Many a times I have lamented over the lack of a good nasi lemak stall in Ipoh; this probably stemmed from an omnipresent urge to indulge in the most sinful, aromatic, fluffy nasi lemak boiled with a heavy dose of coconut milk at every opportunity presented.
Although my earliest memories of eating nasi lemak back when I was still a toddler (yes, me and my brother developed a penchant for all things spicy, fiery and tongue-numbing since our tender ages) was the nasi lemak bungkus version sold at the wet market; the Pasir Puteh wet market to be precise; gradually the evolution of modern nasi lemak sellers took the experience to hawker stalls within coffee shops, air-conditioned cafes and even gourmet (read: overpriced) version in 5-star hotels.
However, save for a few passable options (Nasi Lemak Allongs in Ipoh Garden, that nasi lemak stall in front of Maybank Ipoh Garden), most of the others in Ipoh faltered – either the rice was lumpy, lacking in flavour from the infused coconut milk (santan), or the sambal was tasteless or too spicy, or the anchovies hardened and imparted an impression of biting into rocks or twigs. Sometimes, it could be hellacious combination of all the above, plus the trader substituting the rice with plain white rice with the excuse of serving a ‘healthier choice’ (this happened to me at least a couple of times in Ipoh, mostly in the more modern kopitiam setting.
Hello? If I feel like eating steamed white rice I won’t patronize a nasi lemak stall, okay? Read the rest of this entry »