Who doesn't love "nasi lemak" (a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk)? It's one of those food all of us grew up on and considered as the national dish of Malaysia. It's a much sought after breakfast item for many Malaysians although it has evolved from being just a breakfast staple to being eaten all day long whether it's for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper. I guess 'anytime is a good time' to eat nasi lemak!
So, to satisfy my craving for nasi lemak one late Public Holiday morning, we headed out to Village Park Restaurant @ Damansara Uptown to get our nasi lemak fix.
This well-known nasi lemak joint (picked as one of the Top 5 Nasi Lemak by Flavours Magazine in 2012) is really crowded on weekends and public holidays, especially if you head here for a late breakfast. Do not be alarmed when you see a long queue because those are usually customers lining up to "bungkus" (or take-away). For those dining in, the staff will take your orders. However, if you see that the queue is not too long, it may be wise to line up as you can get your food faster (I have tried that before).
Without a doubt, there's only one thing everyone comes here for and that is their "ayam goreng" (fried chicken). Just look at the heap of freshly fried chicken....and the smell of fragrant, freshly fried chicken is truly intoxicating!
Needless to say, we ordered a plate of their signature Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng @ RM8.30. The rice, with well separated grains, was fluffy and "lemak" enough. The only way this texture of rice can be achieved is by steaming it, the traditional way, in a wooden container. The fragrant aroma of the fried chicken leg (drumstick + thigh), on the other hand, is quite another thing --- well marinated with spices, the skin fried till crispy, while the meat still moist and tender inside. It was excellent, testimony to the fact that trays after trays of fried chicken were replenished non-stop throughout our meal there.
We also tried the Nasi Lemak with "Rendang Daging" (Beef Rendang) @ RM7.80. I quite liked the beef rendang gravy and would have liked it a lot more had the beef been cooked a little longer till it was more tender. It was a shame as this could have been a cracker dish had the beef been more tender.
This is the Nasi Lemak with "Ayam Goreng" & "Sotong" (squid) @ RM13.30 [Note: Please excuse the 'not-so-nice' presentation because that's how it looks like when they are really busy, dishing up plate after plate...fast and furious!] The squid was alright although, again, I found it not tender enough.
We asked for the "sambal" to be served separately. The fiery red sambal leans more towards sweet than spicy (although it was not my favourite sambal). The sambal must be quite a hit with diners as there was a notice that said you will be charged RM0.80 for an extra serving of sambal.....wow, bummer!
To round up the meal, a good drink to order would be the "Kedondong" with Sour Plum Juice @ RM3.60. It is known as 'ambarella' in English and is similar to the "sar lei shin mui" drink in Chinese. This slightly sweet, more sourish, fruit drink makes a fitting end to an otherwise heavy nasi lemak meal.
My Personal Opinion
Village Park's Nasi Lemak is undoubtedly one of the best in town. The fluffy rice, served with crispy "ikan bilis" (dried anchovies), fresh peanuts, cucumber, half a hard-boiled egg and lovely sambal, is a breakfast staple you cannot do without...sometimes just a plain "nasi lemak biasa" is all it takes!
If you don't mind the crowd and the waiting time for you food, then come on over here for your nasi lemak fix!
What I liked: The Ayam Goreng...first....and then the Nasi Lemak!
What I disliked: The crowd, the waiting time and the 'messy' presentation when they are busy because they simply 'chop and murder' your chicken and, literally throw it, and everything else, onto your plate of nasi lemak.
With this, my final post for the year 2013, I wish everyone a Fruitful & Happy New Year!
Come on back and I'll see you in 2014!
Village Park Restaurant
No 5 Jalan SS21/37
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7710 7860