this year, we have very limited time in malaysia, and yet – and yet – penang is still a must-go place, top of our list. why? it’s mr. khairul’s mothership. it’s the home of the nasi kandar.
of course, heading the list are nasi kandaq line clear, or nasi kandaq beratoq. or both. on the same day. hey, i’m just a victim here. mr. khairul is the nasi kandaq nut!
nasi kandar is a popular northern malaysian dish, which originates from penang. it is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavored, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes such as fried chicken, curried spleen, cubed beef, fish, prawn or squid and okra (lady fingers). nasi kandar is seen on most tamil muslim or "malaysian mamak" restaurants and indian-muslim stall meals.
a mixture of curry sauces is poured on the rice. this is called 'banjir' (flooding) and imparts a diverse taste to the rice. - wikipedia
it was so unfortunate that my beloved nasi kandaq-freak missed the ‘festival nasi kandar’ by a day! the festival was set-up near kapitan kelin mosque, penang. countless nasi kandar restaurant from all over penang set up tents along the closed-up road, offering so many varieties of nasi kandar dishes.
it was so weird. they started on thursday through friday, weekdays – why can’t they just drag the festival through weekend as well? sure lagi ramai orang datang, especially out-of-town-ers like us.
hmm. making way for a little ‘cleaning’ campaign, perhaps?
nways, when we went, there were only empty tents left by the companies. saki-baki je. there was loud music under one of the bigger tents, with traditional indian music, adding the festive mood for these nasi kandar fans.
the l----oo---ooooo------g line (my sis-in-law tina in white with my boys; mr. khairul in black T)
nasi kandar beratur. or nasik kandaq beratoq, however you wish to say it, you still need to queue up for this infamous dish that has been around since 1943. read about our first experience here.
the line has spilled into the main street, but the crowd was still holding on. hey, when they came here, they know what they’re in for, and so did mr. khairul. it meant a long hour of waiting around, standing up, in a long stretching line, just for a plate of nasi kandaq.
i still don’t get it!
we were so tired of waiting for the nasi kandaq that i didn’t even bother to snap pictures of our plates!
pros and cons of lining up at nasi kandaq beratoq :
- you get to savor the taste of delicious nasi kandar that you waited so long for
- because it took you SO long, you appreciate it more
- the restaurant get to charge you for the many, many, many glasses of iced tea that you ordered while waiting for your friend who is lining up
- there are not many seats, but there are always enough for everyone who comes because by the time you get your plate of nasi kandar, the group of people who are lining up ahead of you have already left their table – so there’s no waiting around for seats
…AND THE BAD…
- what seemed a LIFETIME of lining up, just for a few minutes of eating! beraturnya bukan main lama, makannye kejap aje!
- the long wait in line made people too restless to enjoy their plate of nasi kandar
- it’s never fun to eat when you’re tired standing too long in line – cranky eater – not good!
- for us out-of-town-ers, the excitement of travelling all this way to eat nasi kandaq slowly diminished by the time we get to the end of the line – dah tak excited dah sebab lama sangat menunggu!
on that note, i would like to thank my sisters-in-law teh and tina for standing by in the long queue while i sit at the table minding the boys. thanks! and for mr. khairul, lining up for exactly ONE hour and TEN minutes that night is nothing when it means he got this one food he’s ever wanted since we left the dubai airport…
hope it was worth the wait!