience) and generally delicious even if it pales against the very best back home where the poaching is more gentle and the resulting chicken more silky. An ok chicken consomme with scallions on the side.

This place shows promise and I would recommend more people check it out. It's a bit hidden, at the back of the space that houses a sushi bar at the front. Hope to hear more about it, especially wondering about the quality of the other dishes. The roti canai that the next table got looked good, and seemingly resilient and flaky, from watching them tear into it.

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