For the past 10 years, residents of Penang have been enjoying nasi lemak from this humble stall. Fragrant, nicely sized and absolutely delicious, the Friedchillies team visited Nasi Lemak Ali at Lebuh Pantai to have a taste.
” Freshly packed nasi lemak in fragrant banana leaves! ”
Sometimes greatness is borne out of a touch of bad luck. You know what I’m talking about: that silver lining behind the cloud that bears fruit in a way one would never have imagined. That’s certainly the story that En. Ali and Pn. Wasnita told us when we stopped by his nasi lemak stall in Penang.
About ten years back, En. Ali was working in a factory when things got a bit, well, bad. So he and his wife decided to supplement their income by selling nasi lemak. “I had an Indonesian friend who taught me how to prepare a good nasi lemak,” said the soft-spoken En. Ali. “So me and my wife decided to sell nasi lemak to make ends meet.” And man, how those ends have met. Now the husband and wife duo are selling nasi lemak full time. Ask any Penang-ite about nasi lemak Lebuh Pantai and they would know which one you’re talking about.
The nasi lemak at En. Ali’s stall comes I several varieties: ikan bilis, iikan goreng, kan kering, chicken, and sambal udang. One of the unique things about their sambal ikan bilis is that they fry the ikan bilis separately and then mix it into the sambal. This ensures the anchovies retain a crunchy texture.
The nasi lemak is packed fresh everytime. You can actually see En. Ali and Pn. Wasnita pack the nasi lemak on banana leaves. No newspaper here. You get the goodness of nasi lemak with a fresh aroma from the banana leaves.
The nasi is tender with a great coconut flavour that isn’t too heavy. The sambal is delicious: hot but not too hot that the flavours become muddied. There’s half a boiled egg too. We noted the small shrimp they used in the sambal were fresh and could be eaten whole, shell and all. Even the small piece of ayam goreng was flavourful and juicy. Best of all the packets costs less than RM2 each, depending on what kind of lauk. The nasi lemak has garnered a steady following in the past 10 years.
“At first we sold maybe about 100, 150 packs of nasi lemak a day. Then word spread and now we’re selling up to 1200 packets of nasi lemak in a day!” said the very chirpy Pn. Wasnita. One of their most memorable moments was when they received an order of 2000 (!!!) packets of nasi lemak for some Korean and Japanese visitors.
And we have good news: This is your chance to see and eat what Penang folk have been enjoying for the last ten years. Because Nasi Lemak Ali will be at I EAT NASI LEMAK 2014!
Nasi Lemak Ali @ Lebuh Pantai, Penang
|Address||Sri Weld Food Court, Lebuh Pantai, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang|
Tel: 016 407 0717
|Open||7am – 5pm|
|Pro||Cheap, delicious nasi lemak|
|Cons||It’s in Penang!|
|Price Range||RM2 – RM4|