Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / mamak

The epitome of laziness in Malaysian citizens can be summed up by the availability of instant noodle at food outlets, usually mamak stores. Though I haven’t traveled to many countries in this world, in those I have been, I failed to spot a single restaurant offering instant noodle outside places such as 7-11 (where you have to boil it the noodle yourself anyway)

Alisan Mamak at SS4
mamak stall at SS4 (near Taman Bahagia LRT)

This phenomena seems rather recent, for the life of me, I can’t remember anyone ordering any maggie or indomie goreng from mamak stalls before the turn of millennium.

But some 10 years ago, after a particular mamak stall owner not named Samy Vellu decided that there would be a market for prepare indomie goreng, maggie soup, and so forth. It’ll be a dish that is as simple as boiled instant noodle with an egg, or like in this case, maggie goreng with a little bit of other ingredients normally found in Indian/mamak mee goreng.

maggie goreng at ss4 mamak
maggie goreng with extra chili padi, slurps

The rest, well, is history. Today you find instant noodle offered in virtually all mamak stalls and some restaurants all over the country. I’m sure pretty soon Singaporean might claim that they had started it all too.

One of my favorite places for a plate of maggie goreng is the mamak stall at Alisan (at SS4, the one on the road, closest to Chinese kopitiam). I sometimes have mine with extra chili padi for a more intense kick. There are also traces of tofu, cabbage, egg, bean sprouts, and maybe a little bit of shallots, all contributing to the unique taste of that spicy and wholesomeness.

This particular mamak stall opens from around 6pm till probably around 3am, they also serve roti canai, nasi goreng, mee goreng, and all your favorite diabetes inducing drinks. Kurang Manis is a must.

Jalan SS 2/4A,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.111388, 101.611133

Other than nasi lemak and bak kut teh, one of my favorite local food of all time must be banana leaf rice. My usual fix for this Southern Indian dish is at Kanna Curry House, since it is rather good and pretty close to where I stay. Mell, however, insist that the best banana leaf rice is this particular Restaurant Nirwana Maju at Bangsar.

Nirwana Maju Banana Leaf Rice
Restaurant Nirwana Maju Banan Leaf Rice

Nirwana, as the restaurant is commonly referred to, is located at the heart of the most happening area at Bangsar, just right across Bangsar Village on Jalan Telawi 3. Street parking can be a bit challenging most of the time, but parking at Bangsar Village shouldn’t cost more than a couple ringgit for a meal.

banana leaf rice with curry and chicken
fried brinjal, potato, cucumber, with 2 curries and dal

For those who are not familiar with banana leaf rice:

  • a clean and preferably fresh sheet of banana leaf
  • rice with usually 3 types of vegetables
  • choices of curry and/or dal
  • condiments such as deep fried salted chili
  • usually also serve with papadum

As you can guessed, the standard banana leaf rice is basically a vegetarian dish. However, you can always add fish, mutton, chicken, fried fish roe and squid, and a host of other side dishes for a meal worthy of any glutton.

Mellissa and KY at Sri Nirwana Maju
Mell and KY, deep fried brinjal & papadem at Nirwana

The rice and curry at Nirwana is as good as any that I’ve had, but the really special item here is one of their standard vegetable served that I haven’t come across anywhere else – deep fried eggplant (the green and white type). The crispy yet savory batter and the sweetness of eggplant is a combination that proved to be very addictive, I love it!

Map to Sri Nirwana Maju at Bangsar
Sri Nirwana Maju banana leaf rice is located next to Bangsar Village

Two sets of banana leaf rice with an order of fish or fried chicken and drinks usually come to some RM 15 for two person. Still pretty reasonably priced despite being located at Bangsar. If you love banana leaf rice, give this one a try!

Sri Nirwana Maju 43 Jalan Telawi Tiga,
Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.131014,101.670892
03-2287 8445

Lala is of course, is most commonly associated with the description of female who dresses up in horrible fashion with matching technicolor hair from the wrong decade, the male version would be addressed as ahbeng. They also tend to speak in the most accurate manglish (0.5% English, 10% Malay, 50% Chinese dialects, the rest unknown). The whole subculture is so amusing I wonder why there isn’t any PhD thesis written on it.

However, the lala we’re talking about today doesn’t walk on two feet with 4″ platform shoes. We’re talking about the favorite Malaysian shell fish found at many food courts and seafood restaurant, so lest I digress..

Lala at Alisan, PJ SS4
fat lala in kam heong style = best

It just occurred to me that I haven’t blogged about the best lala place despite having been eating there since before the inception of this blog, until I went there again a couple of weeks ago with IQG for a yum cha session, and again 2 days ago with Tock for dinner.

At this place, lala is typically served in two methods of cooking, “kam heong” and “shiong thong”. “kam heong”, with curry leaves, plenty of garlic and spicy curry sauce, is by far my favorite. The latter is a slightly soupy version with a lot less kick but most suitable for those who can’t handle hot food.

Lala at Alisan, PJ SS4
this place is actually a mamak strip

The thing I love about this place is that the lala is always rather big. The “kam heong” sauce packs a punch and the shell fish not overly done so it retains most of the juice. Imagine the spicy sauce in your mouth, and that sweet lala juice exploding into the mix when you bite on it. Simply irresistible. I mean, just look at the dude’s expression in the photos below. The sauce was so good Tock actually “sapu” it clean with the “chai kueh” from the other stall.

Lala at Alisan, PJ SS4
tock can’t get enough of the sauce!

The medium plate of lala costs RM 15, probably slightly on the more expensive side. However, I rather have this once than the others twice due to the quality on both taste as well as the size of the shell fish served. Simply second to none. Give it a try!

Video taken on 26th July, 2013 on a separate visit

Lala at Alisan, PJ SS4
alisan is just behind Perodua showroom at SS4

Jalan SS 2/4A,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.111388, 101.611133

After spending way too much energy and sweat on our futsal last night, we decided to head to the famous Jalan 223 nasi lemak place for some well deserved recuperation session. Even though it was already past 11pm on a weekday, the Selera Jaya 223 food court is bustling with activity, there are so many hungry ghosts packed in the area you would think there’s a sideshow going on.

Nasi Lemak at Jalan 223, PJ
futsal buddies: Dree, Jeff, Shiang, and Terence

The main attraction at this place is the nasi lemak. There are two types, the nasi lemak with blue print a little sweeter and wetter, while the red print version is slightly drier but more spicy. They come with half a hard boiled egg and some fried anchovies. Since there are so many customers dining at the area, the nasi lemak is always still hot for consumption, a nasi lemak panas is always better than the nasi lemak at room temperature.

I’ve tried both versions and they are really tasty, with no fuss and no frill. You can’t beat the value at RM 1 per packet either.

Nasi Lemak at Jalan 223, PJ
2 types of nasi lemak, otak-otak, and a set of half boil egg

Half boiled egg is another item that they do very well here. Just look at the picture above, perfect boiling, and you don’t even need to crack the eggs yourself. My buddy Shiang insisted that using the half boil eggs as gravy for the nasi lemak is the way to go. I didn’t try that myself, sinful, sinful.

Nasi Lemak at Jalan 223, PJ
the most “Kao” milo ice ever

As for drinks, the milo ice is definitely the most “kao” you can get anywhere. I thought filling 1/3 of my glass with milo powder is pretty “kao” already, over here they do it at almost 1/2 glass. It is a bit crazy if you ask me.

The otak-otak, while fresh and served hot, is really not up to par as compared to those I had in some other places (most notably those Suanie brought from Johor). However, I do eat it once in a while just to refresh my taste bud. They do taste a little too sweet.

Map to Jalan 223 at Petaling Jaya
the food court is situated just across Amway building at Jalan 223

If you’re looking for a midnight indulgence with an original local theme, this is definitely the place to be.

Medan Selera 223,
Jalan 223, Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.100482, 101.633223

The majority of people working around the KLCC vicinity are usually familiar with the 2 food courts at Suria KLCC as well as the lunch hot spot that is Wisma Sentral (Chinese food, chicken rice). However, many noobs are unaware that there is actually a food court at Menara Public Bank, hidden away at the 4th floor carpark. Even fewer people would guess that it is an outdoor establishment.

Murtabak at Menara Public Bank
2 young boys enjoying their food, including the infamous SK

While visiting there with the Snark some weeks ago, I noticed that the mamak stall was cooking the murtabak with ghee (clarified butter). Since I love murtabak, and it is not easy to find a mamak stall that cooks them with this traditional ingredient, I decided to have the mutton murtabak for lunch that day (and had the beef murtabak a week later with Nicholas and SK, when these photos were taken).

Murtabak at Menara Public Bank
this is some good stuff

The murtabak was served rather quickly after ordering. I guess the mamak guy must have prepared them in advance in anticipation for the lunch crowd. Chicken curry accompanied the dish. The size of the murtabak was a little smaller compared to those at KAYU or Pelita. However, I find the size just nice for lunch.

Map to Menara Public Bank
Menara Public Bank is just opposite KLCC

Though simple, the murtabak was really good. The meat patty still juicy, and the tastes of ghee complimented the meat and the roti nicely. And for less than RM 4 including a glass of teh tarik. You can never go wrong.

The food court is located at 4th floor, Menara Public Bank. Opens for breakfast and lunch.

GPS: 3.159788, 101.710128