Footscray’s Roti Road

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Roti Road’s “flying roti men” can be observed in action in the kitchen … or (bottom photograph) right out there on the dinging room floor.

 

Roti Road, 189-193 Barkly Street,Β  Footscray. Phone:9078 8878

Since Consider The Sauce hit the road, a variety of widespread options – in Seddon, Sunshine, Deer Park – have come to offer Malaysian alternatives away from Racecourse Road in Flemington.

Still, the opening of Roti Road in the premises of what was formerly the Yummie yum cha joint has created quite a buzz … and even a week or so after it opened its doors and very early in the week, there’s obviously quite a few people in the house to see how itΒ  stacks up.

Laksa and the like right here in downtown Footscray?

We’re right with them and excited about it, too.

 

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The revamp leaves the place still looking like a cheap ‘n’ cheerful ethnic cafe, but with very real touches of class to go with it – there’s a lot of dark wood and it looks great.

The staff are on the ball, even when Bennie’s main soup/noodle bowl appears to go missing.

Bennie and I are joined by our equally hongry pals Eliza and Josh, so we get to take quite a few of Roti Road’s offerings for a test run.

We have a great time – but there are hits and misses.

 

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We order two serves of the basic roti cani deal for $5.90 apiece.

This is great stuff – super fluffy roti that is much more substantial than first appears to be the case, accompanied by dal, curry gravy, sambal.

What a super and affordable snack meal, with a serve of four different curries available to supplement for $4-5.

 

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Red bean Okinawa ($5.50) and traditional three-colour milk tea ($4.50).

 

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Satay chicken (six pieces for $9) is sweetish, a little smoky and fine.

 

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Eliza goes OK with her char kuay teow ($10.50), but besides not being made with the wide noodles of her mum’s rendition it seems on the undistinguished side.

 

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The reading/eating public wants to know – so I was always going to order a laksa.

Roti Road’s basic chicken model ($11.50) is dull.

All the expected bits and pieces are in place, but it simply lacks the sort of impact and lusty oomph for which I’m hoping.

The curry soup itself is mild and bland. Eliza takes a taste and concurs.

 

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Bennie stuns me by ordering the fish head noodle ($11.90).

Good it is, too, with plenty of fish pieces both bony and fleshy in a lovely, homely, tangy, milky broth.

But there’s simply too much of it for him and it’s also a little too much on the high-maintenance and fiddly side.

 

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In terms of our main selections, Josh is the big winner with his man-size serve of Malaysian-style curry chicken ($16.80), of which he makes lip-smackingly short work.

It has many chook bits bathing in a sticky sauce that has a sweetish, perhaps smoky tang the likes of which I’ve never before come across is a Malaysian curry.

 

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We grab two of the roti tisu desserts ($9.50, $9.90), the crispy bread “lightly coated with condensed milk and dusted with sugar” and the above specimen additionally having cocoa powder thrown into the mix.

Both are served with garishly white ice-cream and are a sticky, moreish treat – sort of like an “impossible to stop” dessert version of potato chips!

Roti Road is a great Footscray addition, but it’ll simply take a short while to find what works … start with the rotis and go from there.

 

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21 thoughts on “Footscray’s Roti Road

  1. Completely agree with you Kenny. Kuay Teow was very dull. Beef Rendang was also excellent as was the Sambal Kang Kong. Favourite dish would have to be the roti. How good is that homemade sambal?!! πŸ™‚

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  2. 2 big cheers for the roti canai – first time Friday, then had to go back for it again yesterday for lunch. The 3 sauces/sides have the most amazing flavours, and had me craving a great Malaysian curry. I enjoyed the flavour of the chicken curry , but am a bit particular about chicken breast being too dry.

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  3. We went there last Saturday night. I thought the vege laksa was delish with a creamy/spicy/hearty gravy. Even better with a side dish of belachan paste (think that’s what it was) to make it a tad spicier. Would have liked some vermicelli noodles along with the egg noodles a la Flemington laksa joints but other than that I was very happy with it. We also had roti canai which was fabulous as you described, and a very tasty mie goreng for my partner. Plus satay chicken sticks with deeply flavoured sauce and Sui Mai dumplings. $43 all up for 5 dishes and a drink, plus the whirling dervish chef floorshow. Welcome to the neighbourhood Roti Road! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to coming back soon

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    • Hi Juz! That’s interesting – it’s almost like we’re talking about two different things. My Roti Road laksa was definitely average in a not good way. I know the laksa styles in which there’s eggplant and even – at Grand Tofu – broccoli are not necessarily traditional. And at Kitchen Inn in Elizabeth St, their Serawak laksa is quite unadorned in terms of flash and greenery. So it’s about the broth-soup – and Roti Road disappointed me in that regard.

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      • Interesting indeed. My reference point was the one I had a couple of weeks ago at Chef Lagenda and I thought it measured up well soup-wise. Perhaps we should both try again and see if we got an off-night or an on-night. But you’d think that something like laksa broth would be done to the house recipe and wouldn’t vary too much?

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      • What it probably all means is that I don’t know what I’ve been missing by never trying the Grand Tofu’s laksa πŸ™‚

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  4. i held the door open for you this arvo and was a little startruck. i didnt say a word! salty spicy chicken ribs wow. rendang beef lucious and coco-nutty. my second visit already.

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  5. Be very glad you didn’t get a roach in your sauce! We went back twice in close succession after trying the roti but after receiving a roach in the roti sauce takeaway, never again! The manager was dismissive & never called us back after promising us he would. Got to wonder how many actually ate roach infested food every other day without realizing cos 1) they never noticed & gobbled them down roach & all, 2) the roach was too disintegrated in the food that nobody noticed, 3) they were just “lucky” the food they ordere weren’t contaminated, 4) the sauce that was cooked had roach in them but wasn’t “served”…the plate that was served came from the same pot nevertheless.

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    • Hi,

      We take food health and safety very seriously here at Roti Road. We only just had a visit from health inspectors from Council and there were no major breaches identified. Your incident is unfortunate but we can’t comment on it further as we did not see the dish in question.

      We do take this feedback seriously though and management will contact you to get more information from you so we can investigate the incident.

      Regards,
      Roti Road

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  6. We had lunch there yesterday. Yum cha dishes were quite good. One Tom Yum soup had the right taste but not much floating in it considering it was $8.50, the hot and sour soup at about $6 was better.
    We don’t go to these sorts of places all that often so a bit unsure how to benchmark this place but somewhat ordinary springs to mind. Nice decor though.

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