Monday, November 16, 2009

In Search of the perfect Nasi Kandar

For the past two Saturdays, I have had nasi kandar for lunch. First, it was Nasi Kandar Kudu and second was Nasi Kandar Yaseen, both located along Jalan Raja Laut/Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

I love nasi kandar, so does my family. Our favourite haunt is Pelita near Wisma Central at Jalan Ampang. I don’t know what they put in the rice, but it is just so sedaaap! Every time makan, sure licin satu pinggan!

I usually like my rice loaded with all the kuah, but my lauk would just be ayam goreng. Plus a bendi or two and telur masin... sehingga menjilat jari, babe!!

The thing with us is that, once we like eating at a certain place, we will continue going there and will not try anywhere else. Call us boring, but that’s how we like it. Familiarity, I suppose...

But this time around, we decided to try other nasi kandar restaurants just for the fun of it.

I was sceptical at first about Kudu. The restaurant is small (compared to Pelita) and there’s nothing fancy about it. Just a typical family run business at the corner of Jln TAR.

But what made me changed my mind was when I saw there were a lot of mamaks having their meals in the restaurant. I saw this popular TV personality who is a renowned gynaecologist eating there with his family and I thought, “Kalau ramai mamak makan kat sini, I’m sure the food is good”.

Then I saw old newspaper cuttings on the wall, stating that Kudu was P.Ramlee’s favourite nasi kandar joint. Apa lagi... terus duduk lah!

Indeed, the curry was good. Well combined without any spill at the side of our plates (unlike in Pelita). But I couldn’t finish my rice because there was just too much on my plate.

(photos courtesy of

Then, the next Saturday, we tried Nasi Kandar Yaseen pulak which was just a few steps away from Kudu. This restaurant is not as clean as Kudu but their signature dish is the ayam masak kicap, ie the black sauce. Not bad, the ayam goreng is nice and crispy, but still, I couldn’t finish my rice coz there was just too much on my plate.

(photos courtesy of

(For location of these two restaurants, please Google. Thank you.)

From my experience eating at these two (or three if you included Pelita) restaurants, one can’t really tell the difference when it comes to taste. Each has its own unique taste, so it really depends on what you’re going for.

But for me, if the all nasi kandar tasted almost the same, then the deciding factor would be: 1) cleanliness, and 2) ease of parking.

So for now, the Top 2 in my nasi kandar list would be Pelita and Kudu. I think Pelita still takes the cake coz I love their rice.

Anyway, I’m off to Penang next month for a vacation and while I’m there, I shall continue my search for the perfect nasi kandar! Yeay!!


Sherry said...

*air liur meleleh*
I'm right there with ya, MrsN! I'm a HUGE fan of nasi kandar. In Penang, there used to be this gerai is Gelugor (in front of 7-11) that served the yummiest nasi kandar ever! My standard order was mutton kurma, telor sotong and bendi. Aduhai, sedapnya... Unfortunately I don't know where they have moved to.

One famous place you can try in Penang is Nasi Kandar Line Clear. After you beratur and taken everything, the guy will kira and once he's done, he says "line clear!". Time for you to move along and tuck into your nasi kandar!

Fairy said... should try Line Clear, the famous nasi kandar in Penang. But, don't be surprise with its location...However, you can still have your Pelita Nasi Kandar in Penang too...

MA said...

Thanks for the tips MrsN. I seldom (once or twice saja) pergi Pelita Ampang due to its parking limitation - but maybe the Brood & I will expand our menebeng selection to include Pelita Ampang. What about Pelita in Ampang Point? Ada sama rasa tak?

I never tried Line Clear in Penang as I was surprised to see its location (aghast is a more appropriate word here) which somehow doesn't match its fame.

Maybe my next visit, I will.

Naz said...

A truly *menggoda* post, Mrs N although I am not a nasi kandar fan.
If in Penang, drop by at Kayu (Sungai Dua near USM). I heard that they are good too :)

Madam Tai Tai No More said...


I think Line Clear is in our itinerary in Penang. It's Chepul's favourite nasi kandar place in the island. Err...I'm not sure if you and Nordin have been there before or not, but I have to forewarn you that the location is a lot to be desired. Tak pe lah huh..tahan aje lah mata dgn hidung. Nasi kandar dia memang SEDAP! I yang tak suka nasi kandar pun boleh habis sepinggan nasi kat situ.

Aida said...


I'm a curry gal myself being half penangite ....but am not to found of Nasi Kandar cos tak der choice sayur, anyway we'll be in penang in Dec too. We'll be celebrating Ainul's 5th birthday there.

In Penang u'll be spoilt for choice. We got o Subaidah's for their kambing..... i love kambing and kat Subaidah tak berbau.yummooo i can already taste it.

min said...

mrsN, now i know wat we have in common... hehehehe
i just went to yassen last sunday. my hubby prefers it there. i hv never tried kudu tho but wld love to give it a go. being an anak mami myself... nasi kandar... need i say more? had an argument with hubby sat nite, so to make it up to me... nasi kandar on sunday morning.. how so easy to make anak mami happy...despite the gold on my body... hahahahaha.
anyway, there's one good nasi kandar shop at a corner of transfer road in penang, cleaner than line clear i must say. or u can try nasi kandar kg melayu in air itam. or nasi kandaq beratoq'(translated as nasi kandar beratur)just next to masjid kapitan keling. u will not regret it... i am a jalan2 cari makan person.. together with my hubby.. we can go miles for good food. need any help, let me know.
btw, i thot i saw u kat One U last friday, clad in red baju kurung, was that u?

tireless mom said...

Hi MrsN

I am no nasi kandar lover. However I think Pelita yang kat bawah my office tu, boleh tahan sedap. With your post ni with pics included, looks like Pelita it is for lunch tomorrow.

Anonymous said...


my hubby and i (kids as well)memang hantu nasi kandar. Kudu and Yaseen (yup.....kuah hitam mmg sedap)memang we all selalu gi. There is also another shop in Jln Tuanku Abdul or two shops next to the cinema (which i cant recall the name) sedap gak tapi lauk dia memang limited laa. But as most people mentioned, gi la kat Line Clear which a spot we cant miss in Penang. Tempat ni memang my kids nak tapau coz tak tahan dgn the area condition but the food is good....enjoy!


MrsNordin said...

Hi Sherry,

I've heard of Line Clear and have been told that it's a must go. But looking at the pictures posted on the internet, err... I'm having second thoughts now!

But we'll see how it goes when we are there. Now I know why it's called "line clear". Thanks!! :)

MrsNordin said...

Hi Fairy,

Yes, I saw some photos of the shop and it kinda put me off. Some people say tikus dia sebesar kucing! Iya ke? Maybe that's why dia sangat sedap! Hee.. hee...

Kalau dah sampai Penang, takkan nak makan kat Pelita jugak kut... try something else lah, kan?


MrsNordin said...


I seldom go to Pelita Ampang Point coz it's always very crowded. Asyik berlanggar bahu je dengan orang sebelah. So, no.

The one near Wisma Central is more spacious. I like to go there on Sundays, about 11 am, before the crowd starts coming. During that time, it's less packed.

If you can't find parking infront of the restaurant, there's a parking operator just next to the restaurant (bet. Pelita & Wisma Central). Try it!

MrsNordin said...


There's a new Kayu Restaurant near my place here in Ampang but I've not tried it yet. It replaces Craven, which was there before, and from Penang as well.

Hari hujan2 macam sekarang ni, memang best makan nasi kandar, Naz! Take care!

MrsNordin said...


If you said it's nice, then maybe IT IS nice. We'll give it a try, despite the rather unpleasant sight of its location.

Uuuu... can't wait for Penang!! But right now, I'm quite worried coz I still haven't got a replacement for Seri. Sigh...

MrsNordin said...


Subaidah? Where is it located?


Yasseen is ok, but given a choice between, I'd rather go for Kudu. It's cleaner and not too confined like Yaseen.

Wah... lepas gaduh dapat upah nasi kandar? How nice!

Nasi kandaq beratok? Hee.. hee... that I must try! Thanks for the tips on where to go for JJCM in Penang!

MrsNordin said...


Pelita for lunch, on a working day? OMG! Sure tidur lepas tu!! Too heavy lah, my dear... but enjoy yourself, nevertheless!

MrsNordin said...

Btw Min, that wasn't me in the red baju kurung. I was on leave last Friday. You must have spotted somebody else who look like me... :)

MrsNordin said...

Hi Liza,

I'm glad to note that there are many nasi kandar lovers here.

I think I know that restaurant at Jln TAR, it's opposite Sogo, kan? My dad used to take us there last time whenever we were in KL. Can't recall much tho' coz it has been a long time since I last ate there. I think the rojak/pasembur is nice kat situ.

Sure, I'll try Line Clear, for the sake of completing my top 5 list of the best nasi kandar!

Have a nice day!

Mrs Kamil said...

As a half Penangite that balik kampung Penang for Raya, may I suggest Hamidiah which is near the pasar ? Try their ayam ros which is super delish.

Another one worth trying is Kayu at Bukit Jambul. I know Kayu kat KL ni macam ntah apa2 but at their own homeland, they are superb !

MrsNordin said...

Hi Mrs Kamil,

Thanks for the tip. Banyaklah pulak tempat nak try nasi kandar ni! Yours is Hamidiah and Kayu, ya? Ok, I shall keep those in mind.

Kak Teh said...

Mrs N, as someone who doesnt like kuah all over the rice, and only one lauk at a time, nasi kandar is certainly not for me. Before coming to London I was in Penang, but I was never tempted. but my siblings semua hantu nasi kandar.

Anonymous said...

Mrs N,

I'm a Penangite..tapi tak tau mana yg best. Masa Raya bebaru ni, hubby tried 4 different nasi kandar, Line Clear ( I tak ikut, hubby said sure i tak buleh nak telan makan had I followed him..), Kaseem Mustaffa Tanjung, Kaseem Mustafa Balik Pulau and Kayu Bukit Jambul. His best choice is still Kudu kat KL! As for me, I thot Kayu Bukit Jambul was best, errmm maybe coz masa tu sahur and the food was just cooked, berasap lagi.


MrsNordin said...

Hi Kak Teh,

It's ok if you didn't like it. It's a matter of choice, really. Tapi kat London ada nasi kandar kah? Just wondering...

Have a nice day, K.Teh yang puteh! :)

MrsNordin said...


Hah... more choices! Now Kassim Mustaffa pulak!

If you thought Kudu is nice, then maybe it's indeed nice. I shall let you know my views once I've tried them all.

Kayu Bukit Jambul ni pun dah ada 2, 3 orang yang propose. Perhaps I should check it out!


tasya said...


you shud try Suberi Nasi Kandar at AU3's my favourite place..kedai melayu,org rasa dia tak too mamak sangat lah..
kalau dr mrr2, u masuk ikut simpang ke au4 yg tepi masjid hulu kelang tu then turn to left at the traffic lite.on your left ade rows of kedai mekanik and all tp tgh2 tu nanti ade satu kedai nasi kandar suberi..on ur right ade kilang transformer tak silap i..go on and try laa..slalu lunch ramai org situ..weekends pon by kol 2 lauk slalu da the shop closes by 8-9pm everyday..:)

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MrsNordin said...

Hi Tasha, I think I've been to Suberi before, once for lunch. Yes, the nasi kandar is quite nice. It seems the roti canai and roti arab are also nice for breakfast. But I tak pernah try lah. Thanks for reminding me again about that place. Will visit again if I was in the vicinity. Cheers!

MrsNordin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Salam Mrs Nordin.... first time kat blog you ni! Hmm...nasi kandaq beratuq and the one kat flat Kg Melayu, Air itam tu dengarnye best. I've yet to try, but yang dah makan kata tersangatlah sedap!
Kassim Mustaffa biasa2 aje.. Haeediyah memang best, esp its nasi beriani, ayam rose, kurma kambing and kari kepala ikan... sayur kobis dia pun sodap! hehe!
Lagi satu, org Penang suka makan nasi kandaq kat kedai yang tak sangka2 punya... Subaidah, Pelita Kayu tu sume tak sesedap yang tepi2 jalan.
Anyway, it's a matter of choice. Any which way, nasi kandaq is nasi kandaq if the combination of curries loaded on the rice is right!
Have fun in Penang!
- wan emily

Nadrah said...

kak..tadi i was stuck in traffic jem..dekat dgn tune hotel kat jln tar tu.. smbil layan ujan rintik2 jatuh kat skrin i pon tengok kiri kanan.. sekali tu?? I saw that KUDU place then I siap amek gmbar HP lagi.. hahaha sungguh tak ku sangka. ni psl baca blog akak la ni hehe.

Azfa said...

Mrs Nordin,
I pun nasi kandag lover the next time you hantar ur girl to Sungai Petani, you should try makan kat Hussin(nama kedai)..Makbul and Nasmir which is in Lagenda Heights pun sedap tapi tak sesedap nasi kat Hussin. Hussin is located at pekan baru Sungai Petani..he he

You should eat the briani and also try the mutabak.. we all kalau ada guest from KL, memang kami bawa ke Hussin je

Azfa of SP

MrsNordin said...

Hi Emily,

Haeediyah ni kat mana pulak?

Well, I suppose, you are right. The best food would be found in the most unimaginable places, eg. by the roadside.

I remember eating this yummy tauhu bakar at a small warung tepi jalan in Jakarta. I wouldn't have gone into the shop had it not been on my friend's recommendation. It was delicious, I tell you! Now everytime we go to Jakarta, we'll drop by that warung without fail!

Thanks and cheers!

MrsNordin said...


Ha! Ha! It's nice to know someone actually thought of me while she was stuck in a traffic jam! And you took pictures of it? Well then, we must go and eat at that place together!!

Take care now and thanks again!

MrsNordin said...

Hi Azfa,

Now, that's another tip. Hussin in SP.

When we were in SP the last time, we only tried Pelita, the one opposite this one hotel (I can't remember the name). We didn't know where else to go coz we were not familiar with the eating places there.

Anyway, now that you mentioned, I shall take note of that. TQ!

DeeDee said...

dekat rumah I ada Subaidah (Kota Damansara). Not bad jugak nasik qandaq dia. I like it there not so much because its nice, but sangat bersih and lots of choice.

My fav still Kayu in Taipan. Kayu kat tempat lain tak seKICK the one in Taipan. Eh Mrs N, KUDU tu sebenaqnya pun famous with ayam kicap. Sangat memberansangkan rasanya.

And for tikus besaq kuching in Line Clear, well look at is +vely la. Kira tikus pun tak mau pi tempat lain sebab situ sedap sangat. Tu yang makan sampai jadik besaq kuching ;)

AuntieYan @ Makcik Blogger said...

Salam Mrs.N,

Auntie pun peminat nasi kandar gak..dulu, masa ofis kat KL rajin le pergi merayau cari nasi kandar..yang selalu pergi, kalau tak silap Restoren Ibrahim ke apa ke namanya...sedapppp!...he!...he! tambah sedap, bila dia dah boh nasi atas pinggan tu, siap diadok ratakan pulak dengan tangan dia...harus termasuk sekali peluh dia tuh!!! ;-)

Lyana Mauseth said...

yariba yariba!! im drowning in my own saliva!! haha the food look sooo sedapp! i tak kisah nasik kandar ka, nasik bungkus ka..kalau lauk nmpk sedap semua i bedal :D

Nek Rock said...

Yooo Mrs N dear,

Eeeee nasib lah masa baca entry ni Nek sambil makan nasi sama kari ayam, siap tambah kuah penuh pinggan, konon2 macam nasi kandar, hahaha

Kudu tu geng Nek dari KB yg bawak dulu2, every time dia mai ke Kl, mesti ajak pi makan, the last trip Nek was home, sempat gak pergi,lalalala

Selamat meremfit ke nasi kandar Penang!!

Take care dear

MrsNordin said...


Entahlah, dah banyak sangat recommendation ni, sampai dah confuse!

I tak pernah try Kayu, maybe I should since there's one near my house now. But like you said lah, some place is nice whereas some places are not.

Hee.. hee... i like your analogy about the tikus at Line Clear. You may be right, girl!

MrsNordin said...

Aunty Yan,

Restoran Ibrahim tu kat mana? Yang depan Sogo tu kah? Air tangan dia tu yang bagi sedap tu.... hee.. heee....

MrsNordin said...


You memang... "hantu nasi" lah katakan... :)

Nek Rock,

Wahhh... Nek masak kari! Sure sedap giler! Tambah sejuk2 macam sekarang ni, makan kari memang syok sangat! Next time Nek balik, kita pegi Kudu, ok? Take care Nek!! I miss you!!

zany said...

wah, meriah dengan cerita nasi kandaq. kalau ke Penang, cubalah nasi kandar rafi di Burmah Road, (near Berjaya Georgetown) best juga, especiallly ayam goreng dan telur ikan yang fresh.

muteaudio said...

I may sound arrogant but the fact is that...We Penangite believe that the worst Nasi Kandar in Pg is better than the best in KL, with exception to NK Kudu and NK Ekzos in Glenmarie (you should try this. Believe me, coming from a Penangite who have NK for breakfast.)

When I'm backhome in Pg, Like Wan Emily, I don't touch Kayu, Pelita nor Subaidah. Try Nasi Kandar Jelutong where they still kandar the nasi to the restaurant. My personal favourite is NK Kpg Melayu (maybe because I was raised there), You should try something differnt when u r in Pg, Its called Nasi Dalcha. Kassim Mustapha has a branch near Jln Doraisamy. BUt their Nasi Dalcha here is not as good as the one in Pg. Line Clear is famous because it's good NK (taste wise but not the location) and good location (can be easily located). You can't miss it. But still not 'the best' Go to Hameediyah (not far from Line Clear) for Murtabak, Beryani and NK. Look for Restoran Kapitan for Tandoori and claypot Beryani.

For those who don't mind a little bit of adventure to look for the best NK, I would suggest:
NK Kpg Melayu (open for breakfast only)
NK Merlin Hotel
NK Immigration
NK Jelutong
NK Sharif

Pss...let me tell u a secret which is not that secret anymore. Kayu opened one opposite Line Clear....And closed less than a year later. I wonder why?

I'm still looking for KAri Kelempong/Paru. For those who never tried. It's soft, not like the rubberry paru goreng cili.

It's best to have NK for breakfast when you're still afresh. NK for lunch will make u sleepy.

OK, enough of my NK ranting. Do put a huge banner here if u want maps to all these NK heaven.

MrsNordin said...


Thanks for dropping by with your tips on searching for the best NK! I read in your blog about your breakfast treats in Penang and they made me drool.... seriously! Putu mayam, vadai, kari semalam... huuuu.... heavenly!

I should try the Nasi Dalcha, it sounds different. And NK Jelutong... yes! I'd love to try that one too since you said they still kandar the rice!! It would be an experience!

But given the time constraint (will only be there for 3 days), I really need to choose carefully which ones to go to. So I must decide!

Banner for the maps? How do I do that??

Thanks again, AudioMute!

MrsNordin said...


Nasi Kandar Rafi?? Thanks!! Will look out for it!!

MrsNordin said...


Sorry... I spelt out your name wrongly at the end there... Audiomute pulak...:)

Ummi365 said...

MrsN, have you tried nasi kandar ibrahimsya. betul2 dekat traffic light jalan TAR where coliseum and dbkl toilet are. boleh tahan jugak. i love the ayam kicap, makan dengan telur rebus sebiji and chili hijau.. lepas tu jilat jari.. ermmm i am drooling now..

MrsNordin said...


No, I haven't. Tak perasan pulak ada restoran NK kat situ. Will be on the look out. Thanks!!

wan emily said...

Mrs Nordin... my typo here..hehe ..should read: Hameediyah. And wow, this topic on NK really called for a rally of NK lovers!
You go, Audiomute! I'm all with you.. with the choices you've mentioned!
Now, I guess, MrsN... you're spoilt for choice. Tihihi!

By the way, I'm no Penangite... only living here in Penang but has become a true blue nasi kandaq lover and know my way to a good spot!

wan emily said...

ooppsss..sorry...awat typo jer akak ni... I mean, 'muteaudio'.. in my haste I typed 'audiomute'! muahaha!
And thanks to you, now I remember having had one nasi kandaq meal at Hotel Merlin years ago. The sambal nyok (kelapa) was superb.

Sorry, MrsN for taking up this space!

MrsNordin said...

Wan Emily,

Hotel Merlin tu kat mana? Ada lagi ke Merlin??

wan emily said...

Mrs Nordin, sad to say, it is not what you're thinking. This hotel Merlin is a coffee shop downstairs... hotel upstairs! hahaha!
The NK man provides the meals, while the Chinaman serves beverages, of course all done downstairs.
I don't quite remember the lane/road/street, but it is somewhere between the busy banking area and Penang's Little India.

muteaudio said...

Like W.Emily said, It's not the same Hotel Merlin of yesteryears. It's easy to find the place. Look for Hong Leong bank at Padang Kota Lama. Take the lorong next to HL Bank and hotel Merlin is located behind the bank, at the corner of Union Street and Penang street (not to be confused with Penang road)

MrsNordin said...

Thanks Emily & MuteAudio!! You're a gem!

bella said...

Hi MrsN,
Another place in Penang u should try, the chow rasta nasi kandar. the place is just next to the market chow rasta in town. I like the kuah campoq...the dagin is good too...the list given by muteaudio is marvelous! I have not tried all. Line Clear is now so overrated...and dirty...
at Hameediyah, you shd ask for angsa gulai, (if you like angsa)
another one to try in little india Tajudden hussain, they have nice gulais too...the ayam ros is great too here...voila...hope u'll have fun there!

MrsNordin said...


Chow rasta? Gulai angsa? Oh wow... banyaknya nak try ni!

Haven't seen you here in a while. I hope you've been well.

Anonymous said...

ms. nordin,
try test nasik kandaq ibrahimsyah jalan TAR. 2-3 kedai lepas coliseum. :)


Anonymous said...

Agreed 110% with muteaudio.I always consider myself as 'no salary food critic'..for centre pulau I go only for Beratuq,Hameediya.other side of the island,i go with muteaudio choice. But for come close or beats Nasi Kandar Suberi.Kudu?not even close.yaseen?dont even think.nasi kandar melayu suberi definitely the BEST in KL..mix the kuah rite..then you'll go the price is like amazingly cheap!For Shah Alam,go to TTDI Jaya,there's a Nasi Kukus joint near masjid ttdi jaya,I can crowned the place NASI KANDAR delicious..the owner is Abg Man,a kelantan born chap which still work with Maybank and the nasi kukus joint run by his wife.A MUST TRY!!!