I'm always in the mood for good nasi lemak at any time of the day, although with age, I'm learning to control my consumption. If there's ever a seriously sinful meal, this is it. The basic nasi lemak consists of rice cooked with coconut milk, sambal (chilli paste), fried anchovies, fried/roasted peanuts and sliced cucumbers. Of course, Malaysians have taken the simple nasi lemak to a different level, where it is served with a variety of dishes, from fried chicken to sambal sotong (squid sambal).
The nasi lemak stall which I recently discovered when Pretty Pui, Ecstatic Eeyore and I were feeling hunger pangs at 8.00pm on a Friday night is located off Jalan San Peng in KL. These guys serve the chinese version of the nasi lemak, which is also non-halal. I wasn't quite prepared to witness the partaking of the food by the devotees that night. :-P
We arrived at the stall at about 9.20pm. The best place to park the car is along Jalan San Peng. It's just a short walk in. DO NOT drive in as you may risk getting caught in a jam, or be unlucky enough to have an inconsiderate driver block your car.
About 12 tables were set up around this stall. Upon arriving, I was surprised to see a couple of tables already occupied, but no one was eating. The nasi lemak stall was also empty. We were soon informed that the food would only be arriving at about 9.45pm. Soon after we sat down, more people congregated at this place, and soon, all the tables were occupied.
A van drove up at 9.50pm. Instinctively, people quietly got up and queued up. We did the same. With reverence, people watched as the pots of chicken curry and containers of sambal and other condiments and dishes were carried to the stall. The murmurings began as the customers inhaled the aroma of the nasi lemak ingredients and made difficult decisions on the types of dishes they would choose for themselves from the smorgasbord of colours.
The food certainly looked appetising. My eyes were drawn to the glistening lup cheong (chinese sweet sausage). A tray of fried luncheon meat stood on the same shelf. Fried kacang panjang (long beans) were sandwiched between the two trays. On the level below that was a pot of stewed pork innards. Pots of sambal sotong and sambal kerang (cockles) fought for attention. A bowl of rich, thick red sambal made with lots of onions stood at the corner. The winner of the match was undoubtedly the aromatic chicken curry with huge pieces of chicken. The proprietors of the stall had brought several huge pots of this chicken curry.
Eeyore and I felt our hearts race as we approached the stall. So many choices! We didn't know what to choose! I told myself that I would only choose two items, but in my moment of weakness, I gave in to the desires of the flesh. I ended up with a plate of rice covered with chicken curry, sambal sotong, a piece of lup cheong, half an egg, a liberal amount of peanuts and crunchy fried anchovies, cucumbers and extra sambal on the side.
Feeling only slightly guilty as I savoured the nasi lemak, I noticed there were up to 30 people in the queue. Cars came and parked haphazardly along the road as passengers quickly jumped out to ta-pau (take-away) packets of nasi lemak. The numbers dwindled at about 10.30pm, but all the tables were occupied.
Note: There is also a stall serving chee cheong fun/yong tau foo next to the nasi lemak stall. Try the version with chicken curry (same chicken curry served at the nasi lemak stall).
Nasi lemak @ San Peng
Off Jalan San Peng, opposite the San Peng flats.
Opening hours: 9.45pm - 2.30am (closed on Sundays)