What is the one thing that’s more colourful than the people of Malaysia? The food.
Batik Boutique’s latest collection was inspired by the aroma of steamed rice infused with coconut milk and pandan leaves, the spicy smack of sambal tumis, the crunch of peanuts, the texture of fried anchovies, the freshness of thinly sliced cucumbers, and a shiny boiled egg that ties all these flavours into a harmonious balance. Yes, it was inspired by the beloved Nasi Lemak. It is a dish with humble ingredients that unites Malaysians, which seems fitting as Malaysia Day is just around the corner.
In the spirit of sharing and our love for food, we went on a mission to find 5 of the best nasi lemak in town with your help. We tried and tested your go-to Nasi Lemak gerais and kedais and here is what we found - well, after we styled each dish on our reversible batik homewares.
1.NASI LEMAK WANJO KG BARU
Monday - Sunday 6 AM to 10 PM
Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/nasilemakwanjoofficial/
Nasi Lemak Wanjo was established in 1963 and is a family run business to this very day. Rated 4 out 5 stars on Tripadvisor, it was featured on multiple “best list” and recommended by Batik Boutique’s audiences. Nasi Lemak Wanjo is located at 8, Jalan Raja Muda Musa, Kampung Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur. This establishment, to some, might have a semblance of a food court, although they primarily serve Nasi Lemak with an array of curries and rendangs to choose from, you can also get kuehs, fruit juices and other types of food sold by their other relatives. Now that’s a family affair!2. NASI LEMAK TANGLIN
Monday - Sunday 7 AM to 5:30 PM
Photo source: https://www.instagram.com/nasilemaktanglin1948/?hl=en
Nasi Lemak Tanglin has a few locations in Bukit Aman, Bukit Damansara, a food truck in TTDI, and Jalan Tun Perak. So if you are looking for some Nasi Lemak, there’s probably a Tanglin nearby. That’s good too because they sell out pretty quick so be sure to get there before peak lunch hours. The restaurant uses cafeteria format to order their food. All you need to do is just stand in line for a plate of white rice, move up the line and make your dish selection, and a server will ladle out your choice of curries onto your rice. Their restaurants have been frequented by Malaysia's elites, so you’ll never know who you might brush shoulders with.3. NASI LEMAK PEEL ROAD
Monday - Sunday (Closed On Thursdays) 11 AM to 7:30 PM
Photo source: https://funntaste.com/peel-road-chinese-nasi-lemak-kl/
A Chinese version of Nasi Lemak has gone mainstream in recent years. The best in the game is Michelle Au Yong’s Nasi Lemak, and if you’re a regular it is called Nasi Lemak Peel Road. They are well known for their wild-boar curry. So if there's a wild side to our humble Nasi Lemak and you wish to experience it, *pun intended* then make the trip to Nasi Lemak Peel Road!4. NASI LEMAK BUMBUNG
Monday - Sunday 3 PM to 10 PM
Photo source: https://funntaste.com/nasi-lemak-bumbung-seapark-petaling-jaya/
Not one to have Nasi Lemak for breakfast? That’s okay - Nasi Lemak Bumbung comes alive at night. They are located at Seapark SS21 and have been operating and occupying the back lane of shop lots for more than 20 years. The word “bumbung” means roof, in Malay, which is pretty ironic because the venue where the tables are set does not have a roof over it. So diners get to enjoy dining alfresco, which makes sense why their peak hours are in the evening because dining under the Malaysian sun and heat is not ideal. Nasi Lemak Bumbung is done with an Indian twist. Their chicken skin is coated with a variety of Indian spices like cumin and fennel making it one of their best sellers.5. VILLAGE PARK RESTAURANT
Monday - Sunday 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Photo source: https://www.instagram.com/thevillageparkofficial/
Now, we cannot have a list of the best Nasi Lemak without mentioning Village Park Restaurant. Although they are well known for their signature Nasi Lemak with Ayam Goreng Berempah, they also offer other dishes such as Nasi Dagang, Penang Prawn Mee, Singapore Mee Rebus, Lontong, Soto and other classic Malaysian dish combo, like half-boiled eggs with Roti Kahwin. Not to be missed especially if you’re from out of town, I can confidently say this restaurant is the face of Malaysian Nasi Lemak.
Whether it’s a Nasi Lemak bungkus on your dining table or a new Nasi Lemak Batik shirt, what makes Nasi Lemak a staple to the Malaysian people is perhaps, the most important ingredient isn’t the secret spices or the way the nasi was kukus-ed, but in fact the element of unity that is so clearly displayed in this dish. So let’s celebrate our national dish and the people that it unites this month by supporting artisans and maybe even “belanja” (treat) a friend to packet of nasi lemak.
Happy Malaysia Day from all of us at Batik Boutique!