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Aside from its very splendid name, Uncle Man is a bit of a find. It’s on Karangahape Road, in a very lovely high-ceilinged space that used to be a comic-book shop, only now they have posters from Malaysia all over the walls and lovely big dark wooden tables. It can get very noisy.

Don’t be nervous about the menu, which is a jaunty blue and yellow, with helpful pictures – for some reason they also feature Chinese and European food (spaghetti bolognese, anyone?), which we’ve never bothered with. You’re here for Malaysian and in particular, you are here for roti, which they make to order, and which are flaky and delicate – the dessert roti, a tall cone of delicate, tissue-like roti, is a thing of beauty.

There is an entirely excellent roti canai curry chicken ($11) as well, not to mention the beef rendang ($13.50). We’ve also eaten mee rebus ($11.50), which is egg noodles in a sweet-potato gravy, which verges on too sweet in the Malaysian way, but is saved by the spice and the peanuts. You must also consider, one day, coming for breakfast and ordering kaya toast ($5): sweet creamy coconut jam on soft white-trash bread with soft boiled eggs and sweet soy sauce. Wash it down with a sweet Malaysian kopi: it’s hard to feel there is much wrong with the world with a breakfast like this. SFG

HOURS Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 10.30am to 9.30pm.

ADDRESS 277 Karangahape Road, Newton, ph 377-1799.

IMPORTANT DETAILS The kaya toast is great. Honest.


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