I feel a bit foolish because I just discovered this nasi lemak….like last night!
My cousin, Lai Yee, told me about the nasi lemak a few weeks ago when she was working the graveyard shift. It seems her boss had ‘tar-pau’ this piping hot nasi lemak for her and her colleagues late that night as they were clocking in at 2am. (Yes, people who work in factories start work at odd hours of the day. My friend, Karen, wakes up at 3.30am and gets to work by 4am. She services Australia/New Zealand so she’s there to answer calls when Aussies start calling in!)
I had listened in disbelief at her description of the nasi lemak. It was drop-dead delicious. With chunks of special Subaidah fried chicken.
The only Subaidah fried chicken I’ve ever eaten is pretty damn good. And that’s from the Subaidah Nasi Kandar outlet inside the USM campus.
Other than that, Subaidah Nasi Kandar never ranked high in my list of nasi kandar outlets. I prefer Kayu Nasi Kandar although prices are quite steep. But never mind lah, I eat nasi kandar once in a blue moon. Everyone I know shudders at the prices at Kayu Nasi Kandar but yeah, we all have our vices. Mine happens to be the beef curry from Kayu’s.
Now let me get back to this nasi lemak from Subaidah’s. This Subaidah is at Taman Pekaka which is just opposite Tesco Extra, Jalan Sungai Dua. The stall, located just outside the restaurant, opens at 10.30pm. Any earlier and you don’t get even a whiff of the rice. (Taman Pekaka and Taman Permai are 2 good areas around USM where you can get pretty decent food at almost all hours of the day!)
But they open on the dot. And a line of people already snake their way around the stall. The fried chicken is fried on the spot so you get almost a quarter chicken, piping hot from the kuali. We bought a packet of this nasi lemak last night, just to try it out.
The banana leaf intensifies the fragrance of the steamed rice. Sprinkle over some salty, fried peanuts with skin on. Throw in some sliced cucumber. Ladle over a good heaping of sambal ikan bilis (which is one of the best I’ve tasted). It’s not too spicy but has the right hint of chilis to complement the warm, moist fried chicken. Oh, plus there’s even a whole fried egg. All this for RM6.90.
Like the duck curry sold at Kassim Mustafa’s downtown, this nasi lemak will enter my holy list of food I must partake in, once in a blue moon.
It’s that kind of comfort food for a cold rainy night! Worth queuing up for!