Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Monday, 31 March 2008

This Is Old Style Nasi Kandar

The modern nasi kandar experience even in its original home Penang nowadays would be eating in one of the South Indian restaurants chains that serve mass produced nasi kandar food. However these are still usually lapped up by the customers who nowadays come to such places mainly for the experience, as the modern nasi kandar restaurants have now mostly transformed themselves to become Mamak Bistros, although they may not even be Indian Moslem Mamaks in the first place. Thus it is a pleasure to find that there remains old style Nasi Kandar establishments holding out where the main attraction is still the food, and doubly blessed you are if in Kuala Lumpur these are authentic Penang style nasi kandar. One such place is the Restoran Medina Baru at the roof top food court at Sungai Wang Plaza. Another would be Restoran Kudu Bin Abdul located at No.335, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, named after the original proprietor that is still surviving in the fringes of a fast modernising neighbourhood.

Having been featured many times in the mainstream press and blogs, I guess this place is no stranger for serious nasi kandar kakis, some even coming to the restaurant for generations. I personally have been here for the last fifteen years after my company’s driver introduced the place to me. He had an anecdote about the place where this is supposed to be the place where the late great National Icon P. Ramlee would come to get his nasi kandar fix. And since at one time a theatre named after him was located at the back of the shop, the older generation gave it the nickname of Nasi Kandar P. Ramlee. Well I will not be surprised if the late P. Ramlee himself found the place authentic, as even the fresh green chillies, coconut sambal and jelatah that usually accompany the real nasi kandar meal is still presently offered to those in the know. My favourite dish here is the daging masak hitam and the liver masak hitam that is being put into my plate that you can see. This is only some of the Penang mamak style dishes that you can have here as the counter holds many treasures from Penang, even curry crabs and tenggiri(Spanish mackerel) fish heads. And to finish off, as normal “taruh semua” curry or the northern style habit of mixing all the different curries into the rice to give it a distinctive mixed rice flavour where all the richness of the curries are blended into something superlative.

Now run by the original proprietor’s daughters, it is also refreshing to be served by locals instead of foreigners who may not even understand the local language. And this personal touch maintained by Mr Kudu’s daughter ensures that the family’s age old recipes are still retained for their customers’ pleasure. Here’s hoping that the restaurant will remain a family run heirloom so that the little of what old-style Penang Nasi Kandar eating establishments still remains. One caveat though, to get a parking space here is a horrible experience so I usually tapau myself after double parking at my own peril. So it is better to get public transport to come here if you are not from around Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

No comments: