March 27, 2023

Nasi Lemak Tanglin

Tanglin brings nasi lemak nostalgia to many people and not just KLites only. Whilst nasi lemak sellers face stiff competition, Tanglin’s queue is still long. Perhaps it’s the experience they put in that started from way back in 1948. And that’s a clear 9 years before the Malaysia achieved Independence.

People still come to Tanglin for a nasi lemak fix

Nasi Lemak Tanglin has been around for ages. If you’re craving for a nasi lemak, queue up for theirs somewhere along Jalan Cenderasari (opposite the Poliklinik, Off Jalan Tanglin) with everyone else. They are now in the Tanglin Food Court. If you’re unlucky, the queue is very long, if you’re lucky, the queue is just long. If there’s no queue, then they are probably closed or the food’s all gone! Queue starts long way early at about 7.30am and tapers down by about 10am.

There are two great things in this food court we’d like to highlight. The nasi lemak and the kopitiam tea. Let’s put the kopitiam tea aside first and try some nasi lemak tanglin style. Tanglin started way back around 1948 by Suryati Jawirunnah andd her recipe is now passed to her son Zainal which will soon pass down to Zainal’s daughter. Three generations of history here.

Tanglin has the usual chicken rendang, sambal sotong and beef lung dendeng among others. From all the myriad of lauks available, my heart fell for their beef liver sambal and also sambal sotong. The sambal sotong recipe has ground peanuts giving it a slightly nutty taste with a slight chili kick. The beef liver has the sweet sambal way seeping deep into the cuts which makes it that more enjoyable eating. The rice is steamed ‘ceroi’ which means that Zainal’s rice is not the sticky type, hence less starchy and able to soak up more of the other nasi lemak gravies.

Their nasi lemak is absolutely delicious with some telur goreng, crunchy ikan bilis, some cut cucumbers and dining out al fresco style under the trees that grow around the Tanglin food court. Do you remember that they used to be located just by Jalan Tanglin, under a huge tree that provides shade for their lone stall? You do? Then you are old.

Anyway, why does Tanglin’s nasi lemak stands taller than most of the rest? Their’s have a refine taste. If we were to add three to four different lauks in one plate, it will still have a balanced taste. In Malay, this is called ‘kena’. A very hard feat to achieve as it requires experience and the balance of the right ingredients in each lauk so that it does not clash with one another on the plate.

Did we forget about the kopitiam styled tea? We certainly didn’t! You will find walking around the tables, a small polite old man carrying a tray full of drinks, most of them are white tea served in an old kopitiam teacup. Oh… this tea is so smooooth, it just glides through the tastebuds, teasing it a little before easing it’s way down. Not much aftertaste, this may be one of the best local teas I’ve ever had in KL. With that done, we’re back on the highway joining the ‘happy people’ braving the morning KL traffic jams….

[Updated from earlier 2004-03-02 11:40 PM review]

Nasi Lemak Tanglin

People still come to Tanglin for a nasi lemak fix


AddressNo 3, Jalan Cenderasari 3, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 019 3972781
Open 8am-1pm daily
Pro The other stalls surrounding it are good too
ConsParking can be really difficult in the morning
Price Range RM 10
Certification Muslim Owned

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