Satay Kajang Nyok Lan @ Restoran MalaysiaAugust 18, 2010 | 28,416 views
Talk about Satay, those sticks of timeless grilled marinated and skewered meats (epitome of Malaysian Street Food?) and almost instantaneously the term Kajang Satay pops up in the conversation. It’s inevitable. You can argue about how famous your favourite ‘warung sate‘ (satay stall) in your neighbourhood might be, crowded from day ’til night or round the clock, but the appeal of Kajang Satay has never waned amidst the many emulators, imitators and wannabes.
The many varieties of Satay served on a plate, @ Nyok Lan Kajang Satay in Restoran Malaysia, Kajang.
First up, where in the world is Kajang you are wondering? (If let’s say, you’re not a local or plain ignorant or simply detested Geography lessons back in your school days) Kajang is a city in the eastern part of Selangor, about 20km or so from the capital of Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur. And unabashedly, I have to admit that this was my FIRST excursion down to this city slightly away from the tourist trail. Nearby towns include Semenyih and Bangi. If those sound even more foreign to you, I don’t blame you.
Anyway, Haji Samuri is THE undisputed brand of Kajang Satay; with close to 20 outlets all over Malaysia now. The number is constantly on the rise, with new chains opening up in the other states.
My experience with Sate Kajang Haji Samuri ranged from absolutely delicious (the R&R Kinrara outlet back in 2006 or so) to downright abysmal (the one in Bukit Tinggi, Klang). Commercialization breeds success and fame, but when the quality of the satay is compromised in a way that affects a customer’s satisfaction, it’s hard to restore my faith in their food again.
So why oh why am I still raving, salivating and recommending Kajang Satay again? For I believe, this outlet named Nyok Lan Kajang Satay @ Restoran Malaysia is definitely worth a try; no matter you’re a satay lover or not. Read on to find out why …..
Clockwise from top left : Large chunks of charcoal being used at an alarming speed, The readily-grilled meats to appease the hungry souls, The warning that tries to deter greedy souls from hoarding the orders, and the beautifully wrapped ketupat (roasted rice cakes)
All this while, I only knew about the Haji Samuri brand of Kajang Satay. And after a few dismaying outings, I swore off their satay. Cold, charred and fatty cuts of meat, served with lukewarm (and sometimes cold!) peanut sauce. I was darn sure they went waaaayyy over their heads in the effort to popularize the brand, rather than the Satay itself.
Then I read about Restoran Malaysia; an unassuming corner coffee shop facing the main road of Jalan Semenyih (map to come at the end of the post), which houses Nyok Lan Kajang Satay; a Chinese satay stall that has existed since 1971.
The plate of cucumber (RM0.50/USD0.15) and onions (RM0.70/0.20) come at a price. The “Ketupat” (rice cakes/dumpling wrapped in woven palm leaf) at Restoran Malaysia is roasted/grilled instead of boiled.
They utilize THREE grills working to their maximum capacity manned by four-five workers, grilling the skewered meats non-stop to cater to the satay-hungry patrons. I bet they sell more than a few thousands sticks on a daily basis.
No funky/exotic/weird cuts, innards or such; Nyok Lan Kajang Satay only serves FIVE different types of Satay : Chicken, Beef, Mutton, Fish and Duck. Okay, so duck’s not as normal but still ….. duck’s merely a fowl anyway.
I did not set my expectations sky high. But I had faith when we walked in, seeing all the customers happily tucking in into their skewered meats, and the place has NO air-conditioning !!! A plus, as I can’t bear the thought of eating a hawker fare as basic as satay in a restaurant with cutlery provided. 🙂
For those wondering whether there was any Muslim patron at all, the answer is NO. Wait, don’t get me wrong. The satay here is HALAL, but since this is the fasting month (Ramadan), I highly doubt any Muslim will be brave enough to test the waters. I don’t doubt there would be Malay customers on normal occasions though.
The signature Kajang Satay sauce – Peanut Gravy with a dollop of spicy chili paste (Sambal). You can request for extra spiciness or for a toned down kick. The sauce can be topped up, at no extra cost.
So what makes their satay so special? The succulent cuts of meat, sans the fat. Yes, all meat, which came in thick and juicy cuts, marinated and skewered before being placed on the grill. I could not find any fault with the satay, aside from the duck being slightly too charred. The mutton satay was fantastic, with a faint hint of gaminess but unbelievably tender and juicy. At RM1.20 per stick, the price may be slightly premium, but definitely worth the order. The duck satay is priced at RM1.20 per stick as well, and though not as flavoursome as the others, at least this is something not easily found at the other stalls.
The beef satay deserves a mention as well, very tender cuts of beef tenderloin marinated with an intense, robust marinade reeking of lemongrass aroma (yes, I hate lemongrass but yet I found this palatable), and without any bits of fat. At RM0.70 per skewer, this was a steal!
Grilled “Ketupat” or Rice Dumpling – RM0.60/USD0.18 per piece
But I do admit that Haji Samuri‘s Nasi Himpit (a type of Malay rice cake) tasted better than the grilled/roasted ketupat at Restoran Malaysia. But at RM0.60 per piece, at least you get a ‘complete’ meal with your carbo shots in the form of packed rice cakes, nicely compacted into a case made from woven palm leaf. And you can leave out the cucumber and onions if you want, since you’ll be charged for the extras. Though without the ‘greens’, a satay feast just ain’t that complete, right?
Aside from Satay, you can also order their variety of fried noodles or rice, or even a chicken chop/beef steak for a more filling meal.
Verdict? Definitely better than Haji Samuri’s. But to be fair, I have not tasted the original Haji Samuri’s outlet at Medan Sate in Kajang, so I can’t compare them directly. But if you’re still unsatisfied, drive a short distance to Bangunan Dato Nazir for a second round of satay to appease your cravings. Only then …. you will be able to pledge your allegiance to the REAL Kajang Satay.
NYOK LAN KAJANG SATAY @ RESTORAN MALAYSIA (HALAL*)
No 31, Jalan Semenyih,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Telephone : 603-8733 1160
Opens from about 11am until midnight
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to Nyok Lan Kajang Satay.
Directions : From Kajang town, once you pass by the police station on your LEFT, travel towards Semenyih direction a little and you will see Restoran Malaysia on your RIGHT. Same row as Restoran Malaysia will be Domino’s Pizza, and a Mexim Dim Sum.
*The satay may be HALAL, but take note that the restaurant does serve alcohol*