There’s always room for a good Malay restaurant in KL especially one that is State-centric like Cengkih. There are all manner of Johorean goodies to feast on in this restaurant which is fabulous for someone like me who sometimes just want a good mee rebus Johor or a decent soto to sink my teeth into.
Will satisfy any Johorean food cravings
6, Jalan Tun Mohd. Fuad,
Taman Tun Dr. Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 7725 0975
An abundance of food to choose from
Hard to get a table during lunch rush hour
D'Cengkih opens early (yay!) which means you can have soto for breakfast. Most places that serve this dish usually only have it available for lunch or dinner. And the soto here is GOOD. Great soup and they serve it with bergedil (like they should) with killer-spicy sambal kicap. Only thing is there are no nuts in it and I like a bit of crunch with my soto. So my suggestion is ask for a side of nuts from the nasi lemak spread to douse liberally in your soto.
I also recommend the mee rebus. The gravy here might not be as thick as the famous Haji Wahid mee rebus but I find little else to complain about. The gravy is noteworthy, yellow-thick with a drizzle of black soy sauce and then you have lovely textures from the tofu, green chillies and crunchy bits of fried dough. Definitely a crave-buster and I know a person who only comes here to eat the mee rebus.
On the rice side, there's a delicious spread everyday. So you get all your favourites like tempe, masak kicap, masak lemak and various sambals. What's amazing about the variety of food on offer is that most of is cooked by a little Makcik hence the homecooked taste of the food. I have on good authority that the fish dishes here are worth trying. For breakfast they make delish nasi lemak bungkus. The sambal is a little bit on the sour side but its not enough to distract you from the fact that everything else is top notch. Have it with a side of ayam goreng berempah (chicken fried with spices).
Another thing that you don’t often find is Nasi Ambang. This is basically nasi bungkus Johor style. Legend has it that Nasi Ambang is born out of a family of many children, each one competing to the point of feuding to present the best dish to their mother. Finally the weary matriarch decided on a cunning solution. Each one of them is told to bring a dish which she then set out on a tray for everybody to enjoy. In this way she managed to prove a point that all their dishes are equally good and what's more they bring out the best in each other's cooking.
In Nasi Ambang there’s usually a rendang of somekind, kelapa goreng, green beans with tempe, ikan masin and a sambal. Bizarrely there's even a side of fried noodles. It's the perfect meal for someone who can't make up their minds. It’s quite a hefty portion so unless you are very hungry, a nasi ambang can be easily shared. As a matter of fact, nasi ambang is usually served at weddings and 'tapau-ing' back is encouraged.
Other things on offer here- tauhu goreng (sliced tofu with vegetables then drenched with a superb Malay-style peanut sauce), laksa Johor (made with spaghetti and quite fishy), briyani gam (Friday-Sunday only) and snacks like lemping and ubi rebus (breakfast) and kuihs like serimuka and serabai (tea). They will be opening at night soon and will be serving a Thai-Malay fusion from what I can discern from the sign. But that is another review folks.
Opening times: 7am- 10pm (check as they might not start the night session yet)
Price: RM5- RM15 per head depending on order