Restaurants & Bars 7

Kuala Lumpur - Best Nasi Lemak in Town (?) versus Great Nasi Dagang

klyeoh | May 4, 201210:53 PM

1) Village Park Nasi Lemak
Village Park Nasi Lemak must be the most-lauded "nasi lemak" spot in town - crowded almost round-the-clock when it opens daily (7am - 8pm). Pictures on the walls showed occasions when Malaysia's past & present Prime Ministers dropped by for a taste of Village Park's famous fried chicken (reportedly the tastiest in town), the aromatic "nasi lemak" and the to-die for "sambal"chilli paste.

Finally got round to visiting Village Park myself today and, true enough, the crowd was enormous! Definitely *not* a place to sit down for a relaxing meal, what with hungry patrons brushing past tightly-packed tables (lost count of the number of times I got nudged whilst sitting on my little stool), dirty floors and harried waiters who hurriedly (but efficiently) take your orders.

My "Nasi Lemak" came with the requisite fried chicken (a generously-sized chicken leg) which was nicely-marinated, crisp on the outside and juicy inside. It was better than good, but not something I'd lose sleep over. I also ordered the "Beef Rendang" which tasted a bit too salty, although my dining companion seemed to like it - she said it tasted very authentic, but I thought I couldn't detect the "daun kunyit" flavors, nor the rich texture from "kerisik". I guess KL "rendang" is different from "rendang" from other places (my fave ones where from Sumatera, Indonesia, and Kelantan, Malaysia). Sliced cucumbers, crisp-fried "ikan bilis" (anchovies) and half a hard-boiled egg completed my lunch plate. Best "Nasi Lemak" in Klang Valley/KL? Hmm, I beg to differ.

2) Hayaki Nasi Dagang
Anyhow, we then popped over a few doors away to Hayaki for its "Nasi Dagang" - semi-glutinous rice steamed with finely-julienned ginger, shallots, fenugreek seeds and coconut milk, then served with cucumber pickles, hard-boiled eggs, and a choice of either curried tuna or Kelantanese-style "Ayam Percik" (marinated & grilled chicken).

The environment at Hayaki was more genial than Village Park: spacious and with infinitely nicer & more comfortable furniture. The "Nasi Dagang" rice itself was delicious: coconut-rich & fragrant. We ordered two types of lunch plates - the tuna curry ("Gulai Ikan Tongkol") was very tasty, even if it's a bit salty, but the grilled chicken ("Ayam Percik") was an unmitigated disaster - it bore no resemblance at all to the delicious dish in Kelantan, but a coarse, poor substitute. There should be a law against calling something what it's obviously *not*!

I'd return here just for the "Nasi Dagang" rice, but nothing else.

P.S. - The drinks at both Village Park and Hayaki were disappointing - we ordered local coffee ("kopi tarek") and milk tea ("teh tarek") and, at both eateries, the beverages were very much watered-down.

Address details
Village Park Nasi Lemak
5, Jalan SS21/37
Uptown Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel : +603-77107860

Hayaki Damansara
1, Jalan SS21/37
Uptown Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603-77329912

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