Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lauk Kampung & Pak Wan Biola @ D’ Cengkih

yes, people i’m back in malaysia and craving lauk kampung!

imagine eating steamed white rice with lauk kampung (traditional dishes), while enjoying good soothing violin sound? i experienced that at this cool malay restaurant d’ cengkih at taman tun dr. ismail. the food was delicious, the ‘entertainment’ was awe-inspiring and the setting is nothing short of wonderful.

i dare say this might be one of the best malay restaurants i’ve been to – especially with this charming old man who plays the violin to entertain the patrons – more on that later.



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i went to d’ cengkih at TTDI with my two baby sisters syida & azot, together with azi’s fiance faiz. we only ate the steamed white rice with lauk-pauk; but this restaurant actually serves a lot more, especially johorean dishes like mee rebus, soto ayam and even kuih-muih (desserts).


my future bro-in-law faiz picking out the lauk. as usual with ‘nasi-bungkus’ restaurant, this is a self-service place too – you get a plate of rice, and choose whatever you like from the endless choices of lauk – from fried chicken to all sorts of masak lemak dishes to many types of veggies.



one of my favorite lauk, and no doubt the best fish in the world – ikan keli! (cat fish). add a spoonful of kangkong – perfect! for the gravy i just love anything with kuah lemak, and kicap – also a perfect combo!


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the setting is worth mentioning. sephia-toned pictures depicting days of yore and long-gone people adorned the walls. really a touch of classic and pinch of nostalgia there – more so when you lunch and munch amidst soothing sound of the classic violin!


what a nice little touch to add to the classic feel!


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what about this pakcik? i saw him first playing the keyboard, which i already felt was a thoughtful addition to an already good atmosphere and delicious food. then, while eating, i saw him taking out a violin! there’s something about a violin that is so old-school and classic and enchanting that i was immediately hooked to the pakcik’s passionate performance.

upon my brief ‘interview’ with the pakcik, this humble musician was friendly and obliging.

  1. he asked to be called as simply ‘pak wan’, and he never had any formal training in violin – amazing, when it seemed he was playing effortlessly!
  2. he used to play for weddings
  3. he played at d’ cengkih on the invitation of a friend
  4. he can play all sorts – from lady gaga to current malay pop hits


i took this video of pak wan playing the evergreen p. ramlee song ‘jangan tinggal daku’ upon my own request! hihi. i asked him to play ANY p. ramlee song, and he serenaded the patrons with this heart-wrenching rendition. thanks, pakcik!


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d’ cengkih is at taman tun dr. ismail at the same row as celcom TTDI. enjoy the nasi + lauk kampung lunch or dinner, and hope you’ll meet pak wan too!

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