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.
* * *
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!
* * *
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!
* * *
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.
- 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!
- he used to play for weddings
- he played at d’ cengkih on the invitation of a friend
- 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!
* * *
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!