Nanyang Malaysian Restaurant, Edinburgh

Having lived in Singapore for over five years we couldn't help but fall in love with the food there and this was one of the things we always knew we would miss a lot when we left. Whilst cooking up our own versions of these dishes (or rather my husband cooking up these versions) isn't the challenge it would have been once upon a time, thanks to the ease of getting the key ingredients nowadays, it's also nice to be able to enjoy a taste of that part of the world without doing it yourself. When we first moved here we guessed that we should surely be able to get some pretty decent interpretations of this food somewhere in the city, and so began the search. As luck would have it one of my husband's former colleagues was a Singaporean based here and was able to recommend a few reasonably authentic spots to him for us to try, one of which was the Nanyang Malaysian restaurant.

We've been here quite a few times now and it's pretty good, especially when we are craving some of the dishes that were super easy (obviously) to get in Singapore but less so here. The restaurant is in the Quartermile area of the city and when we've been is generally the busiest of all the options there by a long way. With its relaxed, friendly atmosphere and good food it's not hard to workout why. I recommend booking in advance to avoid being disappointed.

As for the food, first things first, we've learnt that it's best to not over order on starters as the main courses are large. I suggest sharing everything which also does mean you can enjoy more of what they have on offer. Starters for us absolutely have to consist of roti canai or prata as we more commonly know it having lived in Singapore. Prata is a fried flatbread typically served with a curry sauce (take a look at my eating Singapore post for a peek at our absolute favourite spot for prata there). The prata at Nanyang's is delicious, although the curry sauce is thicker in consistency than what we got in Singapore. It reminds me more of typical curry sauce that you get in the UK and certainly doesn't have quite the depth of flavour to it but nonetheless it still makes for a great beginning to the meal.

Another main staple of our starters (for me at least) tends to be the nai huang bao, the steamed custard egg yolk buns. I fell in love with these a few years ago, and whilst none, I'm sure, will ever quite come up to the one dim sum place we went to in Singapore (even others I had elsewhere in Singapore were never quite as good) these are still pretty damn tasty, if not incredibly filling! This is the reason why I recommend not going crazy with the starters and sharing them and the main courses. We've also enjoyed the salt and chilli chicken wings which are delicious too. In fact I could probably happily just dine on the starters if there were not so many good main courses to enjoy as well.

Having alluded to them then it's time to move on to the main courses. As we've been a few times we've had a few different ones, something I'm quite proud of as in a lot of places I'm a bit of a creature of habit and just stick to the same one or two no matter how much I tell myself I should have something else. The first time we went I had the nasi goreng ayam which was great. Nasi goreng translates as fried rice and is usually accompanied by egg, chicken (ayam means chicken) and prawns. Other subsequent visits have included us choosing Hainanese chicken rice with its all important chilli sauce accompaniment which is spot on! When I had it though I did stupidly order it just for me and then couldn't finish it, those big portions finishing me off again. Other visits have seen us enjoying the char kway teow, a stir-fried noodle dish and the kapitan ayam (chicken) curry amongst a few others but there are plenty of dishes still to try out on future visits.

From the top - roti canai aka prata, steamed custard egg yolk buns and nasi goreng ayam

chicken rice

By the time we've eaten our starters and mains we've never had any room left for a dessert, looking at the menu though there are some pretty familiar options to choose if we ever do manage it. They include desserts with the familiar pandan flavouring (something used widely in South East Asian cooking) in pancakes and a sticky rice dessert. The drinks too are familiar favourites with teh tarik, the famous pulled tea with its name coming from the pouring process of 'pulling' the tea during its preparation and, of course, kopi (coffee).

We've never been disappointed by any of the dishes we've sampled here and whether you've travelled to Malaysia and Singapore or not the food here is not to be missed! Do you have anywhere you like to go in Edinburgh for an authentic taste of food from elsewhere that you love? What are your recommendations, where should we be going?


  1. Sounds good! Great to have something so authentic available there!


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