In Batu Pahat, under a nice tree we found nasi lemak served up with sup tahu. Rice is nicely fragrant with a side of smoky sambal (we tried the sambal sotong) and served alongside it is a mellow bowl of tasty soup with a hint of brininess and a soft, utterly delicious tofu inside. Read on to find out more about our nasi lemak discovery...
A nasi lemak breakfast with a difference!
Under a tree, Next to KFC and Petronas, Jalan Tan Swee Hoe, Baru Pahat, Johor
Tel: 016 353 9009
Nice breezes under and shady tree with good service
They can finish up by 11am on busy mornings and oh yeah... it's in Batu Pahat...
Who would have thought that Batu Pahat turned out to be a treasure trove of interesting nasi lemak? From the smokiest sambal I’ve ever tasted to one that serves it with fried ikan siakap, this is also the town that came up with nasi lemak with sup tauhu. What’s that you say? Well allow me to enlighten you folks.
Habib and his wife Ila has been selling nasi lemak with sup tauhu under a shady tree for about 4 years. Come here and you must order up a plate of nasi lemak with a slightly smoky sambal (most places in Batu Pahat like their sambal sultry with a dash of wood-smoke), and they serve it up with an omelette and a bit of sayur campur. It seems to be another Batu Pahat thing to not have boiled eggs with their nasi lemak and there’s no cucumber in sight either. In general they tow a fine line between what we usually define as nasi lemak and a santan-fragrant nasi campur.
Sambal in this part of the south is usually darker with a hint of smoke
No matter, the rice still has hints of coconut and the sambal is decent. It is a sambal that is made to complement the soup and not the other way round. As Encik Habib says, “you can have nasi lemak anywhere in Malaysia but served with sup tauhu, it’s only here in Batu Pahat.”
Brinny soup with a delightful soft tofu within
You can order up your nasi lemak with sambal sotong or ayam goreng. But of course the star here is the sup tauhu and this, is utterly tasty. The tofu is soft chinese-style tofu fried lightly first and then simmered in a very light lodeh soup with a dollop of sambal on top. Soup is more broth than gravy with a subtle brininess and a hint of santan, just a smidge and filled with carrots, cabbage and green beans (your usual lodeh fillers). The tofu itself is a quivering delight, firm yet soft and even on its own it is very, very good. I might be a little biased because I just love tofu, but its really sedaplah. Paired with the nasi lemak well it just takes an everyday nasi breakfast to a different level.
Could sup tauhu be the perfect unexpected sidekick for the heroic nasi lemak?
The recipe for the sup tauhu according to Encik Habib, “itu resepi warisan dari arwah tok”, this was passed down to his uncle and then to the nephews and nieces including himself. The soup is always kept on a simmer so that it’s served hot, that’s the key.
He’s got a few other family members selling it around town but all of them have tweaked the original family recipe to their own version, “macam mee bandung orang pun ada rasa masing-masing, samalah dengan sup tauhu ni… siapalah tahu siapa yang original dulu,” he says. However according to him, he has eaten this soup since he was a small boy but never found it anywhere else. His grandfather was the first as far as he knows to sell nasi lemak and pair it with sup tauhu.
Not in the mood for nasi lemak? The lontong here is pretty spot on too!
They also have fried mee and lontong for additional breakfast items. We tried out the lontong and it’s also really good with a home-cooked taste. It’s just that the lodeh is thicker served on nasi empit and with that super soft tauhu. Habib’s serves up good breakfast items under a nice shady tree with cheerful service. And that’s it in a nutshell. My kind of place.