Capital Nasi Dagang Kelantan
Time Out says
I’m a huge fan of nasi dagang. Sadly, you can’t really find the popular East Coast staple in KL as much as you can find nasi kerabu; nasi dagang is a rarity even at Ramadhan bazaars here. When I found out last year that a famous Kelantan nasi dagang joint had moved to KL, I was curious. I’ve never actually been to Kelantan or Terengganu, so I’m not quite sure what constitutes an ‘authentic’ plate of nasi dagang. All I know is that I like mine fluffy, slightly sticky and a little bit sweet – a feat that’s seemingly difficult to achieve in KL (I’ve had my fair share of crunchy, bland nasi dagang at expensive places before). I decided it was time to put Capital to the test.
I visited Capital on a Friday at lunch time, and the outlet was comfortably busy; not overly packed, but not so quiet as to imply that business wasn’t doing well. Capital’s menu, which takes the form of an old exercise book, is small so you won’t feel spoilt for choice here, which was fine by me as I had only one thing in mind: nasi dagang. You can have your nasi dagang traditional with gulai ikan tongkol (tuna curry) or have it with chicken curry, beef rendang, prawn curry or squid. I saved myself the trouble by ordering The Ultimate Nasi Dagang Capital, which is sort of like a sample platter of all the lauk to accompany your nasi dagang. RM18.90 seemed like a fair price to have everything on a plate, but it does put your lauk-to-rice ratio out of balance (I had to order more rice to compensate).
Capital also serves the very rare Kelantanese laksa on weekends and special days, and I was lucky enough to visit on a special day. I had high hopes, but I was somewhat underwhelmed. More or less featuring the same condiments as laksam without the thick noodles, the broth was too runny and lacked the creaminess I craved in laksam. It was also served lukewarm; I would’ve liked it slightly hotter.
Even so, nasi dagang was what I came for, and I was not disappointed. The rice was everything I wanted: fluffy with a hint of sweetness that complemented most of the lauk perfectly. The Kelantanese beef rendang is lighter than its inland equivalent, and spicier without the lemongrass. I wondered why people don’t make this version more often.
With its location in Damansara Uptown, a plate of nasi dagang here may be pricier than what you would probably get by the roadside in Kelantan. Personally I thought the prices here were pretty reasonable for what I got: (dare I say it?) an authentic plate of nasi dagang and a satisfied craving.