PEr FYI

July 19, 2020

Nasi Lemak Famous, Kuala Lumpur…will make your mouth water and your mum proud.

Some of the best food in KL is dished up on the street, kerbside. Sitting round the corner on Jalan Telawi 4, Bangsar, you’ll find Nasi Lemak Famous and have these guys got it going on.

The name says it all. Hell, taste the crunchy, dark auburn deliciousness that is its ayam goreng rempah and you’d probably come to the same conclusion. For the full artery-busting package, scoop some crisp chunks of fried batter onto your plate. But it’s actually the sweetness of the sambal on the lightly lemak and pandan-flavoured rice that will make your mouth water and your mum proud . Such exciting flavours. Check it out if you don’t believe me.

Pack wet wipes. YUM. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 13, 2020

Seri Erra Roti John, Melaka…If you’re going to get one thing in Melaka, get this

Seri Erra isn’t doing anything extreme with their omelette sandwiches, they’re just doing them extremely well.

The best way to describe Seri Erra’s Roti John Special is to say that they are main courses between bread. Imagine sardine, onion, lettuce in egg batter seasoned with Nyonya spices topped with thousand Island dressing on a plate. Looks beautiful right? Now put it between two slices of crispy-crusted bun, lift it up, and shove it in your mouth. It tastes amazing. If you’re looking to change it up, try Roti John Special Cheese as well. Remember the first time you used an iPhone and you were all like “wow this thing has changed the game”. This is like that with this Roti John.

See that photo below that title and tell me you don’t want to try one. That’s what I thought. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 15, 2020

So Asean Café & Restaurant, Bangkok…master of none

My reaction to the Jack of all trade menu is that there was no way this casual cafe could excel at preparing each different ethnic dish well. They were obviously casting a wide net, trying to appeal to the largest number of diners.

The familiar dishes – Puffy shrimp omelette, Grilled pork neck with spicy jaew dip, stir-fried squid with salted egg yolk sauce are all there but you also get slow-cooked chicken and pork adobo from the Philippines, Indonesian-style chicken satay or Singapore chicken rice.

This is just another one of those typical, charmless cafes in Bangkok. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 13, 2019

Islamic Restaurant, Singapore…Come for the biryani

Islamic Restaurant specialises in the humble biryani, one of the world’s great rice dishes. It is rightly deserving of its place as Singapore’s Class 95’s Foodie’s Choice for ‘Best Nasi Biryani’ as recommended and voted by their listeners.

Islamic Restaurant is unassuming from the outside but inside the décor is grander than I’d expected of a briyani shop which is nearly a century old. There’s a distinctly homely feel. Of course, the biryanis are what it’s all about and there’s the choice between chicken, lamb, fish and veg varieties. The lamb shank is full of fantastically light, fragrant and fluffy rice the rice, nicely balanced spices and the meat itself is cooked to the ideal point where teeth aren’t entirely required to eat with. I have had better biryani in India but this was certainly a very capable version.

Bring a crew. Bring your parents. All in all, you’d be dumb not to go. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 26, 2018

Nasi Kandar Pelita, Kuala Lumpur…KL’s worst dining experience

I want to do you the nigh-priceless service of telling you somewhere it’s imperative you don’t visit.

Some meals can feel like a punishment, and if that’s your bag, I can’t recommend Nasi Kandar Pelita enough. The nasi goreng and fried chicken were nothing to trouble Instagram with. The Maggi goreng was challengingly bland. It is profoundly awful. This is truly Malaysia’s capital’s worst dining experience, just short of eating broiled peanuts from a stall at Chow Kit Road run by a man with weeping dermatitis.

There are several words I can drum up to describe the treatment we received from the wait staff, but let me limit it one: shoddy. No, wait, remembering the wrong food they’d served despite reminders, I would add: uniformly bad.

We left hungry, of course we did, and RM60 poorer. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 3, 2018

Sari Ratu, Jakarta…simply too many dishes to choose from!

Immediately after I enter the place, sit down, a lot of dishes were served on my table a minute later.

Classic Padang style, meant putting a bunch of plates or bowls bearing different types of dishes on the table, allowing you to choose what you want. You can choose from beef, lamb, chicken, or sambal-swathed hard-boiled eggs to top your rice; Indonesia’s greatest hits: beef rendang, a spicy (an easy-to-abuse adjective around an Indonesian table), ayam gulag (special chicken in Indonesia curry) and Udang super (lobster) were my favorites. Portions are smallish (not that you can complain about much at this price) because the meat or vegetables are there as an accent, to flavor the rice. If you need something to quench the fire, order one of the Indonesian milk drinks, made with unlikely combinations like milk, grenadine-like syrup and avocado. Or grab a box of Teh Botol, a sweetened dark tea drink.

You don’t have to eat everything they put on the table. You won’t be charged for what you don’t eat. Untouched platters are taken away and served to other guests. Not everybody will think this is a sanitary way to serve food. Your dish may have visited a number of other tables before it lands on yours.

Cholesterol levels be damned. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 19, 2017

Nasi Lemak Bumbung, Petaling Jaya… it’s never short of utterly delicious

If you’re food-obsessed but don’t have the disposable income for Kuala Lumpur’s top end restaurants, you want to pay nasi lemak bumbung a mealtime visit. It is truly a cheap eat of an exceptional standard. You can tell, with every mouthful.

Nasi Lemak Bumbung is an odd name because the stall does not have a roof (bumbung) over it. It is hidden in a narrow alley.

The combination of coconut rice, crispy anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, egg and spiced fried chicken (ayam goreng berempah) hits all the right spots of flavour and texture. These were doused in an incredibly shrimpy sambal that I couldn’t get enough of—the funkiest, most powerful flavors of the meal. And all for less than ten ringgit.

A billion times better than plane food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 30, 2017

The Coconut Club, Singapore…terrible waste of time and money

As you may make out of the title of this post, The Coconut Club isn´t good – or rather a terrible waste of money and everybody´s time. They’ve put effort into the décor. Obviously you know it’s going to be nose-bleedingly expensive. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be good.

A plate of nasi lemak with coconut rice, chicken leg, ikan bilis, peanuts, cucumber, fried egg and sambal set me back SGD12.80. And this was before adding on the otak-otak which was another SGD10.50. Sorely lacking were the things that make nasi lemak great: the flavour and fragrance. This is a restaurant predicated on one idea: that a single really expensive ingredient – specially brought in from Malaysia – will make your life better.

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it won’t. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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