All reader reviews by Khoo


Being a Malaysian in London, finding an authentic watering hole is a must. My wife and I went to Kiasu for Sunday lunch. Kiasu is a small cafetaria style restaurant. Reservations appear to be the order of the day, as we had to wait to be seated, which is unusual for a Malaysian/Singaporean restaurant.

We ordered Chai Tau Kueh (Penang style), Acar, Vegetable Fry with Tofu, and Char Koay Teow (Penang style), washed down with Teh Tarik and Kopi Tarik.

The Chai Tau Kueh (fried steamed radish/rice cake) was excellent. Fried to the correct slightly charred consistency, and with spring onions and diced turnips. This is a favorite dish of mine and quite difficult to obtain in the UK (first I've seen it in 10 years in the UK). Hopefully more restaurants will take this up. It was good enough for me to order an extra portion to take out. Not too expensive at £4.50.

The Acar was a bit on the soft side. Acar I expect to be a bit fresher and crispier, being somewhat like a salad type dish.

The Char Koay Teow was fried properly, and had a good mix. Could do with less chinese sausage - tended to overwhelm the dish somewhat.

The Vegetable Fry was seasoned well and cooked well but the variety in the mix was not great.

The teh tarik was fine. The kopi tarik was just coffee with creamer powder, not condensed milk as would be expected (weakens taste).

On the downside, serving sizes were a bit small compared to the norm. Bad news for us expecting UK sizes. Service was slow, and seating was tight. Would definitely come back though.

Saturday, January 26, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 8 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 6

Lagenda Malaysian Restaurant

Being a Malaysian in London, finding an authentic watering hole is a must. My wife and I went to Lagenda for Saturday lunch. The restaurant is the inhouse restaurant for Holiday Villa, one of a chain of restaurants with a KL HQ.

We ordered Mee Goreng Mamak, Nasi Lemak and Assam Laksa, washed down with Kopi Tarik and Teh Tarik.

The Nasi Lemak was excellent, with fried chicken as the main meat (would have preferred curry chicken/beef) but the sambal was authentic. A chefs special on the menu.

The Mee Goreng Mamak was a bit soft and overcooked. Mee Goreng should be al dente and friend with a little charring to caramelise properly. Slightly liberal use of chilis.

The Assam laksa was disappointing. Proper Assam laksa is rather difficult to get outside of Penang but this was a poor show. The colour was not right (it was grey rather than the deep brown) and it was not particularly pungent. I guess it is the sparing use of prawn paste but I did ask if it was an authentically pungent and was assured that it was. All things relative I guess.

The Kopi Tarik and Teh Tarik were fine. The entire bill came to just over £30. A service charge of 10% is automatically added to the bill.

All in all, it was not quite up to expectations. Given the relative profusion of Malaysian restaurants in the area (Malaysia Hall, Kia-su, Nyonya, Makan and Nahar to name a few), we were disinclined to try the other items on the menu. Service was prompt and courteous (we were the only diners there at the time).

Saturday, January 26, 2008
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 4 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 4

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