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The plain dining room at C&R has slate flooring and grey banquettes; colour is added by red lanterns championing Tiger beer. The waiting staff are a cheery bunch, and most evenings see a contented crowd of diners scrutinising the wide-ranging menu.
There aren’t many Malaysian restaurants with a menu as long as C&R (at last count, 18 noodle dishes, nine rice options and eight curries), and it trawls other parts of Asia too (thai fish cakes and crispy duck pancakes, for example). A menu this long can be a worrying sign, but the kitchen makes it work. The flavours of curry fish head hotpot were full on, and we particularly enjoyed the fish eyes. Less hardcore, a huge bowl of kway teow soup (a popular hawker dish featuring broad rice noodles in a clear chicken bouillon), which arrived with choi sum, chicken, prawns and a fish ball, was made more satisfying by a sprinkling of fried minced garlic.
Kueh dadar, green pandan crêpes filled with coconut and palm sugar, served warm with coconut milk, make for a mellow ending. Equally popular is the smaller, more café-like offshoot in Soho.
52 Westbourne Grove
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