Revisiting an old favourite: KL's RA Nasi Lemak

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — It had rained almost every morning last week. That threw a spanner in my schedule so one rainy morning, I ended up eating nasi lemak.

It was a walk down memory lane.... to RA Nasi Lemak. Throughout the years, more popular places have overshadowed this stall which is located in a house in Kampung Baru.

The RA refers to the location on Jalan Raja Abdullah, opposite Wisma RKT and just round the corner from Yut Kee Restaurant.

Here, the rice is the highlight for me. It's prepared the traditional way and kept steamed in a wooden bucket.

The highlight here is their fragrant coconut milk scented rice (left). The rice is steamed in a wooden bucket, which is the traditional way (right).
The highlight here is their fragrant coconut milk scented rice (left). The rice is steamed in a wooden bucket, which is the traditional way (right).

The highlight here is their fragrant coconut milk scented rice (left). The rice is steamed in a wooden bucket, which is the traditional way (right).

They scoop the rice that is hot, fluffy and fragrant with coconut milk and pandan leaves onto brown wax paper laid on a plate. You fork out RM1 for the rice with cucumbers.

If you go for the typical combination of rice with peanuts, cucumber and egg, it's RM3.

Select what you want from the array of dishes laid out (left). A must-eat is their 'paru goreng' which is well prepared here (right).
Select what you want from the array of dishes laid out (left). A must-eat is their 'paru goreng' which is well prepared here (right).

Select what you want from the array of dishes laid out (left). A must-eat is their 'paru goreng' which is well prepared here (right).

Head over to the next counter and select your choice of vegetables. There's blanched kangkung or refreshing cut cucumbers. Also pick up a half portion of hard boiled egg. If you want a fried egg, it's further down the counter. You also have fried peanuts. There's no fried ikan bilis though. A sign of the times indeed as it's become an expensive ingredient with the rising costs.

Next, just help yourself to a big pot of sambal. Be warned that their sambal is the fiery "knock your socks off" type. In a way, I prefer a spicier type versus those that are borderline saccharine since sugar is a good preservative.

The pieces of 'sambal sotong' are huge here (left). The 'rendang daging' is fragrant and tender to the bite (right).
The pieces of 'sambal sotong' are huge here (left). The 'rendang daging' is fragrant and tender to the bite (right).

The pieces of 'sambal sotong' are huge here (left). The 'rendang daging' is fragrant and tender to the bite (right).

Then you have a selection of dishes. I especially love their rendang daging (RM4). It's thickly cut but incredibly tender to the bite. The gravy is rich with coconut milk.

You get a distinct taste of lemongrass, thanks to bruised stalks inside the gravy.

You also have 'rendang ayam' too (left). Or if you miss fried chicken, there's 'ayam goreng berempah' (right).
You also have 'rendang ayam' too (left). Or if you miss fried chicken, there's 'ayam goreng berempah' (right).

You also have 'rendang ayam' too (left). Or if you miss fried chicken, there's 'ayam goreng berempah' (right).

There's also rendang limpa or cow's spleen too. These come in huge pieces for RM5.

There's also huge pieces of sotong. Just pick a piece or two and use the scissors to cut them yourself. The bigger pieces of sotong can be a tad chewy so go for the smaller ones. It's RM4 per piece.

You can also order 'lontong' with 'sayur lodeh' and your choice of protein like this one with 'sambal sotong'.
You can also order 'lontong' with 'sayur lodeh' and your choice of protein like this one with 'sambal sotong'.

You can also order 'lontong' with 'sayur lodeh' and your choice of protein like this one with 'sambal sotong'.

Or you may select their ayam goreng rempah or rendang ayam. The chicken is RM4.50. I also enjoy their paru goreng or cow's lungs that are fried and done well here without any dry hard bits. These are placed on a plate so just pick up one plate for RM5. Or go for the more conventional fried fish for RM7.

If you're looking for something different, there's also lontong (RM5). Just add on your protein whether it's sambal sotong or rendang.

Look for this house along Jalan Raja Abdullah which is opposite Wisma RKT.
Look for this house along Jalan Raja Abdullah which is opposite Wisma RKT.

Look for this house along Jalan Raja Abdullah which is opposite Wisma RKT.

In the mornings, there's always a crowd of people looking to take away their nasi lemak to enjoy at the office. As it was raining, there wasn't a crowd for once, making it the perfect time for a plate of hot steaming, fragrant rice paired with a super hot sambal and tender rendang daging.

RA Nasi Lemak, 15, Jalan Raja Abdullah (opposite Wisma RKT), Kuala Lumpur. Open daily: 7am to 12pm. Tel: +6017-6520059.

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