Ploughing through the Klang Valley for paddy: This one's dedicated to rice enthusiasts seeking a few new eateries that serve nasi lemak & nasi kukus. First up, Cafe Pak Abu in Bangsar, where traditional kampung cooking is offered in an ornate setting.
The nasi lemak here is a no-frills version, average in aroma & middling in moistness, accompanied only by the usual suspects.
The highlights instead might be Cafe Pak Abu's wide-ranging side dishes with lively flavours, cooked to order, spanning the likes of rendang limpa istimewa (RM10), dendeng batang pinang (RM12) ...
... ikan keli goreng panas (RM5), ayam goreng kampung (RM10), kangkong celor (RM3) & sambal berlado (RM3).
Packaged cookies & kuih are available. Cafe Pak Abu, located on a Telawi first-floor shop-lot, opens for walk-in lunches only.
Next up, moving along to Damansara Kim for Kukus Delights, run by the folks behind Centrepoint's Kitchen Creatures.
Naturally, nasi kukus is the speciality; the rice comes in a choice of at least three different hues, dyed with bunga telang, pandan & more, partnered with another trio of options for meat: ayam goreng berrempah, rendang daging or kambing mysore.
Kukus Delights has crucial plus points: Each plate feels very fairly priced at RM9.90 (including both the rice & meat).
Hearty portions, reasonably robust flavours. Note: this is a daytime-only outlet (8am-6pm weekdays, 8am-4:30pm weekends).
Kukus Delights also serves other temptations: Noodle lovers can order the mee kuah ketam (RM7.50) ...
... while folks in search of more starch can sample the nostalgia-evoking bubur & the ubi kayu kukus.
Finishing up by coming back full circle to Bangsar, where KariGuys, a family-run business with roots in Pahang, recently completed its transformation from a food court stall in Dataran Ara Damasara into a full-fledged restaurant in Lucky Garden. KariGuys could become a slow-burning success in the vein of other Bangsar outlets like Fierce Curry House & The Ganga Cafe.
KariGuys' nasi lemak might need more tweaking for a stronger flavour & fragrance, but the true stars of the show here seem to be the choices of accompaniments. The mutton peratal has a memorably creamy savouriness, making this worth the RM9.50.
Chicken is offered in two preparations: The original Kari Ayam Sempalit option (named for the Pahang village where the family patriarch reputedly started serving this recipe in 1951) & the fried chicken. Both definitely decent (though our personal preference is for thicker curries), but considering their reputation, we're not sure whether something went slightly amiss with the cooking for this specific batch on a weekend afternoon, since the flavours weren't popping. RM6 per piece.
We entirely enjoyed the tenggiri head curry though (RM30 for this medium-sized serving). The fish was fresh & fleshy, perfectly complemented by a tangy, not-too-fiery curry with tomatoes, eggplant & okra.
Ultimately, KariGuys is a welcome entry to Bangsar; it's a casual, friendly outlet that offers gestures which customers can appreciate. Filtered water is complimentary; folks are also urged to help themselves to free extra servings of the signature curry.
Not sure why we ordered drinks, but there's everything from Kopi C to Teh O here. KariGuys opens noon through 8:30pm daily.
Cafe Pak Abu
61A, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
17, Jalan SS20/11, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya
24, Lorong Ara Kiri 2, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
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