Nasi Kandar is one of those dishes that is perhaps taking a back seat when it comes to our national identity, everyone associates nasi lemak with Malaysia, bak kut teh with Klang, but most may not know that nasi kandar originates from Penang, with vendors on foot balancing a post “kandar” on their shoulder carrying rice & various other (usually) dishes such as mutton curry, fried chicken and so forth.
Kok Siong nasi kandar, Puchong
It is also one of the many must-have dishes when one visits Penang, the state where I grew up. For those who are in KL though, there are always Kayu & Pelita that littered pretty much the entire Klang Valley. These places offer decent enough nasi kandar, but the usual complains would be price, and sometimes the lack of confidence in hygiene standards.
For those looking for something different than those chains, there’s Kok Siong Nasi Kandar in Puchong.
Situated in Puchong right next to Tesco Extra hypermarket, this is perhaps one of the only nasi kandar places that is run by Chinese instead of traditional mamak vendors. Apart from that, the dishes offered are actually very similar, and pork free. If you’re looking for chasiu nasi kandar, well, you’d still have to assemble it yourself, probably at home.
squid with extra petai, fried chicken nasi kandar
We tried their squid with petai, and a piece of 1/4 fried chicken in two plates, with plenty of curry over rice. The dish is also served with papadem (as usual), and plenty of crispy bits on top, which I really like.
The squid is your typical mamak style that’s slightly on the harder/more cooked side, and does taste proper. Chicken was well cooked with crispy skin and juicy meat, but what I really love was those petai with ikan bilis, absolutely pungent and super delightful.
mixing up the different curry is the way to go
Fans of nasi kandar should find this place quite satisfying. As the “kitchen” is pretty much an open concept, cleanliness isn’t a dodgy affair. Price wise I thought they were neither cheap nor expensive, while a “standard” plate of nasi kandar with fried chicken should be RM 8, the bigger piece of chicken we ordered actually carried a higher price, so if you’re on a budget, do ask ahead.
Address: Restoran Kok Siong Nasi Kandar 45, Jalan Bandar 16, Pusat Bandar Puchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor GPS: 3.036115, 101.616258 Hours: lunch
One of my favorite animal parts to consume is beef tendon. I always remember the first time I had it, it was at some obscure beef noodle stall back in Penang with my late dad. I was hooked with the soft texture and the subtle taste from the first bite.
Kampung Baru Masakan Padang Asli
From then on, I always try to order extra beef tendon whenever I had Vietnamese pho or beef noodle, but it didn’t occur to me that there are actually Malay dishes that also serves up this most awesome delicacy. Enter Masakan Padang Asli at Kampung Baru.
Masakan Padang Asli (as stated on the banner, probably not actual name) is one of those old school traditional house-converted-to-restaurant establishment in Kampung Baru that has existed from eons. It is located at the intersection between Jalan Raja Muda Musa & Lorong Raja Muda Musa 6. Parking isn’t the easiest to find, but it’s well worth the trouble for what this place has to offer.
good variety of dishes to choose from
The variety of dishes here is pretty big, and since it is Padang, or Minangkabau cuisine, the choices is a little bit different from the usual Malay stalls or mamak nasi kandar places. You’ll also notice that a heavier dosage of kunyit is used in many dishes (aka Negeri Sembilan cuisine.)
these were what we ordered, everyone had tunjang (beef tendon)
The must order here is tunjang (beef tendon) and the paru (beef lung). The tendon is super soft and melt in your mouth, while the lung crispy and fluffy without being tough.
Other dishes like the expertly prepped fried fish, curry chicken, and bergedil are worth checking out as well. Prices can come to around RM 10ish per person, but do check it out if you love Padang food. It’s pretty awesome.
Address: Masakan Padang Asli Jalan Raja Muda Musa & Lorong Raja Muda Musa 6 Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.164654, 101.708920
On normal days, the walkway in front of Lembaga Tabung Haji building on Jalan Tun Razak might see a few office workers walking about, but on every Friday afternoon, the place transforms into a unique food bazaar thanks to the crowd drawn by the Friday prayers conducted within the mosque of Tabung Haji building.
the stalls operate on Friday afternoon only
There are stalls selling burger, kebab, and of course, nasi kandar & nasi briyani. My first experience with the food here started after one of my swimming sessions at G-Tower’s Element Gym on the long Friday lunch break.
This stall is one that is stationed closest to the right side if you’re facing the building, and one that is usually the busiest as well.
great selection of dishes, including beef, chicken, lamb, veges, fish, etc
There are usually at least some two dozen dishes to choose from, with most of them spicy (just the way I like it!). There’s lamb, beef curry, rendang, brinjal, honey chicken, fried chicken, curry chicken, fried kembung fish, fried egg, hard boiled egg, various types of sambal, bitter gourd, and even bergedil.
The food is very delicious, and best of all, prices are rather reasonable as well.
egg, chicken drumstick, bitter gourd, and eggplant with nasi briyani
For example, this packet of nasi briyani with a hard boiled egg, fried chicken drum stick, bitter gourd, and a huge chunk of egg plant with sambal costs RM 9, with a papadem thrown in as well. I particularly love the egg plant, very juicy, spicy, and full of flavor.
long bean, fish eggs, beef tripe, with nasi briyani
I also suspect that if you get there really late, like say around 3pm, sometimes the owner will throw in really great deal as well. This example above includes some beef tripe, fried fish egg, and long beans with nasi briyani, and I was charged less than RM 5.
If your’e up for some delicious no frill nasi briyani on a Friday afternoon, this is definitely a place to check out. They offer “dine in” options as well, though there won’t be any chairs or tables by the stall. You’ll merely just be served with a plate instead of the container.
Address: In front of Lembaga Tabung Haji Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.158465, 101.720338 Hours: every Friday afternoon
After browsing a bit at Pertama Kompleks one afternoon, SK suggested that we go to this “awesome nasi kandar place” down the road. The dude actually didn’t even know where the restaurant was located, but after a few phone calls and walking under the sun for 10 minutes, we finally reached Nasi Kandar Pulau Pinang Haji Ibramsha, situated just a stone’s throw away from the old Coliseum cinema.
SK enjoying his nasi kandar
It was still during the holy month of Ramadhan, and business was a little slow. We queue up for to pick the sides to go with the rice relatively fast. I was told that their Ayam Kicap (chicken with dark sauce) is not to be missed.
The one interesting side that accompanies every meal here is the fresh cucumber (like nasi lemak style) with pretty strong sambal (chili paste). I think that compliments the rice very well and give it an extra kick and freshness to renew your taste buds. The ayam kicap was really as good as advertised, very strong tasting with the chicken cooked to a very tender texture. Very delicious.
this nasi kandar place is not far from SOGO shopping complex
A plate of rice with a piece of chicken, egg, and some vegetable runs at around RM 6+, pretty standard for nasi kandar these days. Try it if you are around the area.
Address: 68, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman
50100 Kuala Lumpur GPS:3.152600, 101.696143
Lacking satellite TV service at home, whenever there is a big football match, we usually head to KAYU at SS2 to catch the game as they have some half a dozen 42″ plasma TVs in the restaurant. That aside, they also serve some of the better mamak food around the area, like the excellent roti tissue.
how the roti tissue made and served
The roti tissue is made from a larger roti dough and spread paper thin. I don’t really know how they manage to get it done, but somehow at the crucial moment just before the roti gets burnt, they haul it up, manipulate it to a cone shape, and pour some condensed milk and honey/syrup while letting the roti harden. The result is a pretty impressive 3 feet tall roti tissue.
As far as taste goes, this snack is pretty sweet, and yet addictively tastey, best consumed when it’s still warm and crispy. When the ultra thin roti laced with sugar just melts in your mouth with the hint of condense milk, oh… It is one of my favorite things to order as a side dish where 2-4 person can share some extra 1000 calorie, best.
this map is pretty sweet, isn’t it?
Other than roti tissue, they serve very good nasi kandar (very spicy) and naan sets too (RM 10.50 for cheese naan & tandoori chicken.) Though the food might be on the high end of price scale when it comes to mamak offering, the food is good, the environment is pretty clean, and the place is air conditioned with some huge TVs. I guess it’s worth it.
Other than SS2, KAYU has outlets at Tesco @ Damansara, Subang SS15, Penang, and many other places, including one branch at Melbourne (Update: since closed)! I think they’re challenging McD, Malaysia boleh!
Address: Jalan SS2/10
47300 Petaling Jaya GPS:3.116637, 101.617656