From fried nasi lemak to nasi lemak served with lobster, here are the New Sunday Times’ top nasi lemak picks
1. ALI NASI LEMAK DAUN
In Penang, it is almost impossible not to find nasi lemak wrapped in banana leaf at any food court. Yes, it is everywhere.
But what sets this one apart is the variety of lauk accompanying it. Instead of the usual anchovies and egg, there’s fried fish, prawn, chicken and a few other dishes. Patrons are spoilt for choice.
The lauk can be mixed and matched however you like.
The amount of sambal poured on the steamy coconut rice will make anyone drool for more than one serving.
When approaching the stall, you can already get a whiff of the food. The aroma of the freshly-made nasi lemak and its dishes at Ali Nasi Lemak Daun permeates Lebuh Pantai.
The arrangement of the nasi lemak makes it so Instagramable, if you are an avid social media user.
Not only is the nasi lemak spicy, the price is quite reasonable, starting from RM1.80 onwards.
Location: Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang, Sri Weld Food Court, Beach Street, George Town, Penang.
Opening hours: Opens from 7am to 4pm. Opens from 7am to noon on Saturdays. Closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.
2. KEDAI KOPI T.S. BISMI
This is a hidden treasure. Not many people know about the special nasi lemak here until a post by a food blogger went viral on social media recently.
People often patronise the coffee shop to get their teh tarik halia fix. After tasting it, the New Sunday Times understands why it is so popular. It is one of the best teh tarik halia in the city.
Only a handful of people, especially regulars, order the signature dish — Nasi Lemak Goreng.
The cook will take a wrapped nasi lemak, empty the contents into a frying pan and fry it like nasi goreng.
Though it is fried like nasi goreng, the shop uses its own sambal to add more spice to the Nasi Lemak Goreng. And, oh boy, it is spicy in every bite.
Nasi Lemak Goreng is served with fried chicken. Do pair it with the shop’s famous teh tarik halia.
Location: Kedai Kopi T.S. Bismi, beside Chowrasta Market, Lebuh Tamil, George Town, Penang.
Opening hours: Opens 24 hours daily.
3. PROJEK NASI LEMAK BOX
Want to try a different style and flavour of nasi lemak? Then this is the one for you.
The nasi lemak sold here is blue and served with the usual sambal and anchovies. Its main attraction is not the colour, but the lobster that comes with it.
The lobster is cooked with plenty of cheese. Try dipping its flesh into the spicy sambal — the taste is out of this world.
Located by the sea and near the George Town heritage area, Projek Nasi Lemak Box is a place where diners can sit down, order a plate of Lobster Nasi Lemak and enjoy the cool breeze.
Note the price before you order. But it is worth every penny.
Location: Projek Nasi Lemak Box, Esplanade Food Court, George Town, Penang.
Opening hours: Opens from noon to 3pm, 6.30pm to 12am. Closed on Wednesdays.
4. NASI LEMAK TALAM
If you are in Kota Kinabalu, check out the Nasi Lemak Talam at Outskirts Eatery.
The fragrant rice is stacked on the plate to make room for the sambal, big pieces of fried chickens, chicken wings glazed with barbecue sauce, deep-fried calamari rings, pickles, anchovies, peanuts and boiled eggs.
It takes about 30 minutes to prepare the nasi lemak, so you need to be patient.
The dish can be shared by between five and seven people.
The price? RM47 and there is no service charge.
Location: Outskirts Eatery, Lot 2, Off Jalan Putatan Ramayah, Kampung Terawi, Penampang.
Opening hours: Opens from 10am to 10pm daily.
Contact: 016-290 3636
5. NASI LEMAK SAMBAL SOTONG WARISAN
Fans of nasi lemak should give Pak Musa’s Nasi Lemak Sotong Warisan a try.
Stall operator Siti Zaharah Musa says the sambal sotong is based on her late father’s recipe.
“I would say what sets Pak Musa’s Nasi Lemak apart from others is the sambal sotong, a favourite among customers.”
She says customers can order side dishes from other hawkers at the food court.
She says she sells about 1,000 plates of nasi lemak, including takeaway, daily.
On public holidays, the number can go up to 1,500 plates.
The nasi lemak set is priced at RM5.50.
Location: Medan Selera Sri Pekan, Jalan Suasa 1, Banting, Selangor.
Opening hours: Opens from 7am to noon daily.