Penang’s nasi kandar scene is an established one – people have been queuing for decades at the likes of Nasi Kandar Beratur and Nasi Kandar Line Clear just to bungkus polystyrene packets of rice, curries and meats. So when a new kid crashes the nasi kandar party, is it worthy of any attention? Short answer: yes.
Deen Maju is not affiliated with Deen Nasi Kandar within Toon Leong Coffee Shop or (the overrated) Restoran Deen in Jelutong. But even if it doesn’t have years of experience in its portfolio, there’s a reason the restaurant is as busy as it is. The first time I planned a visit there around the 3pm mark, I gave up as soon as I arrived. The line extended well into the pavement outside, and I would’ve needed at least 45 minutes to conquer it. The next day, I made a mental note to visit at sharp 2.30pm, which is when the doors open. At exactly 2.35pm, I was shocked to see a congregation of hungry, cross-armed customers waiting for their food. Customers vary from families with kids to blue-collar worker from the area.
After an exhaustive wait tantalised only by the waft of frying chicken, I zeroed in on the chicken 75, juicy, spice-battered chooks that were deep-fried on the spot. Paired simply with rice, chicken curry and turmeric-laced stir-fry cabbage, it’s as good a Malaysian lunch as they come. The nasi dalcha too is just as delicious, and cooked till the point of fluffiness that one would think it was steamed in individual portions. It’s prepared the old-fashioned way where the dhal is cooked with the rice grains, rather than flooded over the rice. The accompanying curry is a mild one, and reminded me of the kind of kurma one would get typically eat with biryanis.
I will definitely return for the nasi lemak and other sides (battered deep-fried eggs, I’m looking at you). And reflecting on the case of Deen Maju’s deliciousness so far, I’m counting on some very good lunches ahead.
|Venue name:||Deen Maju|
170 Jalan Gurdwara