One morning while we were still in Melaka, Jenkins’ cousin took us to her favourite roti street-side stand for breakfast. She told us that she had a few roti places that she visited in and around the city but the one we were going to was closest to her house. Unfortunately, I can’t recall the address for this but we found that there were several such stalls that can be found on many streets in and around the city. We arrived at about 9AM and it was moderately busy.
First, we ordered some tea tarik, which literally means “pulled tea” in Malay. It is a sweetened milk tea that is cooled by transferring the tea between two containers. It’s quite a sight and when done properly, the tea has some nice frothy bubbles on top. Sometimes, this can be quite sweet so we asked for the sugar to be halved in our orders.
Then came the roti. Ying ordered a few so we could try a variety of different kinds. First came the roti canai, which is the plain version of this flatbread. It wasn’t very greasy and was super fluffy and light. The curry dip that accompanied this roti (pictured below in the back) was fantastic. It was thicker than what we were used to in Vancouver and had a really strong and intense curry flavour and quite a bit of spiciness to it. The fluffy roti readily soaked up the delicious curry. It was definitely the best roti canai I had had so far.
Next, we tried the roti planta. This roti was made with sweetened butter. Ying told us that when made improperly, roti planta can get quite greasy and doesn’t taste very good but part of the reason they liked this place was because they used just the right amount of butter. I agreed with them. The butter and sugar gave this roti a really nice flavour and had a great aroma to it. The sugar also gave the roti a nice crispiness, more so than the regular roti canai. We ate this roti with the same curry dip as the roti canai and the combination of sweet and spiciness went really well together.
The last roti we tried was called roti telur and was made with an egg inside. The egg definitely made this roti quite filling but I found it to be a bit bland. Ying ordered some daal to go with this roti and it was slightly more watery compared to the Northern Indian daal I was more used to. The daal here was not spicy either so it was also a bit bland, especially when compared to the regular curry dip.
Jenkins and I were pretty much hooked on roti for breakfast after this experience for the remainder of our time in Malaysia. Whenever we we found a roti place close to where we were staying, we always tried to drop by to try some out, even if it was just to share one. Although I wouldn’t necessarily call ourselves roti experts, we were definitely able to figure out which places were better than others and I really liked how most of the roti canai we tried was fluffy and airy without being greasy. I also liked how the curry dips packed a nice punch and had a great spiciness to them, which went really well with the plain rotis especially.