Nasi Kandar @ Gerai Rahamath, Ipoh Old Town – Riots in the Making?November 29, 2010 | 8,400 views
Nasi Kandar Rahman (as this stall is fondly called) – Array of curries, meats, vegetables and sambal boiled eggs. Not the most extensive of choices, but if you see the crowd in the afternoons …. you’d be amazed!
Flurry of posts huh? Pardon me, folks, for I have been writing at breakneck speed lately, for fear of not able to get connected once relocating to KL (shock! horror! … thankful?!) I assume I’d be eating and not writing in the early stages. Then picking up steam as life goes on …. Or I may just jump in the fray and pick up where I have left off in Ipoh; writing stories on good street food in and around the Klang Valley.
You know, the resilient spirit is hard to beat.
Any better description than packed-like-sardines?
Gerai Rahamath (fondly referred to as Rahman) in old town of Ipoh can easily be mistaken for just another random ‘warung’ (stall) selling nasi kandar/nasi berlauk for lunch.
The difference? The horde of people swarming the pitiful excuse of a restaurant (or rather, ‘gerai’ as in stall) painted in a lovely shades of yellow and green. The place fits the Ipoh’s old town theme to a tee. To imagine a stand alone shack, located behind the state mosque in old town; an almost non-descriptive eatery that is usually best left to demolition works than granted a chance at seeing the light of day.
BUT dear, Gerai Rahamath has done JUST THAT. And for many decades now. So popular is this Halal Indian-Muslim rice stall during lunch hour, that I could not resist giving in to the scorching weather this afternoon. Of course, I could not bear the thought of being alone in my endeavours. Hence Mr Z was my esteemed assistant. Read on to find out why people keep coming back for more, although they serve the same dishes every single day ….
Though the snaking line may look intimidating, truth is; the wait is not unbearably long. They have two separate counters (though invisible, just stay to the correct side) one catering to the dine-in crowd, and the other would be hastily packing up packets of nasi kandar to be taken away.
Hint #1 – Don’t try to go during peak hours. Say, about 12pm-1.30pm. DAMN crowded, and if you’re planning to sit down and eat, you’ll be crushed to oblivion. And the crowd will save your plate of nasi kandar rather than the squashed person underneath the rubble that is you.
Okay, maybe not. But then again, we arrived at around 12.20pm, and we were about number 10 or so in line. Thankfully, the queue moved fast, and seeing them working their magic – a systematic way of scooping out platefuls of white rice, throwing together an ensemble of greens (cabbage was the day’s fibres, not sure if this is fixed?) and curry sambal (a delectable combination of piquant and tangy tastes), then you get to choose your pick of meat. Fish, mutton or chicken.
This reminded us of a cafeteria or canteen in a factory. Complete with the voracious appetites and being in close proximity with strangers.
The piece de resistance at Gerai Rahamath; being fried freshly on the spot. A spiced fried chicken in a sweetish, robust gravy. (Nasi + Ayam @ RM4.20/USD1.40)
Or go for the tender cubes of Curry Mutton (Nasi + Kambing = RM5.20/USD1.80), additional sambal boiled egg (sambal telur) @ RM0.60/USD0.20
Everything and everyone moved at such rapid pace that I got dizzy trying to capture everything on photos. Hence I quietly (hehe) chose my dish and then seated on a plastic stool at the long metal tables. Mr Z picked the crowd favourite of Ayam Goreng Berempah (sorry, gotta give the chicken a name, right?), while I went for the Kari Kambing (mutton curry) with an additional Sambal Telur Rebus.
Though Mr Z’s allegiance still lies with the more prominent Nasi Vanggey (or Nasi Ganja), claiming that his preferred nasi kandar had that kick from their spicy sambal, this tender piece of marinated fried chicken coated in a moreish sauce at Rahamath’s ain’t that shabby either. And if you’re afraid of spicy foods, then you’re in for a treat.
The curries and spices at Gerai Rahamath was far from mind-numbingly spicy. Unlike Yong Suan‘s tremendously addictive (hence the ‘Ganja’ moniker?) sambal gravy. Considerably mild, and you can even down spoonfuls of the curry without reaching for a glass of water.
And everything’s self-served here. Even the plastic glasses of iced water at RM0.10 each. You only pay at the end of your meal, from the comfort (or lack thereof?) of your seat. Just be truthful and don’t go ordering every single dish from their counter, then proclaiming you ate nasi kosong dengan kuah sahaja …. =_=
Though I was supposed to take the closeup of the menu, the proprietor actually wanted me to snap the sayings above. Enlightened yet?
People really do not care much about comfort, or the ambience. Good Street Food SHOULD be enjoyed without the bells and whistles of exterior factors.
The Chinese lady seated opposite of me told some interesting trivia. She has been eating at this same stall with her husband everytime they do banking around the area. And they have been ardent fans, since a plate of rice and chicken cost RM2.00+!!! Now it’s double the price at RM4.20, and yet the place still attract the same legion of fans, and many new ones.
I don’t foresee myself successfully dragging KYT over in the near future. Or even a second Rahman Nasi Kandar experience before the eventual move down south. But if you’re ever around the area, and eating at the same old white coffee outlets sounds like a bore, why not give Gerai Rahamath a try?
Just don’t come all decked in shirts and suits.
An indispensable classic. Whatever will happen to them in another decade?
GERAI MAKANAN DAN MINUMAN RAHAMATH – NASI KANDAR (Halal)
Jalan Dato Sagor,
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
(Next to Masjid Negeri Perak/Perak State Mosque)
Business Hours : Opens for lunch only (go before 12pm to avoid the crowd)
Closed on Sundays, first Saturday of the month, and public holidays.
GPS Coordinates : E101 4′ 36.2″ N4 35′ 46.4″
Google Map to this place
And can somebody please tell me what are these for?!!!!