Economy Rice Nasi Melayu Near Penang Avatar Secret Garden
This is where the locals bring their friends and overseas visitors to the best Economy Rice style Nasi Melayu at Tanjung Tokong, Penang. Fresh ulams, spicy sambal belacan, and hot freshly cooked Curry Fish Head is a must order at this stall located at Flat Uda.
Friends Bring Friends Place
I am a creature of habit and I always order the same thing.
I put that down; mainly to age and not being able to read the menu at best. Yes, I know.
One day I said to the wait staff, “I can’t read the menu.” (As in HELLO! That’s like 7pt squashy fonts)
“You poor thing. You didn’t go to school, didn’t you?”
So, (BIG sigh) like the creature of habit that I am, I circumvent the situation. I go to places where the reading of the menu is optional.
It can be on the wall someplace. No worries, we just order off the top of our heads, as always.
My Oz friend declared wonderfully, “I just love the Malaysian buffets! You get to pick what you want to eat and just pile it on a plate and pay later.”
“Yes, yes and yes. I will take you to eat something decent off the beaten track,” I said feeling rather magnanimous.
The Best Nasi Melayu is Nowhere Fancy
So we went to my best and favorite Nasi Melayu. Nothing fancy.
It’s just your standard economy rice style stall with plastic tables and chairs. It’s right in the heart of Tg. Tokong and hidden in the “village”. Drive in through some narrow lanes, try to find a parking spot. It’s on the ground floor area of the Flat Uda.
Take a little scouting around to get there, not so hard. And take my only word of advice.
Go early. As in way before 12 noon.
This is information is gleaned from my years of eating there since 1999 or thereabouts. If you reach after 12.30pm there’s about 60% of the dishes left and most of the delish gravy would have been scrapped dry from the stainless steel containers.
Trust me on this.
If you go in a group and this is also assuming you’re Malaysian-Asia and therefore not squeamish about eating something that has a “face”. You can order a freshly cooked ‘Curry Fish Head’.
What dished to order for Nasi Melayu?
Tambah Nasi (Add Hot Rice)
There are plenty of dishes to choose from, start with hot rice. You can tell the nice Makcik to “tambah nasi” (add more rice) or “kurang sikit” (please reduce the serve) and get a glare and a tut for going on a diet. Again.
How and what to pick so you don’t go overboard.
I do the “dance” or circling the stall. Almost everyone does this. We’re like this eagle hovering high in the sky and diving in.
Again I remind you. There is an “eye bigger than stomach” rule. Try not to go overboard.
Start with some greens. Malay style ‘ulams’ with sambal belacan, fried salted fish and curry fish gravy over hot rice is to die for.
Seriously. I’ll go for that but then now that we’re looking to eat sensibly, we will have a balanced meal. As in look at the plate, the rules of halves and quarters come into play again. Fill the plate half with veggies, a quarter with rice and the other with protein.
I just break the rule, take the rice. All of it. Don’t make a diet face. Go with gusto!
First I top my hot white rice with a nice “Ayam Kicap” all smothered with a thick gooey black sweet sauce that coats the chicken drumstick beautifully right into the bones!
Then add one-two heaped ladles of awesome kerabu.
a salad made blanched bean sprouts mixed with pounded golden fried grated old coconut flesh (kerisik) for extra body, crunch, and sweetness with pungent sambal.
Kerabu Kacang Botol
Spicy Winged Bean Salad that is made with a generous topping of freshly chopped onions, bird’s eye chili was thrown in for some heat and tossed in calamansi juice, salt, and sugar. Taste a little like Penang Laksa condiment minus the fishy gravy. This raw vegetable dish is light, refreshing and provides the raw crunch to balance up the heavier curries.
I just had to have my all-time favorite,
the sweet and sharp acidity of pineapple really shines through when cooked in a mild curry paste with coconut milk. This goes so well with fried salted fish or hard-boiled salted egg and that ubiquitous sambal belacan.
Review: Having said that this is a great spot for a quick, economical and satisfying meal.
To get there, if you’re driving up from George Town, go pass Tesco Sri Pinang (on your right); following the road, the first turning to your right at a small traffic light will take you into the old Uda Flats. If you go down this road, you will visit the Penang Avatar Secret Garden.
P/S Order the Teh Tarik or watermelon juice. Ask for ‘kurang manis’ (less sugar)
Noor Bee Nasi Melayu | No.9 Flat Uda, Tanjung Tokong, 11200, Penang (Gerai J)
Telephone No: 012-4905529 | Business Hours: 8am – 3pm
Specialty: Curry Fish Head
For visitors to Penang, during the month of Ramadan, the stall closes as Muslims around the world fast for a full lunar month.