I have written about Rasa Sayang a long long time ago and I think it’s due for an update now! Over the last few years, Rasa Sayang’s original Chinatown branch has been undergoing renovation work. But they’ve kept operating just a couple of blocks away on the bustling street of Soho on Frith Street, with the food just tasting even better. As of November 2021, Rasa Sayang has reopened its doors to its original site in Chinatown with a bigger menu and venue.
Rasa Sayang: the halal food spot in Chinatown
If you aren’t already familiar, Rasa Sayang specialises in Singaporean & Malaysian cuisine and is one of the first halal-friendly restaurants in Chinatown. The literal translation of the name is ‘loving feeling’ – without a doubt, that’s exactly the feeling they evoke for anyone enjoying their food. The menu’s hugely inspired by the bustling hawker scenes in both Singapore and Malaysia, and you can find all the classic dishes you fancy there. With their reopening, they’ve also added a few new items on the menu including Hainanese Chicken Noodle Soup or Lo Mien, Chinese Radish Cake, Singapore Chilli/Black Pepper Prawn, etc. All meats served are halal at Rasa Sayang. No pork but alcohol is served at the restaurant.
The Food at Rasa Sayang (what we ordered)
- Chicken Satay (£8.95)
- Hainanese Chicken Rice (£10.50)
- Hainanese Chicken Noodle Soup / Lo Mee (£11.95)
- Roti Canai with Curry Chicken (£11.50)
- Coconut Rice (£3.95)
- Singapore Raffles Laksa (£12.50)
- Beef Rendang (£12.95) + Jasmine Rice (£2.75)
- Singapore Chilli Crab (£23.90)
- Teh Tarik (£3.20) / Teh Peng (£3.50)
- Quiet Storm Mocktail (£5.95)
Chicken Satay (£8.95)
I’ve often found chicken satay a hit-and-miss in London. But you’d be pleased to find that Rasa Sayang does a really good one! In fact, it was so good that we order it as our starter every single time. The chicken was succulent to taste, well-marinated, and nicely laced with a chargrilled touch. As for the satay sauce, it carried a robust flavour that’s nutty and balanced with a subtle touch of sweetness. All in all, it’s consistently a great munch that hits the spot and it’s definitely one of the best ones we’ve had in London!
Hainanese Chicken Rice (£10.50)
Halal Hainanese Chicken Rice is definitely not the easiest to come by in London so I was naturally super excited to see it on the menu. Whilst not quite an exact like-for-like from those in Malaysia & Singapore, Rasa Sayang’s definitely one of the best ones in town. The chicken is perfectly poached, featuring a ridiculously tender texture plus a smooth silky touch. It’s dressed with a touch of soy sauce & served with chilli and ginger sauce – the flavours are simple yet so effective. The accompanying rice was great as well. Cooked with chicken lard (rendered from poaching the chicken), the rice carried a luscious flavour and umami without feeling too heavy or oily. Last but not least, it also comes with a bowl of chicken broth which was clean and warm to taste.
On a side note, if you don’t fancy the whole set (with the rice & soup), you can also order just the Hainanese Chicken itself on the menu with the options of half chicken (£15) or whole chicken (£25).
Hainanese Chicken Noodle Soup / Lo Mee (£11.95)
As part of Rasa Sayang’s new menu addition for the new site, they created a little twist on the classic Hainanese Chicken Rice and offer a Noodle Soup or Lo Mee (stir-fried noodles) option as well. We tried both during one of our visits. The Lo Mee was okay but the noodle soup was unfortunately a bit bland. In contrast to the silky smooth & tender chicken from the rice dish, we found these ones, especially the noodle soup, a tad overcooked and tough. As such, from our experience, we’ll recommend sticking with the classic rice dish!
Roti Canai Curry Chicken (£11.50)
While I usually keep banging on about Normah’s serving the best Malaysian roti, I’ve got to say the roti canai here isn’t too bad either. The perfect flakey roti paired with their aromatic chicken curry, there’s no doubt the dish went down like a treat. The chicken curry got a little edge of spice, with the chicken cooked to a tender texture and a coconutty aroma seeping through at every bite. It’s got a potato in there too! The portion size is great and this is definitely one of our favourite dishes to order at Rasa Sayang. You can also just order a portion of chicken curry on its own for £10.95.
Coconut Rice (£3.95)
When we’re feeling ravenous, we would also order a bowl of Coconut Rice to pair with the Roti Canai Chicken Curry! You can, of course, order regular Jasmine rice (£2.75) or Hainanese rice (i.e. the one served in the Hainanese Chicken Rice mentioned above). Personally, we enjoyed the fluffy coconut-laced Jasmine rice to pair with the curry – it just made sense and makes a delicious pairing.
Singapore Raffles Laksa (£12.50)
If you don’t already know, I love a good bowl of laksa. It’s a no-brainer for me to order one and see how Rasa Sayang’s fares against other Malaysian restaurants in London. Generously loaded with toppings, it certainly sets a good first impression. However, flavour-wise it was quite mellow and lacked any robust & piquant oomphs I expect from laksas. It’s a bit coconutty but nothing outstanding from there. READ ALSO: Where to Find the Best Halal Laksa in London
Beef Rendang (£12.95) + Jasmine Rice (£2.75)
Beef rendang is another popular pick at Rasa Sayang and it’s one that’s highly rated in London. Chunks of beef are slow-cooked till super tender and would almost melt in your mouth. There are fair bits of chillies in there, offering quite a kick to it against the deep moreish flavours of the beef. It’s hot and sweet at the same time and a bit of a firecracker. You’d definitely want to order some rice on the side to go with it. If you’re visiting during weekday lunch hours, you can get a lunch deal for beef rendang and jasmine rice for just £10.95.
Singapore Chilli Crab (£23.90)
Singapore Chilli Crab is also not a dish that’s easy to come by in London, that’s why I was immediately hooked when I spotted this on the menu. The dish was absolutely massive and it also came with a side of fried mantou buns – just like how it’s done in Singapore. It’s more of a sweet chilli sauce, laced with egg drops, drenched all over the crab. A bit more robust heat and spice would be welcomed but the dish is still absolutely delicious. It might get a bit messy and dirty but that’s all part of the fun! We wiped the plate clean with those fluffy fried mantou buns and couldn’t be more satisfied.
Teh Tarik (£3.20) / Teh Peng (£3.50)
Depending on the weather, I’d always go for either a hot Teh Tarik or the Teh Peng when visiting Rasa Sayang. Teh Tarik is Malaysian-style pulled milk tea while Teh Peng is iced milk tea. Both are essentially the same drink but served differently. Anyhow, the point is that they make really good milk tea whether it’s hot or cold. The tea strength is spot on and is beautifully fragrant to taste. Both hot and iced milk teas offer a really smooth and silky mouthfeel and just the perfect sweetness. If you like milk tea, I’d highly recommend it!
Quiet Storm Mocktail (£5.95)
While the milk tea’s my go-to, my other half couldn’t stay away from a good glass of mocktail. His favourite at Rasa Sayang is the Quiet Storm Mocktail, which consisted of passionfruit, Coco Lopez, lime and lychee. As you can imagine, the drink was fruity, tropical, and super refreshing to taste.
Restaurant Review Summary
Needless for me to say, with how busy the restaurant gets every single day, Rasa Sayang is a very solid food spot in central London. It’s many people’s, including ours, go-to restaurant pick when around Chinatown and Soho. It’s a place for consistently good food and you’re also guaranteed huge portions. Considering they’re located bang on in the heart of central London, it’s seriously great value for money and is everyone’s must-visit spot!
Summary & Halal Status
The go-to halal Malaysian & Singaporean restaurant in the heart of Chinatown London!
All meats served are halal at Rasa Sayang. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
Nearest station: Leicester Square