Roti Road, Footscray
The modern and sleek fit-out of Roti Road is highly eye catching, and one that stands out on the eating-crowded streets of Footscray. Matt, Jamie and I headed in for an Asian food fix post a busy afternoon, with this venue specialising in a Malaysian-Chinese mix. This is a good mix, and I don’t say that simply as a person that is Malaysian-Chinese himself. Food seemingly arrived in a random order and first up was the char kuay teow ($11.90), with prawn, fish cake, egg, chives and bean shoot that was a mostly traditional take and one that Matt was happy with.
For some odd reason I ordered two mains, and despite being warned of a potential twenty minute wait for BBQ items, the next dish to arrive was my Ayam percik (Spicy BBQ) flame grilled chicken ($9.90) served with peanut sauce. Despite the description being spicy (something I don’t normally handle well) there was no discernible spice in the chicken itself (unless they meant the sauce), which was a good thing. I really dug the black char on the meat here, it came out devilishly crispy and went fantastically well with the peanut sauce and salad. Great value to boot.
The beef rendang ($17.80) was one of my favourite executions of this dry sauce around these parts, with a perfect mix of spice, sweetness, texture and consistency. The beef was tender and melty but was a bit too in small chunks for a fully perfect score from me. Jamie was also a huge fan and cleaned up most of the dish.
My other main was the Roti canai ($5.90) which I thought was an important inclusion given the name of the venue. This came with the optional beef rendang side ($5) and sambal, curry and dhal lentil. I’m not a huge fan of the sambal so can’t comment on that, but the roti was light, fluffy and very freshly made. We were seated right next to the window so could take watch in the spectacle that is authentic roti flipping. Perhaps not quite as dreamy as the ones over at Mamak which seem a touch more airy.
Continuing the random order, the final dishes to arrive were the (starter?) sides of BBQ chicken bun ($6.50) and the chicken sui mai ($5.50). The chicken sui mai was a bit more alright, but wasn’t a huge fan of either as chicken really doesn’t seem like an appropriate substitute for these classically pork-dishes. They both benefit from that saltiness that comes with pig meat.
Service was okay for the first part, but the staff member was way too eager to clear plates when we were still grazing on the remains and his hands were distractingly shaky. Despite this, I was rather impressed with the offering from Roti Road and there are some gems here for sure,that would make me pick it over Papparich on any day.