Roti Canai: Delicious Malaysian Finger Food

It was a rainy Sunday morning in August when my friend took me and two other friends visiting from Washington DC to Curry Leaves Restaurant a Malaysian restaurant in Queens. I had but one request, “I’m hung-over, make it good.” Upon arrival to the Main Street station in Flushing, my friend, a native of DC, asked sardonically “Are we still in New York?” It’s easy to get confused, most if not all signs are in foreign languages. I assured my friend that we were indeed still in New York, albeit in one of its more distinct neighborhoods. We walked a few blocks away from the station to the small and cozy restaurant, where the  staff greeted us with enthusiastic smiles and welcoming service.

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We sat down and ordered the Malaysian Roti Canai as an appetizer. Roti Canai is an Indian-influenced flatbread dish eaten in Malaysia and Indonesia. The roti itself is considered street food, much like bagels or pretzels are eaten in New York City. Served with a bowl of strong and savory chicken curry, we were all enamored with the dish. Trying desperately to make time stand still, we ate as slowly as possible, relishing each bite. In between bites, we sighed wistfully, knowing that soon the meal would end. Once we devoured the roti, a bittersweet craving set in. Finally, when our main courses came we decided to supplement them with even more roti canai. I found it a great companion to the spicy fried noodles I ordered. The portions were huge and at around $10 a platter, it felt like highway robbery. Filled to the brim halfway through the meal, I still managed to fit in one more bite of roti.

If you can’t make it out to Flushing for some delicious Roti Canai, maybe you can try some of the cuisine that inspired it at Curry Kitchen:


Catherine, Hudson County Community College, Read my blog

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