I jog past Queensway all the time and would pop by the oriental supermarket there every now and then as well. But I’ve never really taken any notice to Queensway Market. It was when Normah from Normah’s invited us over to review her food where I finally discovered the place. To be honest, I wasn’t at all impressed with the market itself but we’re ecstatic to have discovered this hidden gem inside it, i.e. the restaurant Normah’s, which has now become my absolute favourite in London!
Normah’s is a small cosy home-style Malaysian restaurant hiding in the corner of Queensway Market. As you enter the market, simply turn left and walk all the way to the end (I got lost finding it the first time visiting).
It is a restaurant founded by Normah Abd Hamid, who has a strong passion for cooking and decided to share this passion through establishing this restaurant. A quote, by Normah herself, is hung right up on the restaurant wall – “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with complete devotion or not at all.” – a quote that speaks volume on her passion for food. Entering the restaurant, it’s small, cosy and kind of intimate. The interior is extremely simple, resembling a local traditional Asian neighbourhood canteen. It’s got some soft music playing in the background, creating a very chilled out vibe.
I’ve been here countless times ever since that very first invitation. Honestly, I don’t usually return to the same restaurant very often. The fact that I didn’t return just once but many many times just shows how much I genuinely love this place and speaks on its quality of food.
Here are some of my favourite dishes:
Roti Canai Beef Rendang (£7.50)
I’ve always loved Beef Rendang but felt it’s easily a hit-and-miss dish at restaurants. But this one was pretty darn spot on.
The dish is naturally sweet from the coconut but also carries a mild hint of spice that dances delightfully on your palate. The beef itself is generally tender and simply delightful.
My favourite though was for sure the Roti Canai, which was irresistibly flakey and buttery. It was so good and satisfying I couldn’t keep my hands off it at all! Every time I visit, I make sure to order extra – it’s undoubtedly the best you can find in London.
Curry Laksa (£8)
We’ve got a few laksa spots around London now, such as Laksamania and Sambal Shiok. Both are great in their own style, and now I’ve got another one on my favourite list – Normah’s! In fact, this one might be my favourite one because it has such a homely touch to it. The flavours were exactly how I like it – richly savoury, piquant, with good little kick of spices.
You can choose from chicken or prawn option for the laksa and, of course, I opted for the latter. The prawns are shell-on so it was an absolute delight to me! For noodles choice, it’s egg noodles. Toppings-wise, expect some lip-smacking tofu puffs (you know what I mean when they soak up all those delicious flavours), bean sprouts, and vegetable.
But do you know what the best part is? THE ROTI. When I mentioned I order extra roti every time, I pair the roti with the laksa broth! It’s the best. Even if I’m not having a beef rendang, I’d still always order that extra portion of roti to go with the laksa.
Assam Pedas Seabass (£10.9)
This dish translates as “Sour Spicy” in Malay. In a nutshell, it’s a “curry fish” but nothing like your regular curry! It’s got a distinct tangy flavour, complemented with a mild hint of spice. Having a whole fish served onto the table is already a feast to the eyes. It is served with a side of white rice, which goes well with the sauce. I enjoyed it a lot, though it’s not my favourite on the menu. But if you need more credentials, it is a highly praised dish by the Eater as well!
Fried Garlic Chicken Wings (£6.99)
If you’re looking to order a side dish, you should get your hands on these chicken wings. They are marinated with garlic paste and spices. First of all, they are incredibly crispy on the outside – like you can literally hear the crunch at every bite. Secondly, the meat is super juicy and succulent. Thirdly, banging flavours! It’s got such a good tingle of spice that’s addictively delicious. I order them almost every time I go as well!
Teh Tarik (£3)
If you’re unfamiliar, Teh Tarik is basically Malaysian-style milk tea. The milk tea was super silky to taste. It’s quite rich, and naturally on the sweeter end due to the use of condensed milk. it’s easily the best one I’ve had from a few Malaysian food spots around London. I loved the foamy touch at the top as well! It can be served either cold or hot, and I have a slight preference over the latter.
*unfortunately this is temporarily unavailable on the menu
…I’d totally recommend Normah’s if you’re around the area. Actually, scrap that, do make that journey to Queensway to check out the restaurant. I haven’t had a single dish on the menu that I didn’t enjoy. And as I said earlier, the fact the I actually go back to the restaurant so many times ever since just means how consistently good the food is. It’s particularly perfect if you’re a fellow Asian looking for a taste of home. Though even if you’re not Malaysian or Asian, Normah’s food is bound to send you a cosy homely sensation and it’s impossible to not fall in love.
Everything is halal at Normah’s
Nearest station: Queensway / Bayswater
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