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Jom Makan

5-7 Pall Mall East, London, England, SW1Y 5BA, United Kingdom

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  • 020 7925 2402
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Jom Makan is a Malaysian restaurant just off Trafalgar Square. It has a grey tiled floor, quite high ceiling and has a canteen feel to its décor. The lengthy menu has all the standard Malaysian dishes you might expect and is fairly inexpensive, with dishes mostly priced around £8, and starters around £4. There is only a token wine list, with no vintages shown. St Hallet Poacher’s Blend was listed at £20 for a wine that costs just over a fiver in the shops, and The Paddock Shiraz £15.50 compared to retail price of around £4.80. Beer is either Tiger or Asahi.

Gado gado salad (£3.80) consisted of shreds of rather tired carrots, beansprouts and cucumber, chewy beancurd and, incongruously, some fried potato. This was accompanied by a mushy peanut sauce (10/20), and was a truly dispiriting dish. Beef rendang was surprisingly decent; it was over-oily, but the beef itself was tender and the marinade pleasant (11/20). This was not the case with ikan percik (£8.20), salmon with a sweet coconut sauce. The salmon was dreadfully overcooked, almost like cardboard in its consistency, and the sauce was just a one-dimensional brown sauce with a vague spicy heat (10/20).

Roti canai had a pair of Malaysian flatbreads (essentially the same as Indian paratha) which were a little greasy but edible, but with an utterly dull lentil-based dipping sauce, again with no obvious flavour apart from a one-dimensional chilli heat (10/20). Nasi goreng (fried rice) was edible (£7.60), with a total of three tiny prawns in the whole dish (still not really 11/20). Service was from a trio of bored-looking eastern European waitresses, though they did their jobs well enough in practical terms. I am not sure why London seems so incapable of producing decent Malaysian food, which is far from a complex cuisine to turn out. Even at £25 a head this food feels to me wildly over-priced.

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@RobinCouling @ChefVGDG Not easily.