Lat, Minah and Nasi Campur

This morning we were too late for breakfast and too early for lunch. I didn’t feel like eating kueh teow thng, porridge or roti canai. Finally I remembered Minah Restoran, a place we often passed as we drove along the Gelugur main road but never bothered to ever try it out. Until I read somewhere that it serves good nasi campur.
Minah Restoran Gelugur Penang
We arrived at 11.30am which is a good time actually as the Malay dishes were just being cooked. Minah Restoran is made up of two shops and is located on the same row as Maybank Gelugur. Parking can be quite iffy – you either get a parking spot or you don’t as lots are limited.
According to the third generation owner, a friendly chap, Minah’s has been around for the past 50 years. Lat’s eaten at the place in 1994 and even drew a cartoon for them (it’s framed and hung near the wash basin – pretty clever advertising!). Another frame holds a certificate dating back to the 1970s when Minah won for best non-air conditioned restaurant. The restaurant attracts lots of USM staff (due to such close proximity) – not surprisingly too as a number of USM lecturers live around the Minden housing area too.
The restaurant is breezy despite the heat wave we have in Penang right now. You walk right to the back of the outlet to pick your dishes. The open kitchen is located on the other side but customers can still see what’s going on. And A LOT is going on – a lot of cooking and frying!
When we told him that it was our first time at Minah’s, the chap who speaks English happily recommended house favourites to us. He reeled off a number of dishes: fried chicken with sauce, ikan masak lemak, prawn sambal with petai, fish head curry and beef gulai. Everything looked appetizing!
Nasi campur dishes
In the end we picked beef gulai, kembung fish masak lemak, fried chicken slathered with a special sourish-sweet sauce, lots of cucumber, four-angled beans and ulam with a side of sambal belacan and prawn sambal with petai to go with our white rice.
Ulan sambal belacan
I found the ikan masak lemak to be really rich and creamy, redolent of bunga kantan and I could very well have slurped up all the gravy if no one was looking! The beef was tender too. The dishes weren’t too spicy and the sambal belacan was just right. In some places, sambal belacan is so fiery that after scorching my tongue, I can’t seem to taste any other flavours at all. Despite the fried chicken being a house recommendation, I couldn’t reason why it should be so.
fried chicken malay style
Although prices are not exactly cheap either (our food bill for two plus drinks came up to RM23.80), Minah’s is clean and airy. I have eaten in other Malay warung before and usually you get lots of flies and cleanliness is definitely a compromise.
Ulam Malay salad with sambal
Minah’s also attracts a good crowd of Chinese customers – I would say there’s a 50:50 mix of Malay and Chinese customers, a feat quite rare in Malay outlets! Minah’s also does catering and lots of people arrive just to tar-pau the nasi campur. They don’t just tar-pau one or two packets; many cart off more than five packets each!
Our verdict? We were absolutely satisfied with the curries and thankful for this gem of a find on a searing Saturday morning and we’ll definitely go back to try more of its tempting dishes.

3 thoughts on “Lat, Minah and Nasi Campur”

  1. Hi Keat
    Itulah…. kita pun tak pernah try until Sabtu lepas. But the food’s not bad lah. Make a note to come and try it when you are in Penang. You see, we have lots of food outlets to unearth! Jom pi makan!

  2. yeah, but i need at least 3d2n there man. so much to unveil and to try…..shikes. need yr assistance, whenever i m in penang, pls dont ask me where i’d wanna go or like ok? juz remember these places u hv mentioned. in other words, be my sexytary…………………………………….


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