Boy do we travel for good food. Hence when our new writer Ali could not stop waxing lyrical about his favourite shop in Batang Berjuntai (now called Bestari Jaya), we took an early morning ride there. All for the sake of nasi lemak...
The yin and yang of nasi lemak
Gerai TLB, Pintu No.3, Kg Hang Tuah, 45600, Batang Bejuntai, Selangor
Tel: Siti Haidah 011 21326763
Generous with portions and friendly service
Lauks can finish as early as 8.30am
Cik Pah Corner at Kampung Hang Tuah, Batang Berjuntai is a godsend. Food here is home-cooked, made with much love and care. As a hungry and often broke student this quickly became my favourite spot for a good meal during my uni days.The moment you lift the lid off the tub, the sweet smell of nasi lemak fills the air and your stomach roars in approval. You just know that this is going to be a good one.
Udang Kunyit with a home-cooked taste!
Along with all the basic ingredients for nasi lemak they also add a bit of coconut oil for a creamier smell and texture. Ikan bilis is fried every morning when they open shop and sambal here strikes the perfect balance of sweetness and spiciness. I took a mountain of rice and the ever-popular udang kunyit. The rice is fragrant, with the santan taste vividly present.The udang kunyit tastes homely, you know like the kind your mum cooks at home. Prawns are fresh with good texture and has just the right amount of salt and turmeric.
Juicy moist fried chicken cooked in spicy green sambal.
Another highlight is the ayam masak sambal hijau. Chicken is fried and then mixed with their version of sambal hijau. It has just the right amount of spiciness, hot enough to make you sweat but not hot enough for you to drop a manly tear. Mak Cik Halipah maintains balance between all of her dishes. There is not one ingredient that reigns supreme, instead they compliment each other harmoniously.
So many lauk options, your plate will be full of goodness in no time at all...
Their early start is to serve hungry lorry drivers who are passing through at dawn and hungry students burning past the midnight oil on assignments. The recipes, developed between husband and wife are perfected over the years. The work at the shop is also divided equally between them, Pakcik Arifin cooks the rice, while Makcik Halipah, decides on the lauk for the day.
Pakcik Arifin and Makcik Halipah are a solid team, he's in charge of the rice, while she makes the sambal.
Pakcik Arifin and Makcik Halipah run the place together and they are salt of the earth people, greeting each customer that comes in. This friendly couple start selling their nasi lemak as early as 5am with one clear purpose and that is: to feed people. It’s self service here, 'memang tak berkira', whatever the amount of nasi lemak or lauk you take does not really affect the price.
This power couple shares such a unique relationship that is also translates into their cooking. The food they chose to serve at the shop is decided by what they feel like cooking. The love and respect they have for each other translates into their dishes and their good intention to feed people. Hence, you might arrive for a meal, but leave feeling nourished.