Friday, 1 May 2009
The last week of the last school holidays was a week of revealation to me in that I managed to rediscover a few things that had been feared will remain a distant memory for me. The first was when I discovered that my foremost favourite shawarma stall, Shawarma Raihani was still open despite my fear it had closed down when I last visited in January. Imagine my happiness when I saw the stall being manned that day and it was the same beef shawarma hung up over the flame, with the flavour adding fat strips and onion on top as it should be. You can still have it in pita or hot dog bread, with either chilli or tomato sauce or for extra zest black pepper sauce. But for me and my family, plain is good enough because the overflowing blended beef with just diced tomato , onions and mint gives enough original flavour to savour. This is real proof that when something is made right, simple is good enough. Anyway I managed to dispel the mystery why it was closed in my last visit, as it seems they do not keep regular hours except that Sunday is official close day. So they may close down even on working days like the day I was there, and may even open late on some days. Usually I frown on such bad time-keeping, but hey if they are confident enough that their fans can put up with such a fault in order to savour their delicious shawarmas, who am I to complain. Sorry the close-ups that I took was not good enough to post, or you may find yourself drooling too.
Anyway that Saturday after sending my car for its scheduled maintenance service, on a whim I drove my wife's car and the family towards Morib as I thought since we did go anyway for the holidays as this year is the elder's exam year, that beach would make a nice short break location to visit. Surprisingly the beach was much better than I remembered when compared to my last visit more than twenty years ago. There is now a surf break and some developments like shelters, a playground and food stalls with nice parking. In fact the surf break is an excellent place to play with kites, and the kids was happy playing their 2 ringgit kites as there was a constant wind coming in. In fact that was the best toy I bought for them to date. On the way back, we also stopped over at the other beaches along the way and there are also developments there, so a trip for a weekend stay is a certainty in the future. Especially when a trip to historical Jugra can also be made though when I made a short reconnaissance side trip there, I must say better signage is needed to point the way to the sites.
Alas I must not forget the other main reason I wanted to make the visit. And that is to savour the best nasi lemak sotong that I have tasted to date in Banting. Nonetheless my initial efforts to locate the stall proved fruitless, so much so that I had to call my friend who was the town native who introduced me to this delight to find out if the stall still existed, and I was happy to note that it had been moved to a hawker centre by the town authorities from its original location instead. This is somewhere at the back of the town main road, so you better ask a town native where is Nasi Lemak Pak Musa and I am sure you will be shown the way. Nonetheless when I arrived there, I was actually dissapointed as they had already sold-out around 10:30 a.m. as warned previously by my friend as a distinct possiblity, but he also mentioned that the neighbouring stalls is just as good as it seems Pak Musa shared the recipe as he alone could not meet the demand. I however chose to eat at the neigbouring Warung Kak Leha, as that was the stall the staff at Pak Musa's pointed me to so it should be better than the rest. No regrets as the sambal sotong looks the same as Pak Musa's as I remembered it, and the rice as good as my younger daughter who tasted mine asked for her personal plate. The elder sister who said that she was saving room for her requested McD lunch actually polished off half her mother's fried koay teow, that my wife said was fried old school style and the fresh cockles in it was an excellent bite. The plate of sambal sotong was shared between us as she also had to eat part of the nasi lemak to fill her up as this was supposed to be our brunch, and she agreed that the sambal sotong prepared here was an excellent and delicious version. I pointed out that here the sambal was made from dried chillies soaked in sugar water like the stall was preparing then for the next day, so the heat from the chilli was toned down to a level that the taste of the chilli proper shone through, so your taste bud can appreciate the chilli taste properly without being overwhelmed by the hotness instead. Though my longing is sated, another trip earlier in the morning to Pak Musa's is still warranted, as I want to make sure my taste buds remembered correctly the original taste.