Nestled in an average row of shops is the unexpectedly charming Kampung Boyz, a traditional Malaysian restaurant.

In Malay Kampung means enclosure; it is what small, hut restaurants are called and so the walls of Kampung Boyz are covered in drawings of Malaysian villages with gatherings around these huts and the bar is decorated with palm leaves to give the restaurant its very own Kampung (as pictured).

It is a cuisine I hadn’t tried before and which was described to me as a mixture of Chinese and Indian, but much lighter and fresher. It turns out that description was spot on.

London is littered with Chinese and Indian restaurants and, although I do love the odd indulgence, I find that the food is often a little too heavy and oily unless you go to the high end, expensive restaurants in central London.

Therefore Kampung Boyz is without a doubt a diamond in the rough for north Londoners.

I went along on a Friday night with my partner. We were welcomed in by the lovely and attentive staff to the restaurant which was, sadly, empty. This is always a little off-putting and makes me feel as if I ought to speak in hushed tones.

Softly playing some traditional Malaysian music would have added a touch of atmosphere that was missing along with the custom, but thankfully another couple soon came along.

I ordered the Ketam Lembut to start – deep fried soft-shelled crab – and my partner ordered the equivalent made with prawns – Udang. You may now be wondering how I can claim something to be light and fresh after eating deep fried food, but I stand by my words. The batter was very delicate and the dish was not the slightest bit greasy, in fact the crab and the prawns were then tossed in spring onions and mild red chilli peppers making the dish slightly akin to a salad.

For mains my partner had the Kaki Ikan, a coconut curry with salmon and I had the Kaki Kambing, a traditional curry with lamb from the bone and it turns out both dishes were very similar.

The curry sauce was much the same, both full of flavour and mild spice with creamy coconut undertones and then, perhaps overdoing it slightly, we both ordered the coconut rice.

The lamb, perfectly cooked, was meltingly lean and soft and there was plenty of curry sauce to ladle onto my rice. It was a perfect dish.

Although we had eaten well at this point, the banana fritters with ice cream and maple syrup were simply screaming out to my other half so we got it to share and after my first bite I was very happy that we did. It was sweet and smooth but not at all rich.

With very reasonable prices and a wonderful array of seafood options much like you would find in restaurants in Malaysia, this is a wonderful alternative takeaway or a delightful place to spend a quiet evening and enjoy some delicious food.

Kampung Boyz, 7 East Barnet Road, Barnet, EN4 8RR, open everyday from midday until 10.30pm. Details: 020 8364 8220