One of the city’s few Malaysian restaurants has reopened with a slick new fit-out that pays homage to the beautiful old teahouses of the Southeast Asian country. Roti Place was forced to relocate from the corner of Mary and Albert streets to make way for a Cross River Rail station. So it took over the Charlotte Street site formerly occupied by Little Singapore, opening in the new location in late March.
The light-filled heritage-listed space – once the George Weston and Sons workshop – is a world apart from Roti Place’s old venue, which was known for its alfresco dining on the dark-timber deck. Patterned black and white tiles line the floor, complementing the mustard-coloured lounge seating that runs the length of the restaurant. An exposed-brick wall, which was only discovered during the renovations, is the major feature of the 96-seat venue.
Co-owner Emmanuel Chan says the move offered the chance to create a modern teahouse. “It’s similar to those little restaurants you would visit in the laneways of the old towns in Malaysia,” he says. “But it has a modern twist to it.”
As for food, the star of the show is the flaky round flatbread of the restaurant’s name. The savoury roti canai, served either on its own or with curry chicken or beef rendang, is most popular. But there are sweet options, including roti topped with Nutella. There are also four signature spanner crab dishes available every night for dinner and all day on weekends. Chan says the crustaceans are sourced fresh from the Gold Coast twice a week. “They’re still crawling when they arrive and until they’re ready to cook,” he says.
Roti Place is licensed and has a small selection of wines, beers and ciders. Beer taps will be installed in the coming weeks.
This story was originally published on May 8. Menu items may have changed.