We pick the best places in town for a satisfying plate of the country's pride and joy – the mighty nasi lemak. Hunt down these nasi lemak joints for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper, because our national dish doesn't restrict itself to a certain meal time – which is why we love it so much.
Tanglin’s nasi lemak is no secret to KLites but you’ll still get the feeling that you’ve stumbled upon a hidden treasure just behind the KL Bird Park. If you like your sambal moderately spicy and a little sweet, Tanglin’s version is wildly addictive. You know what this means: more rice!
What makes this TOKL Food Awards winner one of the best nasi lemak joints in town? It isn’t the clout (our ex-PMs have dined here), necessarily, or the fluffy rice. It’s the overall presentation – sambal, crunchy anchovies and a whole fried chicken leg – that elevates this street staple to a restaurant-quality dish.
When in Klang, eat like a Klangite and have the packed nasi lemak at Chong Kok Kopitiam. It's a simple mound of fluffy rice topped with spicy sambal, fried ikan bilis and a hard-boiled egg wedge, but it's hugely comforting. Prepare to share a table with strangers (and have a conversation about the nasi lemak while you're at it).
Here's a nasi lemak joint the tourists don't know about – yet. While some nasi lemak places tempt you with rendang and sambal sotong, a plate of nasi lemak at Mali's Corner will make you forget about fancy add-ons. The rice is consistently fluffy and fragrant, the ikan bilis crunchy, and the sambal achieves that ideal balance between spicy and sweet. Complete the experience with Mali's ayam goreng.
The allure of springy sambal sotong and paru goreng has made Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa equal parts dining destination and neighbourhood hang. Frankly, you’d be crazy to skip the fried innards, no matter how squeamish you are.
There are so many things we love about this Chinese-style nasi lemak, and it all comes down to the variety of side dishes available. The dry pork curry is the stall’s claim to fame, plus there are two types of chicken to choose from – the fragrant chicken rendang, and the ayam masak merah. Trust us, you’ll find it difficult to limit yourself to just a couple of side dishes, because there are also options like sambal sotong, chilli prawn, fried eggs, stir-fried kangkung, stir-fried cabbage, luncheon meat, hotdogs, fish cakes, and even sambal petai.
Lips don’t lie – Yati’s fiesty sambal may just leave you with a (pleasant) stinging sensation. The battle of the best nasi lemak stalls – between Suri and Yati – at Selera Jaya 223 rages on, but the latter triumphs with fragrant rice and a punchier sambal.