The breakfast of champions for us Malaysians would be...Hold on a minute, there's nasi lemak or roti canai, or toasted bread, or meehoon goreng. There is so much to choose from that it's a wonder that anyone can get to work on time.
There are tons of places serving breakfast in KL. However there will always be one or two special places that you keep going to again and again because everything there is so darn good. It could be that makcik at the side of the road with crispy paru or it could be your favourite kopitiam. And you know that it's good because this is where everybody from all walks of life congregate. It's where people drive battling traffic just to grab some curry puffs to go. It's where after a great night on the town, you stagger for some gossip with your best friend.
Mak Jah Corner is one such place. Waking up extra early one Monday morning I found myself yawning at one of the tables. The place itself is very chilled out with about two rows of tables and chairs. The spread in front of me is not the largest selection I've ever seen but it's got all my favourites. There's nasi lemak, fresh from the cooker with lauks as well as nasi lemak bungkus for those of us who like to eat it the traditional way. There is an array of fried noodles and kuehs like curry puffs, apoms and talam. Right at the end is a guy flipping crispy roti canai.
Now let me wax lyrical a while on the merits of Malay roti canai. This is slightly different from Indian or mamak roti canai even though the ingredients might be pretty much the same. While a great mamak roti canai is fluffy, a Malay roti canai MUST be crispy. It must be round and not oily with a slight buttery after taste. Most importantly, it has to be eaten with thick slightly sweet dhal with a nice dollop of sambal right in the middle.
It has been a while since I found truly great Malay roti canai. The one at Mak Jah’s is fantastic. It’s lovely and crunchy and sits lightly in your stomach. I guarantee, you will not stop at one. Also on that morning I tried the nasi lemak bungkus. Very tasty. Just wish there was more sambal. If you like a hearty portion of nasi lemak, grab yourself a plate of freshly cooked coconut rice and try the sotong. The sambal is sweet and spicy at the same time, so good with steaming nasi lemak.
There are also meehoon, mee and kuetiau goreng if you fancy noodles. But indeed one of the specialties of this place is the trays and trays of fresh Malay kueh. Even though it’s a little strange for me to eat seri muka so early in the morning, my friend insisted I try one. Wow! So rich and yet not too cloying. The bingka ubi is a winner as well as the cucur badak. It's not easy to get good cucur badak in town. Come early enough and you'll get it still warm, a little crisp on the outside and not too oily. The mixture of spicy coconut inside is near perfect. I wish I could fit in more. Delighted, I also found out that Mak Jah also caters out the kuehs. I’m already planning a tea party.
All in all this is a great little place to have breakfast. It’s modest and unassuming with food that quietly blows you away. Definitely worth waking up early for. On weekends you will have a hard time finding tables. I recommend slipping here on a weekday just before eight for a leisurely breakfast before hitting the grind stone.
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