Famous Nasi Lemak Kampung Baru @ CT GardenApril 16, 2012 | 17,876 views
Nasi Lemak CT Garden – A tray loaded with goodies? Nasi lemak, otak-otak, rendang daging, ayam goreng, sambal tempe and more.
It’s always fascinating to bump into places hidden within the nooks and crannies of the metropolitan that is Kuala Lumpur. Especially when you least expect a wondrous eatery in the midst of the skyscrapers almost overflowing with customers with a perpetual grin on their face and overwhelming appetite overruling their sense of judgment.
Like us. Our tray got too heavy from the food and started to bend inwards towards the bottom; although from the looks of it, the food that we took was not exactly of gargantuan proportion either.
Halved hard-boiled eggs and killer sambal with onions ready to be loaded upon the waiting packets of “nasi lemak”
Which of course led us to one last deduction; this tray must have been overloaded by the previous ‘owners’ …. how not so when everyone had at least two packets of nasi lemak each (we saw some having more than 5!!!)?
A pretty systematic manner of operations, although you have to appreciate the fact that they’re pretty clever as making you line up with a tray in hand, just like those cafeterias or school canteens, and got away with it. You have to carry your own drinks from the counter as well.
It was never in our intention to visit Kampung Baru for dinner yesterday evening. The GPS guided us to everywhere but most places were closed around the area. Except for tom yam and seafood restaurants, and they’re almost like replicas of one another down the same road anyway.
Ayam Goreng (fried chicken), Sambal Tempe and Rendang Daging (slow-fire cooked beef in a dry, turmeric-based spicy gravy)
Last I wrote about “nasi lemak” in Klang Valley was this Village Park that requires no introduction, really. I am in no mood to debate today …. as for sure there will be detractors condemning the place, as much as those dying to protect this brand from growing over-commercialized and sway from its original positioning as a neighbourhood restaurant that serves good quality ‘nasi lemak’, ‘lontong’ and various other Malay dishes.
However, with that being said, Village Park has indeed let success gone slightly up their heads; the increase in price and reduction in portions reflecting this sentiment. Guess that popularity DOES breed evil temptations.
A fabulous Sambal Tempe @ CT Garden; maintaining the crispiness of the fermented soybean product while flavoured to a right degree without overwhelming the subtle taste of the nutritional food item.
There were TWO nasi lemak outlets appearing on the GPS. One being the famous Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa that has gone way upmarket with branches opening lefts and rights everywhere, while the other one was this aptly named ‘Nasi Lemak Kampung Baru’, which turned out to be CT Garden Nasi Lemak, also known as Nasi Lemak Stadium Sultan Sulaiman; referring to the sports centre nearby.
Nasi Lemak Bungkus; wrapped in banana leaf with a quartered hard-boiled egg, sambal ikan bilis (anchovies) and a side of ‘otak-otak’ (wrapped spicy and sweet fish paste grilled on charcoal fire)
The place appeared to be slightly rundown, with lighting barely sufficient to light up the whole premise. CT Garden looks more like a food court with ample seats; easily more than 100 pax at once, with a portion of the restaurant left unshielded from the open sky.
Self-service is practised here, hence do not sit and wait for them to come to you. Instead, walk over to the first counter with packets of nasi lemak ready to be taken (RM0.80 each), with optional sides of otak-otak (RM0.60 each, pay on the spot).
Sambal Kentang Goreng (Fried Sliced Potatoes with a sweet chili sauce)
Then proceed to the next counter with easily more than 10 dishes on display. You can have the scary looking grilled ‘paru’ (cow’s lungs!) on skewers, as well as the same organ cooked in a spicy sambal sauce. Or you can choose to have your fried chicken, catfish (ikan keli), sambal sotong (squid in a spicy sauce), rendang daging (beef cooked in a dry, coconut milk and turmeric-based gravy).
After you’re done loading up your tray (or getting your comrade-in-arms to do the dirty deeds for you while you’re trigger-happy; shooting away), walk over to the beverages counter and pick whatever you fancy from the list above the stall.
Last but not least, pay at the counter before proceeding to any vacant table (you may have to share since the tables are placed adjacent to one another; some stretching to 4-5 tables!) and tuck in!
CT Garden @ Night; patronized by mostly the Malays within the area.
The nasi lemak fared poorly, in case you’re wondering. The rice being clumpy and almost passes off as white rice instead of grains perfumed with fragrant coconut milk. The sambal accompanying the rice was thankfully robust enough to make a stand.
The star of the meal belongs to the side dishes, the sambal tempe in particular. One of the BEST that I have tasted so far, and a far cry from the mushy, stale-tasting ones with a sour hint that usually puts people off. The rendang daging was delicious too; proportionately rich without a cloying aftertaste of santan (coconut milk), while fried chicken and spicy potatoes were below average.
Well, if you’re wondering whether will I be back anytime soon …. I dare say no. I will push my luck and try the other famous nasi lemak options in KL before giving my white flag a gentle wave; proceeding to fall back upon Village Park for a hurried yet satisfying experience.
NASI LEMAK CT GARDEN
Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman
Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.16246, 101.70113 (shamelessly nicked from KYSpeaks)
Business hours – 6pm until early morning