After being held under house arrest by a college assignment that seemed to take over our lives and dining room table for the past few weeks, we escaped into the sunshine today. A walk was in order so we set off towards Leyton. Following a recommendation from Chef James Ramsden in Delicious magazine, we were off to try the famous Macbeth haggis cheese toastie at the new Deeney’s Cafe at 330 Leyton High Road.
But as is so often the case, we got distracted along the way. We fell across Masak Malaysian Kitchen at no. 434 and suddenly we were having Malaysian for Sunday lunch.
Masak which means ‘to cook’ in Malay has only been open for 6 weeks. We skipped the appetizers and launched into the Roti Chanai (£4.99) and Nasi Lemak (£5.99). The Roti Chanai was a light, fluffy and flaky bread served with kari ayam – a rich, flavoursome chicken and coconut curry with coriander and red chilli. The Nasi Lemak is a really traditional but unusual Malaysian dish. Coconut rice presented with marinated and fried chicken, roasted peanuts, fried mini anchovies, boiled egg and fiery chilli sambal. We added the suggested side portion of Beef Rendang (£3.99) which was one of the best I’ve tried with spicy, deep caramelised onion flavours and lean chunks of slow-cooked meat. In my opinion beating the famous Roti King Malaysian restaurant in Euston. We’ll be back for a full portion and to try out their other sambals, curries and the intriguing ‘burnt fish’ dish – Ikan Bakar (seabass grilled in banana leaf).
Service was efficient and friendly, although we were the only people there on a cold Sunday afternoon. The interior decor is pretty, the dishes are served quickly and at bargain prices, we spent less than £20 for two. It’s alcohol-free and halal, but there’s a large choice of drinks including a Malaysian version of hot chai tea. If you’re looking for new dishes and flavours then it’s worth a try.
Finally, we made it to Deeney’s Cafe for coffee and cake. After building up a following at Broadway Market in Hackney and Chatsworth Road market in Clapton, Deeney’s were voted No.2 in Timeout’s ’50 best street food stalls in London’ this year. With their Scottish Flavour cooking including Haggis Balls, Cullen Skink (smoked fish) and Tattie & Leak soups they have set up home in a 20-seater cafe in Leyton since October 2015.
It’s a trendy, hipster cafe serving great Allpress coffee along with some lovely cakes. We opted for the rhubarb crumble slice. A fitting end to a lazy, foodie afternoon.
Masak Malaysian Kitchen, 434 Leyton High Road, Leyton, London, E10 6QE
Deeney’s Cafe, 330 Leyton High Road, Leyton, London, E10 5PW