Calling all Nasi Kandar enthusiasts! FriedChillies is back, and this time they’re teaming up with Sunway Putra Mall for a one-of-a-kind food event dubbed NASI KANDAQ FEST. The list of Nasi Kandar Lejens is curated by FriedChillies and Nasi Kandar aficionados—Nasi Kandaq Hunters (NKH) and Nasik Kandaq Transporters—so you know that only the best will be serving their magnificent curries and dishes at Sunway Putra Mall for one weekend only.
The Lejens hail from Penang and KL with one surprise vendor from Johor Bahru! “If you are a nasi kandar fan, you know that it’s not just about the variety of curries ladled lovingly over rice, but it’s also about the skills of the curry joki,” says Mohd Adly Rizal, CEO of FriedChillies. Think of a nasi kandar joki like a barista in a cafe. With just one look at you, they can gauge the right curry combo personalised to your taste, and they do this for everyone who comes to their shop. “This is what differentiates a nasi kandar eatery from a regular mamak joint,” explains Adly Rizal.
There will be 10 Nasi Kandar Lejens on this crazy curry-filled weekend from famous names like the original Pelita in Penang and Restoran Kudu in KL, to hidden gems like Yusuf Restaurant in Relau, Penang and Nasi Kandar Sithique. Expect to feast on mouthwatering curry combos and dishes like tender daging masak hitam, piping hot ayam bawang, fried sotong and fall-off-the-bone kari kambing. For details on each vendor and the dishes they are famous for, check out our fact sheet below.
FriedChillies, who are the people behind wildly popular food events like I Eat Nasi Lemak and Ayam Lejen often find interesting venues to act as hosts. Ayam Lejen was held at the Ara Damansara LRT Station (the second year, even during a torrential downpour, people kept coming and eating sheltered by the station) while I Eat Burgers was 12 hours of burger insanity, where 20 burger legends from Ramli Burger stalls to gourmet eateries served up the juiciest burgers to food fans.
“The way to Malaysians’ heart is through our stomach”, this saying is so accurate when it comes to food for Malaysian, which is also the unifying factor for us to come together. We will turn our ground floor concourse to a big eating zone, despite rain or shine everyone who comes can savour the flavours in comfort.” says Tan Ai Vee, Head of Marketing, Sunway Putra Mall.
“I Eat Nasi Lemak was at Telekom Convention Centre and we realised that Malaysians love eating rice dishes in air-conditioning, and Sunway Putra Mall was keen to explore a makan event that will bring Malaysians from all walks of life to their mall,” adds Adly. Most FriedChillies events are also designed to be near public transport with good parking facilities and Sunway Putra Mall is one of the most accessible malls in the city with LRT, MRT and Komuter stations within walking distance as well as e-hailing services.
Badrol Izam, one of the founding members of Nasi Kandaq Hunters quipped, “NKH are thrilled that this unique event will provide a remarkable culinary journey for its community of close to 250,000 members, a significant number of whom reside in the Klang Valley. This is the opportunity for them to savour the finest nasi kandar with diverse flavors from different parts of Malaysia.”
Here are some reasons why you MUST mark your calendars for this unique event. Firstly, you only need to go to one place for a taste of the best nasi kandar out there. Secondly, if you’re a rice and curry lover, you owe it to your tastebuds to sample the Lejens. You can get up close with these Lejens, meet the passionate people behind the food and be part of the FriedChillies foodie fraternity. On top of that, you will be able to enjoy cash vouchers and discounts from Sunway Putra Mall on drinks, desserts and so much more. Who would have thought a mixed rice service carried with a shoulder pole from the early 1900s, and sold to dock workers in Georgetown would become a much-loved institution with such a fanatical following? Don’t miss Malaysia’s first Nasi Kandaq Fest!
To know more about The Nasi Kandaq Fest 2023 and latest event updates go to FriedChillies IG and FB @friedchillies or visit us at www.friedchillies.com
It’s always good to be prepared so you can hit the ones that make your mouth water. We recommend you bring friends and family so you can taste more Lejens.
THE LEJENS ARE… *drumroll…
1/ Nasi Kandar Bawah Pokok (Nasi Kandar Jamal Mohamed)
If you’re in Seberang Perai, this nighttime legend is the place locals go for their nasi kandar fix. Also affectionately known as nasi kandar bawah pokok ketapang, this was the original stall before they changed their name to Jamal Mohamad. Part of their curries are still displayed on a cart, paying homage to its modest origins. The Jokis here know their stuff and you’ll be hard-pressed to choose between their succulent ayam bawang or finger-licking daging hitam. One meat, one egg, ladies fingers and kuah banjir. And tapau another. The best option!
2/ Yusuf Restaurant
This hidden gem in Relau, Penang is probably not so hidden because sometimes the order line gets so congested there is a sign asking their customers to be patient. They went viral during the pandemic and with the assistance of Nasi Kandaq Hunters, it went boom! People here love to have their nasi kandar with daging rendang and telur masin on the side. Also very popular is their ayam ros with a nice handful of crisp bawang goreng on top and you must, must try their killer sambal kelapa. You’re welcome.
3/ Pelita Nasi Kandar Taman Chai Leng
Before the franchises and the very recognisable royal blue Pelita uniforms, there was the original right here. We got them to come all the way from Penang (they are flying in their Joki) to serve up their curry mix & juicy and crispy ayam goreng. What people always go for is the sotong special on a bed of their yummy curry melange. Big eaters can sink their teeth into the lamb shank kari where the meat just slides off the bone and into your mouth.
4/ Restoran Liga Maju Nasi Dalca Ayam Negro
This place is rumoured to be distantly connected with Nasi Kandar Subaidah in Penang where they revived the original recipe of ayam hitam from way back and dubbed it ‘Ayam Negro.’ This chicken is moist in an addictive dark sauce. It goes a treat with the different curries, acar timun, telur rebus and their spicy sambal kelapa.
5/ Hameediyah Restaurant
Who doesn’t know Hameediyah? We pay homage to this oldest nasi kandar joint in Malaysia. This iconic restaurant has been dishing out Nasi Kandar delights since 1907 in Penang. Their aromatic curries, ayam bawang and (curried) rendang daging are legendary. The Bukit Bintang branch is very popular because you can even learn a bit of nasi kandar history here from their little on-site museum. Very modern & hip!
6/ Nasi Kandar LC (Line Clear) Kampung Baru
Another famous Penang brand that operates a bustling shop in Kampung Baru. People love their fiery curries including their kari kepala ikan. The ayam goreng here is also a favourite usually drenched in a mix of all their gorgeous gravies. Come Friday, the place is like a rock concert! Also recommended is the ayam kuzi and sotong.
7/ Restoran Kudu bin Abdul
Pretty much an institution on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, there is always a line here. Opened in 1969 by Kudu bin Abdul, it started out as a simple kopitiam. Their fans can’t get enough of nasi kandar signatures such as ayam sambal bawang, ayam hitam, daging hitam, hati goreng and crowd favourite, fat “teluq” ikan. Imagine crumbly, creamy eggs mixed with hot rice and all those delicious curries and then, a bite of bendi, nasi kandar heaven! Now Kudu is run by his 3rd generation clan.
8/ Sithique Nasi Kandar
We thank the “Tokeh” of Yaseem Nasi Kandar who gave the idea for Sithique (& Ibramsha) to open their own joint in 1973. This hidden gem is not only famous for its nasi kandar, one of their jokis has gained a following because according to popular opinion, he is Malaysia’s answer to Richard Gere. Come here to get your plate of curry personalised by him and enjoy it with kari kambing, crowd favourite ayam hitam or some of their coveted fried ‘sotong mengandung’. This is a fragrant squid served with eggs intact inside.
9/ Sadam Nasi Kandar
According to the nasi Kandar underworld (we can’t tell you who they are because we might have to kill you), the Nasi Kandar here comes closest to the Penang taste. The ayam hitam kuah banjir makes our stomachs growl just by looking at a picture of it. Fans also love the ayam Saddam, which is what happens if an ayam goreng, ayam madu, and sambal have a lovechild, and the scrumptious sotong, which is juicy and riddled with spices.
JOHOR BAHRU REPRESENT!
10/ Nasi Kandaq Talam Johor Bahru
The dark horse on our list (and we’ll always throw you one at every event because good food deserves to be counted) is this Nasi Kandar joint from Johor Bahru. With a tagline of Padu, Syahdu, Merindu, this establishment got serious during PKP and then exploded after. The taste is tuned to the Johoreans, and it’s utterly delicious. Their sotong is humongous, the ayam bawang is super tasty, and each meal is served on a metal plate. This place is not shy about bawang goreng, where handfuls of the good stuff cover each plate of rice like a wonderful, crispy blanket.
*Note: Our Lejens will be bringing in selected signature dishes to the event, so if you want to get the full gamut of their fabulous lauk, you just have to plan a road trip to their shops.
FriedChillies is a food media company that has been telling people where the good food is since 1997. They are behind iconic food events such as I Eat Nasi Lemak, I Eat Burgers, Ayam Lejen, and FriedChillies Makan Best Series, where they spend months curating the best of the best and bringing it under one roof for all Malaysians to enjoy. FriedChillies also has recipes, food shows, and conducted a Kuih conservation project called Projek KWIH with Yayasan Hasanah. For more information, go to www.friedchillies.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @friedchillies.
Nasi Kandaq Hunters (NKH) is a Facebook group started by a bunch of friends who love Nasi Kandaq. They open the group to nasi kandar lovers all over Malaysia to share their favorite places and interesting nasi kandar adventures. This curry-loving group has grown to almost 250K followers!
Nasi Kandaq Transporter is a personal Nasi Kandar transporter that, to date, has transported over 100,000 Nasi Kandar from Penang to KL.