Use of quality ingredients gives nasi lemak that winning edge

Domingo and his wife Fanny Sapdanita Lianto. — Photos: SAM THAM/The Star

NASI lemak is regarded as a favourite dish among Malaysians.

Small packets of rice with spicy sambal, peanuts and egg wrapped in banana leaves, better known as nasi lemak bungkus which started off as a cottage industry, are still easily found at stalls and some restaurants for breakfast.

Today, nasi lemak has been given a facelift in many restaurants across Malaysia. In fact, the dish has expanded to supersized versions at restaurants, and one can even savour the dish while flying.

Nasi Lemak Ayam Berempah.Nasi Lemak Ayam Berempah.

Andreas Domingo, who has 14 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, aims to elevate nasi lemak for everyone’s enjoyment. He said his aim was to get visitors to associate nasi lemak with Malaysia.

With this vision in mind, Nale the Nasi Lemak Co was born. He said the idea behind Nale the Nasi Lemak Co was to educate people on good food and promote the concept that cheaper does not necessarily mean better.Some variations of sambal offered at Nale The Nasi Lemak Co.Some variations of sambal offered at Nale The Nasi Lemak Co.

“Our goal is to offer a well-rounded experience and promote the use of quality ingredients, which sometimes come with a higher price, ” he said.

The three main dishes here are Nasi Lemak Ayam Bakar Nale (RM18.90), Nasi Lemak Ayam Berempah (RM17.90) and Indomie Goreng Klasik (RM8.90).

While nasi lemak is often served with generous lashings of sambal as well as sliced cucumber and fried ikan bilis, this restaurant takes care to serve it with great attention to detail.

Nale’s version comes with crunchy and salty ikan bilis, Japanese cucumber, special sambal, peanuts and egg. It also has tender flame-grilled boneless quarter chicken with signature Nale sauce for a touch of difference.

The flavours and textures complement each other, starting with coconut milk in the rice, wholesome egg, crunchy ikan bilis and peanuts and fresh cucumber.

The secret sauce had hints of spiciness, sweetness and nuttiness with slight creaminess to it. A side dish of baked chicken in the Nale sauce was simply appetising and a pleasantly surprising find to accompany my nasi lemak meal.Nasi Lemak Ayam Bakar Nale with a side of baked chicken in Nale sauce.Nasi Lemak Ayam Bakar Nale with a side of baked chicken in Nale sauce.

Nale has seven different types of sambal, including Sambal Klasik which is the staple, must-try Pineapple Sambal and spicy Sambal Hijau Nale made with green chillies and ikan bilis.

Nale’s signature dish is the Nasi Lemak Ayam Berempah (RM17.90) comprising boneless quarter chicken marinated in different spices fried to golden perfection.

The rice had all kinds of delectable flavours coming through, from sweet, salty to umami.The spicy chicken was tender and crisp with a nice bite to it.

While the chicken and rice tasted good enough on their own, the other accompaniments offered an enjoyable concerto of flavours.

“Many people often say you cannot go wrong with nasi lemak, but I say you can always improve it, ” said Domingo, adding preparation and choosing the right ingredients can make a huge difference.The Indomie Goreng Klasik (RM8.90) ticked all the boxes with a few twists added to this favourite homely dish.

The double serving of noodles come with perfectly poached egg on top and a side of sambal.

This simple dish is complemented with spicy, sweet sambal and runny egg yolk, allowing diners to experience a new combination of flavours.

NALE THE NASI LEMAK CO, LG34-B, Central i-City, Shah Alam, Selangor. (Tel: 016-257 1748). Business hours: 10am to 10pm, daily.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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