Rendang may be popular internationally, but if there is one dish that defines Malaysia for those who have visited, it is nasi lemak. This incredible dish, somewhat of a ‘tasting platter’ and a mix of tastes and textures from soft, fluffy white rice, through to hard-boiled egg, meaty chicken and crunchy nuts, is a journey in itself – and perhaps it is not too much to say that this blend of textures represents the fabric of Malaysia itself, and its blend of cultures.
But where best to eat this delicacy? You can find it on every street corner, but my favourite spot so far – and I have tried a fair few! – is at Old Town White Coffee, which has branches across Kuala Lumpur. Served on an understated paper wrap not unlike fish and chip wrapping back in the UK, this is a double whammy of chicken rendang and a whole hunk of fried chicken, plus crunchy nuts and a small piece of pappadam for added crunch. Add in slices of cool cucumber to refresh your palate and you have got a meal fit for the gods. All centred around a generous portion of fresh white rice, this is one serving of nasi lemak you’ll be wanting to eat time and time again!
Unusual as it is to be in the position to be able to say this truthfully, you won’t actually go far wrong on the nasi lemak front even if you only ever try it on the plane! Before even landing in Malaysia, low cost airline AirAsia serves up a pretty neat portion of this national dish. With just the right sized amount and a good balance between the richness of the chicken rendang and the balancing subtle blandness of the rice. As in-flight meals go, this is the business!
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