Capital Nasi Dagang, one of Kelantan's most famous eateries, has actually *moved* to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. For nearly two decades, Capital has been purveying one of Kelantan (Malaysia's frontier state in the North-east of the country, bordering Thailand) state's most iconic dishes: the "Nasi Dagang" - semi-glutinous reddish-white coloured rice, steamed with finely-julienned ginger, slivered small red onions, fenugreek seeds and coconut milk. The whole concoction emits an intoxicating fragrance and has a taste which is to-die for.
Traditional accompaniment to the "Nasi Dagang" is the "Gulai Ikan Tongkol", tuna chunks cooked in a coconut-rich, tamarind-steeped and turmeric-enriched curry. I didn't quite take to the dry-ish, hard tuna chunks, but the yellow-ish curry gravy was very tasty.
Other curries available included the Kelantanese Beef "Rendang", a complex, long-stewed dry curry which was mind-blowingly delicious, albeit much sweeter than other versions one would find in other Malaysian states. The Kelantanese are well-known for having a sweet-tooth, so practically *every* dish, even savoury curried ones, have copious amounts of sugar added in!
This new 2 month-old outlet in Damansara has an interesting option on its menu where you get a one-plate meal:a mound of "Nasi Dagang" is surrounded by "Gulai Ayam" (curried chicken), "Gulai Ikan Tongkol" (curried tuna), "Gulai Udang" (prawn curry), Beef "Rendang", "Gulai Sotong" (curried baby squid), half a hard-boiled egg, a small whole crisp-fried "Ikan Masin" (salted fish), and some cucumber-carrot pickles. It's the best breakfast I'd had in a long while. It's also so coconutty-rich, I think my body is still trying to digest this meal - 8 hours later.
The other dish I tried was the "Laksa Kelantan" - which bore *no* resemblance whatsoever to the various other "laksa" noodle dishes from other Malaysian states. This one didn't even resemble Thai "laksa" or "khanom chin" - Malaysians who said Kelantan laksa resemble the Thai version obviously *don't* know what they are talking about :-D
The Kelantanese take on "laksa" has a coconut-enriched sauce flavoured with galangal, onions, "asam keping" (tamarind slices, *not* the more intense tamarind paste or "asam Jawa") and lots of steamed, flaked mackerel. It's served topped with julienned cucumber, raw onions, torch-ginger ("bunga kantan"), raw beansprouts, Vietnamese "rau ram" or mint ("daun kesum"). A dollop of chilli paste is added before serving but, overall, the Kelantanese-Malays seemed to have a lower tolerance for chilli heat compared to their Malay brethren from other states.
The lady-chef who served me in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, last January (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888441) is now here, and the original outlet in her home-state is currently closed until further notice.
The food here is 100% authentic Kelantanese - with no concessions made to Kuala Lumpur tastes. I'm *definitely* coming back for more.
Capital Nasi Dagang Kelantan
29 Jalan 21/1A
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +6012-921 5200