Review: C & R Café Restaurant, Chinatown

Nasi Lemak
Nasi Lemak is traditionally served wrapped in banana leaves so this leaf-effect plate is a cute idea!

After my foray into Malaysian cuisine in London at Rasa Sayang, I thought it was time to explore yet another place in Chinatown and so I found myself scurrying to C & R Café Restaurant for a spot of lunch.

This review is a bit of a tricky one to write because one dish I sampled was delicious was beyond belief and the other was… pretty dire.

So the good news first – C & R’s Nasi Lemak (£7) blew anything I’d tried at Rasa Sayang out of the water. For those of you unfamiliar with this dish, it is considered the national dish  of Malaysia. C & R’s version is fairly standard – it consists of rice cooked in coconut milk with sambal chilli, anchovies, archar (pickles veg), peanuts, a hard-boiled egg and some chicken. Please don’t wrinkle your nose at this seemingly bizarre combination of foodstuffs – I guarantee that the flavours work. Actually they go beyond that; together they make seemingly ordinary food like rice, peanuts and egg come alive. Of course, the coconut milk and sambal are important – they’re mild but provide a very rich flavour. And that archar – I could have eaten platefuls of it.


This made it exceptionally tragic when our other dish turned out to be a bowl of tasteless slop. We decided to be a bit adventurous and ordered a prawn and squid noodle soup topped with peanut sauce. I can’t seem to spy the dish on the menu so I can’t tell you what it’s called. Just trust me when I say – avoid at all costs.

Blandness to the extreme
Blandness to the extreme

What you need to focus on is the following:

C & R Café Restaurant – Head here for one of the most delicious £7 lunches in town – their Nasi Lemak.

I’m sure there are other great things on the menu so I’ll continue exploring the options in the name of bringing you the tastiest food in London 😉

Where: Chinatown, 4 – 5 Rupert Court, W1D 6DY
When: 7 day a week, 12pm – 11pm

They also have a more upmarket branch in Bayswater. See the website for details.

Author: Phoebe Amoroso

Phoebe Amoroso is a Tokyo-based reporter, multimedia journalist and storyteller. Hailing from the UK, she moved to Japan in 2014 and has since been shouting about the country to all who will listen. She divides her time between covering breaking news and producing feature stories for TV; writing about everything from business and tech to food and travel; and guiding hungry visitors who want to sample the best of Japanese cuisine. When not working and/or eating, she can often be found running up a mountain or cycling by the sea.

6 thoughts on “Review: C & R Café Restaurant, Chinatown”

  1. Chinatown food in London looks as good as in New York! Though the photos are deceiving according to your reviews (; The soup looks like it should be tasty! Glad the coconut rice didn’t disappoint.


    1. Ah New York! I want to go back there – definitely did not have enough time for eating 😀

      Actually we ordered the soup because we saw someone else having it and thought it looked great! But alas, we were deceived!

      1. Don’t you hate when food doesn’t meet up to its exterior? Especially when you order desserts that look beautiful but end up disappointingly bland :/

      2. Yes, happened so many times! Thank goodness for the online review culture – it’s significantly reducing the amount of disappointing meals I have, although some places get way too hyped.

  2. Have you tried their Penang Prawn Mee? It’s good too, although can be a hit and miss. Depends on the day I suppose. And if you get a chance, try Sedap at Old Street for more Malaysian food 🙂 The dessert is not to miss

    1. Ooh no I haven’t! But sounds like an excellent excuse for a return visit 😉

      And thank you for the recommendation. It’s been added to my food list. I absolutely LOVE Malaysian food!

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