December 7, 2023
Malay What to Eat

Senyum Sokmo – Great Stopover for Kampung Tasting Kurma Kambing & Masak Lemak

One of our favourite stopover eats along the PLUS highway is the kurma kambing (mutton) from Senyum Sokmo. They are located at the R&R Gunung Semanggol Southbound. Only experts can cook the kurma with a homey gulai-like traditional taste like this. One kambing piece is not enough. Although we came for this one particular dish but stayed… or more like devoured the telur itik masak lemak, ikan keli masak cili & kari daging too. Just can’t resist. 

A Tasty Worth Your Money Stopover Eat for Traditional Malay Fare

Senyum Sokmo is run by the jovial Pn. Zalina Ijai or more popularly known as Kak Ina. She is what we call in Malay “ada air tangan bagus” which means whatever she cooks, it all turns out delish. It’s a gift.

The boss! Jovial Pn. Zalina Ijai or more popularly known as Kak Ina.

The go-to dish is of course, the kurma kambing. Well balanced spices with thick gravy and not spicy. We liked that the meat comes of the bone easily which is joy & hard to achieve. We recommend the ribs. The sweetest meats are always near the bone. Tasty with a warm plate of rice and some sayur goreng (fried vegetables) on the side.

Surprisingly tasty dishes. Perut Masak Lemak (left) & Kari Daging cooked kampung style (right)

The perut (tripe) masak lemak was surprisingly delicious too. Goes to show Kak Ina’s mastery or “air tangan” in cooking. The perut is cooked al-dente with a nice bite and the lemak gravy is thick & have great flavours. A great accompaniment for the kurma. Don’t forget the kari daging (beef curry). Love that it’s cut in small pieces, tender and includes some off beef parts like tendons. Just like a proper lauk kampung.

A rare find. Telur Itik Masak Lemak.

Put some more joy on your plate with their telur itik masak lemak dish. The telur itik is cooked almost ala egg benedict style in the masak lemak gravy so you have this wonderful almost meaty feel. It’s not easy to get duck eggs served in a dish like this. Most use chicken eggs and we are glad that we found this dish at Senyum Sokmo.  

A joy to eat this Sambal ikan keli

Ikan keli fans will love Kak Ina’s masak cili. Just a simple fried catfish cooked in sambal, but it’s tasty. Nice crunch, well fried and gives your tastebuds a bit of chili kick to the dish. We have it with a side of fried ladies finger. (They have both masak cili & masak lemak ikan keli versions.)

Sambal Ikan Keli, Masak Lemak Ikan Keli, Nasi Lemak, Nasi Putih, Masak Lemak Telur Itik, Masak Lemak Perut, Kurma Kambing, Kari Daging, (Top to Bottom, Left to Right)

So how does Kak Ina gets the right taste that her customers crave for? The recipes comes from her late mom-in-law who used to run a food stall in Kelantan. After that she opened up her own stall at the PLUS R&R. This was in 1999 or 23 years ago! Her mantra is to “jangan kedekut rempah, buat macam masak sendiri” i.e don’t stinge on the ingredients, cook it like you are eating it.

So many value selections and everything is clearly priced!

Kak Ina is so particular about the quality of her food that she still cooks all the food herself at nearby Kampung Jaya Batu 10, waking up at 3am every morning to do so. Her traditional recipes can be expensive as it requires lots of onions, ginger and santan, but she still keeps true to them.  This translates to the great flavours in her dishes at Senyum Sokmo

When you see this sign, stop for tasty traditional kampung fare ahead.

Although her business has dropped 90% since the pandemic, Kak Ina is determined to continue because she loves her regulars and feels responsible for her 4 staff. It’s a lucky thing that she saved for a rainy day when her Senyum Sokmo sales were booming before. Because of that, we are still able to taste some of the best traditional pantai timur dishes along the highway. Just look out for the R&R Gunung Semanggol sign to que you in.

Kak Ina’s Kurma Kambing.- Just looking at the picture will make your mouth water.

Senyum Sokmo is definitely a great “worth your money” stopover eat. At publication, 2 tasty pieces of kurma kambing is only RM6! Not many have covered this little gem & we are glad to give Kak Ina & Senyum Sokmo a much deserved recognition. A great stopover where every bite is a different experience. Recommended!   

The pandemic has devastated many small businesses. FriedChillies is urgently collaborating with PLUS to highlight FIVE great eats that we love along the North South Expressway and the food heroes behind these tasty dishes.  One purchase may be small but the impact goes not only to the owner but also stall workers, delivery guy & continues to their local suppliers and others that depend on them. Small businesses, if they close… they are gone forever. You will never get a chance to eat their food ever again.

Senyum Sokmo

A tasty worth your money stopover eat for traditional malay fare!.


AddressSenyum Sokmo, Stall No. 7, R&R Gunung Semanggol (Southbound), Lebuhraya Utara Selatan, Perak
Open 8am to 8pm daily
Pro Traditional kampung lauk that’s tasty & value for money
ConsVegetable selections are limited
Price Range RM4 – RM12
Certification Muslim Owned

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