There are different kinds of nasi lemak stalls. There’s the one where you go when you don’t feel like walking or the one where you go to when you wallet is feeling skinny. And there’s always this one stall everyone in the area knows but doesn’t quite talk about. It’s that stall that drags you out of bed at sunrise and compels you to trek towards it in order to satisfy your nasi lemak craving. In my case, that stall is Nasi Lemak Kak Sanah. You have to take number here and at 7am, mine is already a whopping 33. Sigh…
” So popular that you actually have to take a number! ”
Nasi Lemak is a much-loved breakfast meal for Malaysians and because of their popularity, you can usually find a stall set up in most neighbourhoods in KL. My favourite stall is luckily located near my house. This particular nasi lemak stall started out as one of those stalls that mushroom up overnight, before quickly establishing itself as an institution through word of mouth advertising. It’s operated by a friendly duo of Encik Asmi and his wife Kak Sanah (for whom the stall is named after); from the back of a lorry. Kak Sanah serves up 500-600 packets of nasi lemak a day, every morning to its crowd of loyal customers. It’s quite popular with people from all walks of life, from the aunty housewife to the office worker.
The range of lauk they serve is amazing. This ranges from the typical sambal kerang, sotong, daging, ayam and kuih assortments. There is even paru goreng sambal here.
I usually go for the ayam goreng because I’m not really a fan of spicy foods. Deep-fried, just right to that point where the chicken is melt-in-your-mouth tender but not mushy. The skin is crispy in that magical goldilocks zone where it’s not drenched in grease nor too dry – always just right. There’s a peppery but fragrant note hidden in the spices that coats the skin which gives it a nice spicy kick.
However, if you like your food spicy then you’ll like the level of spiciness that Kak Sanah’s food has. Don’t be fooled by the ayam masak merah. It packs a good punch. It may be sweet and sour but still rates as a “sweat as you eat and cry” level of spiciness for me. Kak Sanah’s Nasi lemak stall always manages to cook chicken perfectly, no matter if it is chicken rendang or ayam goreng. If chicken is not your thing, you can try the sambal sotong or the kerang.
I need to make a special note of the generous portions they dish up at this stall. Eat a packet of their hearty nasi lemak, and you’ll still be full at lunch time. I like their rice, as they have a subtle hand with flavouring. When you open your packet of rice, you can smell the santan but it is not too “lemak” and the rice perfectly complements any lauk you chose.
I particularly like their curry puffs. The potato puffs are really addictive, especially when you’re hungry, you just can’t stop at one. The best thing about them is that they keep very well. You can taupau them for a mid afternoon snack to go with your tea. They also have chocolate cake, mini doughnuts (Super delicious – dense and sweet) and Kuih Kodok (Deep fried Banana Balls).
Despite the early hour (ungodly by some standards) a swarm of people descend on the stall, seemingly out of nowhere. There’s a queue numbering system to help with crowd control. According to En. Asmi, this system was implemented about three years ago, after a customer suggested it to them. It’s the only nasi lemak stall I’ve seen that asks you to take a number. Service is brisk and well organized as I waited for my number to be called. The system ensures that you’ll be served quickly on busy days, roughly no more than 15 mins. But sometimes they get huge orders (someone actually bought 200 packs one morning for an event ) so by the time you come most of the lauks are already finished. To be on the safe side, give them a call if you’re planning to buy several packets.
Nasi Lemak Kak Sanah
|Small lorry opposite DJ Club, next to a stop sign, Jln SS 22/ 19, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 019 222 7547
|6.45 am – 9 am ( Breakfast )
|Awesome fried chicken and generous rice portions.
|You do have to take a number and queue for a packet.