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The perfect stop for a quick fix in Chinatown, Rasa Sayang's menu of Malaysian and Singaporean street stall favourites sees it constantly being packed with food lovers, ex-pats and those in on the secret. If it came down to a choice between Thai food and Rasa Sayang's home cooking, we wouldn't hesitate in plumping for the latter.
In Malaysia and Singapore, street vendors are known as 'hawkers' and often focus just on one dish. Consequently, they end up preparing the dish very, very well and many are now national treasures and favourites in the international foodie circuit. The char kway teow (flat noodles stir-fried with vegetables, seafood, egg and Chinese sausage) is our favourite in the capital, and chicken rice is fragrant, subtle and flavoursome, the stock from the chicken being used to cook the rice and thus imbuing it with a new depth.
Along with the usual rice and noodle dishes, the restaurant serves up deliciously moist and perfectly charred satay, and the quintessential piece de resistance of any Malaysian or Singaporean table - chilli crab. Messy, fun and not for the faint-of-heart, you can see why the neighbouring nations have nearly come to blows over this explosively flavoursome dish.
Prices are low and décor is minimal - so it's not ideal for an occasion - but staff are courteous and service is efficient.