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You Are Here: Home - Feature , Headline , social concern - Jom mai pekena nasi kandar BERSIH Penang

As part of the month-long George Town Festival, Penang will be proudly featuring two of its most endearing heritage cuisines: Nasi Kandar and Nyonya food.
Nasi Kandar, which used to be touted about on two baskets dangled at either end of a pole (a kandar, hence the name) perched horizontally across one shoulder of the itinerant Indian Muslim vendor, used to comprise a simple meal of one or two meat curries, fried fish or chicken and some vegetables served atop plain boiled rice.
The menu has since expanded with the addition of different meat curries and vegetables served with rice and condiments, and mainly now served in restaurants, each of which is famous for its own signature dishes. 
The 24-hour Kapitan Restoran in Chulia Street for example is well known for its Claypot Briyani, pieces of marinated chicken baked on top of fragrant spiced rice. According to Abbdhul Wahab this dish was developed by his father, a chef who used to cook for the then Sultan of Kedah.

One of our oldest Nasi Kandar outlets is the Dawood which has been going since 1936 when the late Sheik Dawood from South India started operating in 61 Queen Street, catering for the needs of shipyard workers and friends. 
Today, the little café, situated two doors along from its original site, is run by his eldest son Syed Aliar, and continues to specialise in many dishes including their excellent Itek Sammah, a duck curry, one of their most popular curries.

At the Ramzan in Lebuh Ah Quee, Mohamad Rawther tells me that their Bryani Ayam (Chicken Beriyani) is particularly well known, and according to En Saleem of the Kassim Mustapha Restaurant,  their Ayam Negro (Chicken with Dark Soya Sauce) served with ghee rice and dalcha is a must-have.

You can try all these dishes and more at the Nasi Kandar Fest on 6 and 7 July when part of Queen Street in Little India will be transformed into an alfresco restaurant as 100 tables will be laid out on the street from 5-11pm. 
Diners will be able to enjoy Bombay Chicken, Fishhead Curry, Aya, Piru Berempah and other signature dishes cooked up by 15 Nasi Kandar operators, together with performances of local games and songs at scheduled times.
 Fret not if you don’t make it: all participating restaurants will continue to serve their favourite dishes as per usual together with displays of old framed photos of their outlets. In addition, each diner will receive a free soft drink of Teh Tarik or mineral water at selected outlets throughout July.

Nyonya or Peranakan food is a result of Chinese immigrants adapting their dishes with local ingredients and spices to create a whole new style of flavours and tastes. 
 You’ll be able to enjoy this at The Eastin Hotel’s Swez Brasserie. Cooked by Penangite Chef Lim Teng Kooi who specialises in nyonya cooking, their daily buffet will include many popular dishes like Lorbak, Kari Kapitan, Inchi Kabin or Jiu Hu Char (Cuttlefish Fried with Julienned Round Radish).
 If you would like to find out more about this unique style of cooking, then go along at weekends and public holidays when Chef Lim will be holding demonstrations between 1 and 2pm during their HighTea Buffet.


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