Ilham Nasi Kukus

Restaurants, Malay Mutiara Damansara
3 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
 (Photo: Hizwan Hamid)
1/4
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
 (Photo: Hizwan Hamid)
2/4
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
 (Photo: Hizwan Hamid)
3/4
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
 (Photo: Hizwan Hamid)
4/4
Photo: Hizwan Hamid

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

This famous corner lot next to a mosque is old news for nasi kukus fiends. Here’s proof: a thriving Facebook fan page (with nearly 19k fans), ‘panjang gila’ lunchtime queues, and approximately 30,000 packets that get sold every month. But is it a stretch to declare Ilham the best nasi kukus joint in town?

It’s my luck that when I visit this time, Ilham is having a bad day. The common ethos I’m used to at Ilham is: Rice is individually steamed on order (can you really have nasi kukus any other way?) and ayam goreng rempah is freshly strained off the sizzling oil. But this time, I suspect they had a large catering order cancelled because I’m chucked a pre-packed brown packet exposing a cold chicken leg, bound with a rubber band.

Expectedly, the rice is lumpy and the chicken is soggy. But in my eyes, Ilham hasn’t sinned yet. I devotedly wait for the pre-packaged rice to run out, just about when the cook fires up the wok for a fresh batch of chicken. After an extra 20 minutes in line, the poultry shines – the crispy, not-too-thick skin is fragrant with spice and the flesh is moist and balmy. The rice also improves when prepared on order, but doesn’t come close to the feathery-yet-firm texture achieved by its greatest competitor, Nasi Kukus Farni.

The variable in a study of most nasi kukus in KL is the side of kuah kari – and Ilham pulls off a mean version. Thick and sweet, it’s made from a blend of three curries: fish curry, a mild Kelantanese gulai darat and kerutuk daging (an eastern kuah made of asam gelugor, coconut meat, gula Melaka and a load of spices). Curry mixed into rice, threads of warm chicken, a side of ripe pineapple and a crushing of keropok ikan – it’s all as comforting as the fact that nasi kukus is a thing that exists.

By: Surekha Ragavan

Posted:

Details

Address: 7 Jalan PJU 7/16
Petaling Jaya
47820
Contact:
Opening hours: Daily, 11.30am–10pm