The weather has been kinda crazy these days. It’s either sweltering hot or it’s downright pouring. I know we get more of the former, but I’m sure someone has been doing the rain dance every so often because it’s been raining heavily of late, especially in the late evenings. And because the temperature of the air conditioning at the office has been adjusted to cool the warm mornings, it gets really cold in the late afternoon when the rain starts. Unfortunately for warm blooded mammals like myself, I’d need to be thawed come dinner time.
I reckoned the perfect treat for a cold and wet (and miserable) night is the ever reliable national dish of ours (gee, would the other dishes be offended?), the Nasi Lemak. The promise of pipping hot and fluffy rice cooked in coconut milk and fragrant by the sweet scent of screwpine (pandan) leaves, accompanied by a good spicy sambal (chili paste), peanuts, crispy anchovies and cucumber is hard to fault. If you’d like to spice things up, top it up with an extra helping of chicken curry and get ready to be elevated to new heights. Such is the effect of a good Nasi Lemak, well at least that’s the effect it has on me.
The thing I like most about Nasi Lemak is its versatility. You can almost eat whatever you want with it and it’s still yummy. There are so many different versions sold out there, each with its own unique flavours. So it’s rather hard to choose which is better than the other. Ultimately, the trick is just to enjoy what you have in front of you. It’s meant to be a simple meal after all.
Recently, I experienced carbs nirvana when I stopped by at a Nasi Lemak shack at the foothill of Robson Heights, just along the Federal Highway. It was pouring and both my dinner companion and I were drenched. But nothing was going to stop us from having a good meal, especially after we sniffed Ayam Goreng Rempah (Spiced Fried Chicken) in the air!
The lady operating the stall was friendly and she had an array of spicy Malay dishes in her stall. As she served the customers in front of us, I couldn’t help noticing the lady’s routine. She was almost operating on auto-drive mode as I watched her scooped a bowl of steaming hot coconut-rich rice and placed it on top of a piece of banana leave. This was followed by a scoop of the deep burgundy and slow burning sambal on top of the rice. And right before she asked them what else they’d like to have their rice with, she spoons up some kacang, ikan bilis, some scramble eggs bits (no hard boiled eggs here) and cucumber slices as she completes her routine.
I remembered Su of Delectables (who introduced us to this place – thanks!) giving us a long list of things to order. So, between the two of us there, we managed to have our rice with a helping of mild yellow chicken curry with potatoes, fried mackerel, sambal sotong, sambal paru (lungs with chili paste), and a spiced fried chicken straight out of the wok. Everything was really comforting and we ate it up rather quickly. In the end, we couldn’t resist but ordered another piece of fried chicken to totally satisfy our appetite. We’ve definitely done good for ourselves, especially when one of us is super skinny! What’s even better was that the meal didn’t cost more than RM17 with two drinks thrown in the equation too. Needless to say, we’re a bunch of a happy monkeys!
Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang
Lorong Syed Putra Kiri
Off Federal Highway,
(If coming from KL take the small exit right after Kuen Cheng School, and make the first left junction and an approximately 20m down the road you’ll see the stall is on your right.)
Business Hours: Open daily from 4pm to 2am.