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Authentic taste of Penang
Monday 25 December 2017
Kuala Lumpur
A collaboration between RapidKL, The Malay Mail and RebeccaSaw.com
In KL, Nasi Kandar Kudu and Restoran Mohd Yaseen Nasi Kandar are about 50 metres away from each other and a mere 200-metre stroll from the Sultan Ismail LRT station.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — As a Penangite, I took my hometown culinary offerings for granted until I relocated to Kuala Lumpur.
Thankfully, the recent emergence of outlets specialising in Penang food has largely satisfied cravings for some of my favourite hometown dishes. With popular hawker brands having made their way to Kuala Lumpur, beloved goodies like the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul can now be enjoyed in malls around the Klang Valley while the traditional Him Heang biscuits can be found at a mall in Bukit Bintang.

Then there is nasi kandar, the all-time favourite dish originating from the Pearl of the Orient. Fortunately for us nasi kandar lovers, there are many nasi kandar restaurants around Kuala Lumpur, owned by descendants of the original founders from Penang so KL folk can enjoy them without having to travel up north.

A recent example is the 110-year-old Hameediyah Nasi Kandar from Campbell Street Penang. Since it opened in Kota Damansara last year, KL and PJ residents have been enjoying the beloved dishes that Hameediyah Penang is known for like duck curry, ayam kampung bawang, ayam kapitan, lamb shank, biryani, sotong goreng and their legendary murtabak.

My personal favourites are kambing mysore ― the rich, aromatic curry featuring chunks of tender mutton ― and ayam kampung bawang, a delicious alternative to the standard fried chicken at other nasi kandar outlets.
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    Hameediyah Kota Damansara is managed by the Hameediyah Campbell Street, Penang so one can be assured of the recipes’ authenticity.

    Another popular nasi kandar outlet is Zainul Nasi Kandar in PJ New Town.

    A family-run business for almost four decades, it is currently managed by Zainab, a third-generation member of the family.

    Zainul’s bestseller is the addictive fried chicken. With its crispy skin and juicy, tender meat, this is fried chicken at its best, if you ask me.

    Other sought-after dishes are the fish head curry, fried fish roe and daging masak hitam (beef in black soy sauce).

    One of the standout dishes has to the humble beancurd. Thick pieces of beancurd are fried to perfection, resulting in a wonderfully fresh and tasty dish that pairs well with a sweet spicy sauce.

    Over in Puchong, Kok Nasi Kandar Penang, better known as Nasi Kandar Kok Siong, holds the baton for the best nasi kandar in the vicinity. The fried chicken here is king too; they get replenished quickly as they are snapped up by hungry patrons.

    Expect a generous coating of batter with your chicken in addition to the lashings of five different types of curries if you request for kuah campur. I find the mutton dish great too. A unique dish to look out for here is the sambal petai, something not typically found at nasi kandar outlets. Then again, Kok Siong isn’t your typical nasi kandar joint. It is a stall in a Chinese coffeeshop and open only for lunch.

    Besides Hameediyah, Kok Siong is a personal favourite as I find the curries here more flavourful.

    In KL, Nasi Kandar Kudu and Restoran Mohd Yaseen Nasi Kandar are about 50 metres away from each other and a mere 200-metre stroll from the Sultan Ismail LRT station.

    Between the two, my vote goes to Yaseen.

    The ayam kicap, sotong telur and ayam madu are truly superb. Also a must is its thick omelette, which is packed with onions.

    Each nasi kandar outlet listed here possesses its own speciality which has garnered them loyal customers over the decades. I would go with Kok Siong for the flavourful curries and mutton dish; Hameediyah for biryani, kambing mysore and ayam bawang; and Yaseen’s ayam kicap, ayam madu and sotong telur are worth every calorie!

    Last but not least, remember that your plate should ideally be banjir and kuah campur ― a term in reference to the combination of curries flooding your rice. It’s the mix of curries that gives your nasi kandar a taste so divine that every mouthful is a party of flavours.

    * For more gastronomic adventures — keep up with Rebecca on www.RebeccaSaw.com and instagram.com/wackybecky.
Getting There
1. Hameediyah Nasi Kandar
Unit A-GF-01 Sunway Nexis, 48 Jalan PJU 5/8, Petaling Jaya

LRT/MRT: Surian

Distance: 300 metres

Operating hours: 11am-11pm

From the station: After exiting the station, head for Sunway Nexis and you will see Hameediyah at the corner lot facing the main road.
2. Zainul Nasi Kandar
Medan Selera Kompleks C, Lorong Sultan, Seksyen 52, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

LRT/MRT: Taman Jaya

Distance: 400 metres

Operating hours: 11am–4pm, daily

From the station: Turn into Lorong Sultan beside A&W. Walk on until you see the food court on your left. Zainul Nasi Kandar is inside the food court.
3. Kok Nasi Kandar Penang (pork-free)
47, Jalan Bandar 16, Puchong, Selangor.

LRT/MRT: Pusat Bandar Puchong

Distance: 400 metres

Operating hours: Daily, from 10am

From the station: Exit on the Tesco side. Walk straight on; Tesco should be on your left. Take the first left turning and you can see Nasi Kandar Kok Siong opposite you.
4. Kudu Nasi Kandar
335, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur.

LRT/MRT: Sultan Ismail

Distance: 400 metres

Operating hours: 7.30am–8.30pm
5. Restoran Mohd Yaseen Nasi Kandar
351 & 353 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur

LRT/MRT: Sultan Ismail

Distance: 600 metres

Operating hours: 24 hours except Fridays, from midnight to 2pm
1. MRT Surian
  • Launched a little over a year ago (on Dec 16 to be exact), the MRT Surian station is located in Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya. 
  • One prominent landmark in the area is Sunway Giza, a three-storey mall with a covered boulevard featuring al fresco dining and Village Grocer supermarket as its anchor tenant. 
  • Feeder buses T807 and T808 link the station with several places such as Persiaran Tropicana, Jalan Tropika Utama, Jalan PJU 1A/1, Jalan PJU 5/1 and Persiaran Mahogani. 
2. LRT Taman Jaya
  • The elevated station takes its name from Taman Jaya in Section 10, a park with lush greenery and a lake. It is the first ever park in Petaling Jaya. 
  • Amcorp Mall, Kelab Syabas and the iconic A&W outlet are close by. Opened in 1965, the latter is the first fast food chain eatery with a drive-in facility in Malaysia. 
  • The station is about 440 metres from the closest access point into the Federal Highway via Jalan Timur to the north. 
3. LRT Pusat Bandar Puchong
  • The elevated station is within walking distance of Tesco Puchong and Pejabat Pos Puchong, Selangor, among others. 
  • It is equipped with a Park N’ Ride facility with a total of 120 parking bays. 
  • Operated under the Sri Petaling Line, the station is located 25km south of Kuala Lumpur. 
4. LRT Sultan Ismail
  • Opened in 1996, the elevated station stands between Sekolah Kebangsaan Lelaki Jalan Batu and Chung Kwok Primary School. 
  • It is connected to the Monorail Medan Tuanku station, 580 metres away by a pedestrian bridge. 
  • The platform where the rail lines are is on the second level while the ticketing facility is located on the first floor. All levels are linked by staircases and escalators from the ground floor. 
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