Deen Nasi Kandar stall at Toon Leong coffeeshop has been operating at the same spot for more than 80 years now - the current stallholder, Sirajudeen, is the great-grandson of the original owner. Deen is one of the most popular 'nasi kandar' spots in Penang - its clientele are largely locals, in comparison to its better-known rivals, Line Clear on Penang Road and Nasi Kandar Beratur on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Kling (Pitt Street).
Toon Leong coffeeshop is still owned by the Teoh family since the 1930s.
A "Nasi Kandar" man's skill is judged by how well he blends the various curries to form a delicious melange of contrasting yet complementary flavours on a single plate.
The curried catfish sells out pretty fast each morning, so one needs to come early. Sirajudeen's rendition was the best catfish dish I'd ever tasted.
Both meats were fork-tender and had this melt-in-your-mouth texture as a result of slow-cooking. Both were robustly-spiced and absolutely delish. Hard-boiled egg and soft-poached okra are both must-haves to complete one's 'nasi kandar' plate.
Toon Leong coffeeshop looked lile it's stuck in a time-warp!
Toon Leong serves some of the best 'kopi-o' (local parlance for black coffee) in Georgetown. Be aware that local Malaysian coffee or tea beverages are normally served sweetened - so if you don't want any sugar, make sure you request that when you order.
Toon Leong is packed with Malay,Chinese and Indian clientele - all mainly local Penangites, each morning.
Join the queue, and point out the dishes you want to the 'nasi kandar' man, who'll ladle your choices of side-dishes onto the plate of steamed white rice.
Toon Leong Coffeshop closes on alternate Sundays, so do check their schedule - it was closed on 22 Feb the last time I passed by.
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