What exactly is Nasi Kandar? Who would you describe it if someone asked you to? I have asked many people and I have never gotten a clear answer. At this point, I’m not sure if there is even an official definition of this dish called Nasi Kandar. But at least one thing is clear – I really enjoy eating it!! And I’m sure many of you do too!
The only place I’ve had Nasi Kandar is in Kuala Lumpur and my favourite shop to eat at is Mohd Yaseen Nasi Kandar Pulau Pinang when I’m there. And even though that’s in KL, it’s pretty obvious that Nasi Kandar originates from Penang there is no doubt about that.
My Dad and Mein Bruder journeyed up to Penang a few years ago and told me about the Nasi Kandar they had which did not have the signature ‘black sauce chicken’. I found that a bit strange but did that mean that the Nasi Kandar I’d been enjoying since I was kid was not the authentic one? Well, now we were headed to Penang and here was our chance to verify it firsthand!
So all of our readers unanimously gave us one name when it came to Nasi Kandar in Penang and that name was ‘Line Clear’ (we will get to that one a little later okay LOL) but we could not resist asking the cabbie on the way to the hotel where we could go to get some Nasi Kandar. And as you may have probably heard, cab drivers are supposed to be the best people to ask these kinds of questions right?
Well, he gave us one name – “Raffe Nasi Kandar at Pulau Tikus” he says.
It was actually pretty easy to find (we actually chanced upon while looking for something else) and it’s hard to miss with a big purple signboard over the shop. It’s relatively small inside though but hey the space you should be worrying about is the one in your tummy because you’re gonna need it when going to makan Nasi Kandar!
So in case you’ve never had it before, the start is a plate of plain white rice and you choose what you’d like to be dished on that plate of yours. Regular choices include chicken, fish, mutton, veggies or seafood dishes. You could get extravagant and go for the stuff like crabs and prawns (but be careful because it’s normally quite pricy) and even fish roe if you’d like. But don’t be shy and get what you feel like getting.
And when you’re done, the mamak is probably gonna ask you what curry or kuah you want.
There is only 1 correct answer to this question and the answer is “Kuah campur” (mixed gravies). Seriously.
And the mamak will scoop up a little bit of gravy from all the main dishes which are mostly the curries (chicken, mutton, seafood) but it’s this mixture of kuah that’s gonna give your plate of Nasi Kandar that kapow everyone is talking about.
Still not sure what I mean by “kuah campur”? Check this out;
Power right!!! Yup that’s the usual routine and of course you can always ask him for more or less accordingly because it’s totally up to you.
So that first plate up top is mine and the bottom one is my Darling Wife’s plate.
She’s got some fish, some veggies and some seafood on there (sotong I think?) and salted egg of course.
My plate of Nasi Kandar is always quite standard.
I’ll take a piece of the ‘Ayam Hitam’ aka ‘Black Sauce Chicken’ plus some Bendi (aka Okra aka Ladyfingers) and a whole Telur Asin (Salted Egg). You can verify my consistency HERE LOL but that’s really what I always order lah.
Each plate costs an average of RM12-13 which is actually comparable to the one we normally have in KL.
The food itself was actually not bad! Full of flavour and the mamak was definitely not stingy when it came to dishing out the goods. The ‘Black Sauce Chicken’ still lost out to my fave shop in KL but it was actually pretty tasty overall.
Popular choices that seemed to be snapped up quickly were the Fried Chicken (aka Ayam Goreng) and the Fish Roe (aka Telur Ikan) I’m used to seeing it deep fried as-is but at Mohamed Raffee they do it curry style. Still not bad leh. My luck to get a shot of a fresh dish just brought out from the kitchen!
Nasi Kandar 3.5/5
Nasi Kandar – 3/5
Not too bad for our first experience with Nasi Kandar in Penang which is supposed to be the best place to have it and so far the Black Sauce Chicken is around so that’s a big plus (for me at least). Anyways they have other stuff like Briyani and Roti Canai too but hey we know you wanna have some Nasi Kandar.. right… right right… LOL
Now let’s see if we can compare this one to another Nasi Kandar place in Penang.
(LOL no secret lah that we visited Line Clear also but you’ve gotta wait for it!)
295-A Jalan Burma
Tel: +60 4-228 8466
Open 24hrs Daily
All information (including prices, availability of item on menu and Halal status of establishment) are accurate at the time of posting. All photos used in this site are property of The Halal Food Blog unless stated otherwise.