Roti canai is one of the most beloved dishes in Malaysia, and JB is no exception. This flaky, buttery flatbread is a staple of Malaysian cuisine, and can be found in restaurants, food stalls, and street markets throughout the city.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best places to enjoy roti canai in JB, as well as explore the history and cultural significance of this beloved dish.
Origins of Roti Canai
Roti canai originated in India, where it is known as paratha or parotta. It was brought to Malaysia by Indian immigrants in the 19th century, and has since become a staple of Malaysian cuisine.
Roti canai is made by mixing flour, water, and ghee or margarine to form a dough. The dough is then stretched and folded repeatedly, resulting in a flaky, layered texture. The dough is then cooked on a hot griddle, and served with a side of curry or other dipping sauce.
Best Roti Canai #1 - Onn Kitchen
With a quaint Malay warong ambiance, Onn Kitchen is one of the most popular roti canai stalls in JB. It is served with a thick dhal gravy and a mild sambal that is neither too sweet nor spicy.
The fluffy texture and crispy outside are what makes it popular among customers. It is a place where locals seek its iconic and authentic traditional Malaysian delights. Not to miss out on pairing the dishes with cold refreshments, like Ais Jelly, ABC, Ais Jagung, and Ais Koko.
Best Roti Canai #2 - Restoran Selera Selatan
One of Johor Bahru’s best-loved roti canai stalls, Restoran Selera Selatan is located in Taman Johor Jaya. They have been selling for over 20 years. Their roti canai is light and lightly crisp outside with a slight chewiness inside. It is cooked with peanut oil and had flaky, crisp dark brown patches which are not greasy.
It served well with the curry dip. If you love the curry to be more fragrant and lesser vegetables and spices. You add some sambal to your curry if you prefer your dip to have extra spiciness in it. Go for their Roti Canai Kosong and Roti Telur & Bawang which goes well with the curry.
Best Roti Canai #3 - Restoran Md. Salleh
Restoran Md. Salleh has been around for more than 20 years. Located in Taman Pelangi, it has attracted many Roti Canai fans. You can find a crowd during their breakfast time.
Their Roti Canai can be irresistible and tempting. You will not see an oil sheen on the surface, but you still can feel the tender, moist, and crispiness of the Roti Canai. The dahl is made with chickpeas. It isn’t thick and not too spicy. The most recommended favorites at this stall will be Roti Telur Goyang, Roti Boom, Roti Planta, Roti Telur Bawang, and Roti Sardin.
Best Roti Canai #4 - Furong Roti Canai
You can hardly find a Chinese stall that sells Roti Canai, Furong Roti Canai is one of them. This mouth-watering and delightful Chinese Roti Canai is made by a lady boss that has run the business for over 16 years.
Made with wheat flour and vegetable oil, the Roti Canai is thin and light, and you can hardly see any grease on it. You can taste the gentle sweetness of the wheat flour. Furong Roti Canai serves three kinds of gravies, which have different spiciness.
Best Roti Canai #5- Fendi Roti Canai
Located right in front of Flat Cempaka 5 in Taman Cempaka, Fendi Roti Canai has been around for over 2 decades. This homemade greased dough is made the night before to let the dough have time to rest.
Crispy on the outside and moist and tender inside make it popular among the locals. It may be slightly greasy, but not too much. Their Dhall with sweet, spicy sambal will add a kick to your taste. Their roti bawang is highly recommended.
Cultural Significance of Roti Canai
Roti canai is more than just a delicious dish – it is also an important part of Malaysian culture and identity. In addition to being a staple of Malaysian cuisine, roti canai has also become a symbol of the country’s multiculturalism and diversity.
In Malaysia, roti canai is often associated with mamak culture, which refers to the Tamil Muslim community in Malaysia. Mamak restaurants and food stalls are a common sight throughout the country, and serve as gathering places for people of all backgrounds to enjoy delicious food and socialize.
In addition to its cultural significance, roti canai is also an important part of Malaysian history. During the 1960s and 70s, many Malaysian workers and students traveled to Singapore in search of work and education. While there, they often ate roti canai at Indian-Muslim food stalls, and brought the dish back to Malaysia with them.
In conclusion, JB is home to some of the best roti canai in Malaysia. Whether you prefer your roti canai served with a spicy curry or a sweet condensed milk dip, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. From humble roadside stalls to upscale restaurants, these five spots are some of the best places to try this delicious Malaysian breakfast classic.