The 10 types of roti you'll find at the mamak

A guide to the many different types of roti at the mamak – complete with illustrations
By Time Out KL editors |
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Roti isn't just plain. In our guide, we give you the lowdown on the ten different types of roti you can find at the mamak – from conventional roti canai and roti sardin to the more inventive roti Hawaii and roti Fujima. 

Roti canai
Illustration: Lip Wei

Roti canai

This bread dish is a mamak staple, made from ghee-sprinkled dough that has been tossed – or ‘tebar’ as we call it – before it’s folded and put on a griddle. Enjoy the light, crispy roti plain or pour some dhal over it. 
Try Valentine Roti and Nasi Kandar Pelita.

Roti telur bawang
Illustration: Lip Wei

Roti telur bawang

Don’t worry about the stringy onions being overpowering – the taste is balanced out by the eggs. Plus, you can always pair it with sambal, which adds a spicy punch to the dish. 
Try Restoran Devi’s Corner

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Roti pisang
Illustration: Lip Wei

Roti pisang

As its name suggests, this version of the roti features slices of caramelised banana within its folds. Drench it in dhal or curry for a satisfying finish. 
Try Nasi Kandar Pelita

Roti cheese
Illustration: Lip Wei

Roti cheese

This roti can be a bit chewy from the melted cheese inside, but the texture is balanced by the thin, light bread. 
Try Restoran Devi’s Corner

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Roti Jepun
Illustration: Lip Wei

Roti Jepun

You won’t want to count your calories when eating this bread. It has eggs, cheese, Planta and condensed milk, so expect to bite into a mix of sweet and savoury flavours. 
Try Restoran SS2 Murni

Roti sardin
Illustration: Lip Wei

Roti sardin

This roti is slightly thicker from the pieces of fish buried inside. You might find it too heavy for breakfast but come lunch, just add on a vegetable dish or two and you can turn it into a meal. 
Try Restoran Devi’s Corner

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Roti Fujima
Illustration: Lip Wei

Roti Fujima

It’s essentially a fancier roti pisang that is topped with two scoops of corn-flavoured ice cream. Dig into a hot and cold dish that doesn’t need other sides or sauces to accompany it. 
Try Restoran SS2 Murni

Roti Hawaii
Illustration: Lip Wei

Roti Hawaii

This signature roti at Murni SS2 resembles a murtabak. Stuffed with minced meat (chicken or beef), eggs, cheese, sausages and pineapples, it can make quite a meal. 
Try Restoran SS2 Murni

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Roti tisu
Illustration: Lip Wei

Roti tisu

The roll of paper thin, crispy roti – drizzled in condensed milk – will be quite a sight when it arrives at your table. The one at Pelita is served with extra condensed milk on the side. 
Try Nasi Kandar Pelita

Naan garlic cheese
Illustration: Lip Wei

Naan garlic cheese

Don’t go plain when it comes to naan at this mamak, not when you can order one that has a generous amount of gooey cheese and chopped garlic within. Tear off a thick, pillowy slice and dip it in chutney. 
Try Restoran SS2 Murni and RSMY

Where to have roti

Restaurants, Indian

Devi's Corner

icon-location-pin Bangsar

Bangsar’s most treasured Indian restaurant is built on the foundation of rich curries and generously spicy condiments. While most of you may frequent Devi’s at ungodly hours of the night, it’s the restaurant’s daytime banana leaf section we like the most.

Restaurants, Hawker

Nasi Kandar Pelita

icon-location-pin Bangsar

It’s not often you say ‘nasi kandar’ without it being followed shortly by ‘Pelita’. This nasi kandar chain didn’t get to the top by being boring either – you can get the standard offerings, but also crab masala, honey roasted chicken and some very good calamari. And with numerous outlets in the Klang Valley, it’s not gone unnoticed.

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Restaurants, Hawker

Restoran Murni SS2

icon-location-pin SS2

This SS2 mamak is an institution, putting a spin on nearly all established mamak favourites. Seemingly any word that can be attached to ‘roti’ is – roti Hawaii, roti seafood, roti scramble. (Aforementioned roti Hawaii contains minced meat, sausage and egg, and is topped with a spider web of mayonnaise.) They boast possibly the most extensive mamak menu in existence.

RSMY
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
Restaurants, Mamak

RSMY Danau Kota

icon-location-pin Setapak

RSMY is best known for its cheese naan that oozes with mozzarella cheese, which can explain the RM6 price tag (garlic-cheese naan costs RM7). Curries and dhal are also sold separately, but you can take comfort in the fact that they're rich, flavourful and nothing like the watered down versions you get for free at regular mamaks (go for the chena curry and beef keema). 

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Valentine Roti
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
Restaurants, Hawker

Valentine Roti

icon-location-pin KL City Centre

The roadside stall is an institution in KL, having served crispy roti to hungry residents and the post-clubbing crowd for almost two decades.

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