Tukdin is in a parade of shops in a Bayswater side street. It has been open since 2009, the name taken from that of its Malaysian owner Mr Tukdin. The long, narrow dining room has a casual feel: there are no tablecloths, and the tables are tiny and closely packed together. There is a lengthy menu of Malaysian dishes, and no alcohol is served.
Karipop (£3.90) was a potato-filled pastry, rather like a samosa. The filling also had peas and spices, but there was too much pastry relative to filling, so the overall effect was quite dry (11/20). Satay goreng (£6.50) was better, small chicken pieces that had been marinated in spices and served with peanut sauce, along with some cucumber and rice cubes. The chicken avoided the stringiness that can easily happen with chicken satay, and although the poultry was of basic quality the spices were pleasant (12/20).
Sea bass (£15.90) with spicy tamarind dip was cooked far too long, the flesh dried out, though the dip was suitably spicy and had some enjoyable sweetness from the tamarind. However the fish itself was simply poor (10/20). Beef rendang (£8.50) was much better, the slow cooked beef marinated in coconut milk and spices, the meat tender (13/20). Mee goreng (£6.90) egg noodles with beancurd and shrimp fritters had pleasant texture, though the shrimp fritters were tiny and quite hard (11/20). Nasi goreng (£7.50) had reasonable fried rice, with more tiny prawns and mild spices (11/20).
The bill came to £27 a head before service, with just water and jasmine tea to drink. Service was very good, the charming waitresses attentive and efficient. A Malaysian friend tells me that this is currently reckoned about the best of the Malaysian restaurants in London, and this may be true (Awana in South Kensington is much smarter but quite expensive). However the food did not compare well to the late lamented Kiasu in Bayswater, let alone to food that I have eaten in Malaysia. It is fairly inexpensive and harmless enough, but I had hoped for better.