It sure looks like my search for the truly very lemak (rich in santan) nasi lemak is getting nowhere and I might as well give up and go back to the people who really knows instead of trying the ones at those very unlikely places.
I’ve heard of a lady in town who makes the nasi lemak cake for those on a no sugar diet and an ex-student shared a photograph of what he had there. It sure looked very good except for the addition of those bland/tasteless mini-keropok (“prawn” crackers) – I wonder why they like to do that at some places, so NCAA (no class at all)! I asked him about the rice and he said that she used plain rice, not nasi lemak, not even nasi-that-is-not-lemak. I made up my mind instantly that I would not bother going there to see if hers is any good.
Well, the other day, I went back to that place that used to sell the best nasi lemak in town…
The guy and his wife started their business at their simple stall by the roadside in 2013. The rice was so good it literally swept me off my feet and I never went any place else after that! For reasons unknown, they disappeared and it was not until 2017 that they emerged once again.
It was still very good at the time but the guy was complaining about the increasing prices of santan (coconut milk). I told him to increase the prices while maintaining the quality of what they dished out but it all fell on deaf ears. The lemak-ness of the rice became less and less and eventually, I stopped going there or at least, not as frequently as before.
They certainly are doing so very well after they have moved to their present location, a stone’s throw from the stall where they used to be. Believe you me, they have grown by leaps and bounds and are selling more than just nasi lemak. and for their nasi lemak these days, there are so many add-on’s…
…that customers can pick and choose.
I ordered what tickled my fancy (RM8.00)…
…and sat at a table there to enjoy it.
No, the rice…
…did not get me jumping with delight, nothing like what it was like before. There was a hint of the lemak-ness but no, it wasn’t anything to get excited about. Ah well!!! I did hear from some friends that the very popular nasi lemak in West Malaysia is not really lemak either – it is all those things that you can order with it that is the attraction. Needless to say, when you eat everything together, it is so so so good and you’d keep coming back for more!
I asked for the sambal egg…
…which was just so so. The sambal had a taste of its own, nice too and not the same as the regular nasi lemak sambal that came with the dish. I did not put in a special request for one with a runny yolk so what I got in the end was overdone, not to my liking.
On the other hand, the chicken rendang…
…absolutely blew me away!!! It was very nice and tender and the thick, rich gravy was simply out of this world. It went so well with the rice and of course, I absolutely enjoyed it so much! Their daging masak hitam looked very good too but I was not able to ask for that as I am off red meat at this point in time.
The guy and his wife did come over to talk to me. I guess they remembered how I used to promote their business so much until they became so very successful. They asked me for my verdict and of course, I told them that the rice was nowhere near what it was like when they first started. They admitted it themselves – they said it was best when they first started on a small scale and they used fresh santan that they squeezed out of the grated coconut themselves. Eventually, they bought the santan from a supplier but they stopped when they insisted on selling to him frozen santan instead of the freshly-squeezed ones so right now, they are using those commercially-produced ones sold in the shops and supermarkets.
On the whole, with the chicken rendang, I enjoyed what I had and yes, I certainly would want to go back there again.
NASI LEMAK BANDONG WALK…
…is now located at the blocks of shops, the first one to the left of its former location, the back facing Bandong Walk (2.313869, 111.825808) and the main road.
7 thoughts on “The one who knows…”
Of course, those commercially-produced santan can’t compared with the fresh santan used in cooking nasi lemak. They are not lemak. I prefer to use evaporated milk instead of santan when I cook curry. Luckily the chicken rendang save the day and you did enjoy what you have.
We use coconut cream instead of coconut milk and for curry, we prefer evaporated milk as it will not spoil as easily as santan and we prefer the taste too! Here, I do know of a few Chinese places selling nasi lemak that is quite popular…but the rice is plain rice, no santan. Otherwise, very hard to tapao, they said – may go bad!
If you want a proper lemak nasi lemak, your missus will have to cook it for you. LOL! Commercial santan is nowhere near freshly squeezed one for sure.
She did it once. Was nice even though she used canned coconut cream, not milk. Thicker and richer, dunno why she never cooked again.
So true. It is only the freshly squeezed coconut milk that will give you the fragrance and lemak-ness. Glad you enjoyed the nasi lemak with the rendang. I love rendang too.
They do not do it so well here, not as nice as the ones I had before in West Malaysia but this one here that day was really very good. I sure would not mind going back for more!
Chicken rendang, fried chicken and curry sotong will be my choice when I order nasi lemak.
Wowww!!! Two chicken! I just picked one out of the choices available.
Restaurants are in such a hard position, aren’t they? If they maintain quality and increase prices, everyone complains about the price. If they reduce quality and keep the price, everyone complains about quality. It’s hard to balance.
I don’t mind any increase in prices as long as quality is maintained! They cannot try and cut both ways – increase the prices and shortchange customers on quality (scrimping and saving on the ingredients). That is so sinful!!!