Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Authentic Kelantan Delights? I'm Coming!


There are many new eateries coming up in Damansara Uptown. Some have been there for many months waiting to be discovered. While running errands one day, I passed by Village House Kopitiam. Authentic Kelantan Delights. Ah!

They have a staff standing at the entrance, at the ready to welcome passersby into the cafe. The guy caught my attention. He passed me the menu and I started interrogating him.

Is the tukang masak orang Kelantan? (is the cook from Kelantan?) Is the food here betul-betul Kelantan asli? (is the food authentically Kelantan?) That in spite of what it says on the signboard. You see, some places claim they are authentic but when you taste the food, you know you've been had. 


Well, I let him off and told him that I would drop by one of these days. And so I did. I wanted to try the Nasi Kerabu.


I went in around 12:00pm and it was all quite then. It's a neat little place. It has an outdoor seating too.


As you can see, they have wooden stools and metal chairs. And....



......banquette seating! That thing there is made of concrete and welded to the wall. So fatties, datanglah beramai-ramai, don't worry. That's where Madam sat :)

There are air-conditioners and fans blowing away to keep you cool.


I took a look at the menu.

Image source : www.zomato.com.
All the selections look pretty good to me. I settled for the Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik. This is one of the set meals that comes with a drink. Only one choice though i.e. Teh O (hot or cold).

As I sat there, more people started coming in.




Their turnaround time could be improved. My Teh O took about 10 minutes and the Nasi Kerabu about 20 minutes or so. Nasi Kerabu is something you just assemble from the ready prepared ingredients. Unless of course if they were not quite prepared for an early comer like me.

There you go. The Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik.


I know what you are thinking. Should't the rice be blue or tinged in blue? That's the color nasi kerabu should be but I don't mind at all. It's better for the rice to be white rather than stained with artificial coloring (unless they take the trouble to use Bunga Telang). What is important is the taste.


The rice is topped with the sambal tumis and sambal ikan.


The Ayam Percik. Upon closer inspection, I had an extra piece of meat from the breast.


To eat, you mix everything all up - the rice, sambal and raw vegetables.


They could have been more generous with the sambal belacan.


So how was it? The Ayam Percik was good. Or rather the percik gravy was good. The chicken was sort of dryish and stringy. I wished that it was moist and succulent. Could it be that it was placed too long on the grill?


As for the Nasi Kerabu itself, I was left wanting. There is something missing. I remember the one from Madam Bee's.


Madam Bee's. My benchmark for good Nasi Kerabu. This one is without the sambal tumis but has loads of aromatics.
What was missing was the kerisik (toasted grated coconut) and aromatics like daun kesum (laksa leaves) and daun kemangi (Thai basil).  There were some aromatics among the raw cabbage and long beans but it was so scant that the taste/fragrance did not shine through.

But never mind. I will not draw conclusions just from this one visit. A second visit is in order.


No GST, no service charge. Nice.

36 comments:

  1. I am coming too!!! Yum yummmmmmm!!!! I like...more than Terengganu! Hehehehehe!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Really? Well, you should go to Terengganu one day and have a taste of good Terengganu food :)

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  2. I have to say, I'm drooling over Madam Bee's nasi kerabu more :P

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that one has an edge over this one in terms of looks and taste.

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  3. Drooling from Singapore to your place already, hehe...

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    Replies
    1. Drooling from so far away hee..hee...

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  4. The first thing I saw amiss was the lack of herbs (especially bunga kantan) in the mix besides the blue-tinged rice. I think the one I had from the Ramadan bazaar also looks better than this one. By the way, how did they serve the food looking like that on a piece of brown paper? Was it placed in front of you (like banana leaf rice) first before they scooped on the contents?

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    1. Exactly, very lacking in the aromatic herbs. There is a square plate underneath the brown paper (I peeked) and that's how it came to the table.

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  5. I thought it looks quite sad leh.. The Madam Bee's version looks a lot more cheerful...

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  6. I once had an electric blue nasi kerabu, looked really scary.

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    Replies
    1. hah..hah..too much artificial coloring.

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  7. I have yet to try Nasi Kerabu... mix all the raw ingredients together? Then Must have sambal to mix as well..then more "kick!" :)

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    1. Hope you get a chance to try one day. Before makan, mix up everything. Sedap!

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  8. Hahaha, that small portion of sambal belacan is just right for me since I don't take very spicy food and would just want to have a taste. Did you ask them for more sambal belacan? The price is quite good though.

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    Replies
    1. I could have asked for extra sambal but I didn't. I noted that the guy at the table in front of me did :)

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  9. This time I am rather not overwhelmed with the food, looks a bit strange to me although I like New flavours

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    1. You are right, the presentation is not very attractive though it tasted quite decent.

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  10. Malay word Ayam means chicken right? How about Kerabu and Percik, what do they stand for? Pardon me

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    1. And nasi means rice right?

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    2. Ayam = Chicken, Kerabu = Salad, Percik = This is roughly "splatter" I think because while grilling, the chicken is "splattered" with the rempah marinade. And yes, Nasi = Rice :)

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    3. Thanks for telling me, I learn something today

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  11. Oooh! The pic from Madam Bee's definitely looks more tempting. I love the authentic blue rice.

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  12. Hello Chef Diva PH!!! Here I am for today, missing your food posts for so long. I must be skinny fit now. Will read back your blogs soon.

    I love Kelantan food and this Kelantanese blogger's posts too. I must go and eat the Nasi Kerabu soon. I love their huge plate like a football field!

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    1. Hello Mr TM! Hope your dad is on the mend. I love Nasi Kerabu, so I am now in search of good ones in my area. By the way, I am from Terengganu :)

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  13. I'd go for the first one with slaw and fries (macam western) or nasi kak wok, but won't go for kerabu, coz I don't like veggies, hehe..

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    1. The Nasi Kak Wok is not bad. It's rice with curry chap and small pieces of fried chicken.

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  14. Oh dear! How I wish I stay nearby! Would love to try the nasi kerabu. My current love! Hahaha.

    Yup. Must have kerisik. Make the whole meal tastier. So much to offer here. Must come again for more food tasting.

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    1. I am not surprised that you love Nasi Kerabu. It is so flavorful. I did come back to taste more. Will post soon.

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  15. i think they actually have another branch at casa tropicana (the uptown one is their second branch). and supposedly, they're owned by a family from east peninsular malaysia. i do love kelantan & terengganu rice dishes ... comfort food ;)

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    1. I'm glad they opened this second one over here. Now I can get my regular Kelantan food fix!

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  16. Now you make me wanting my usual nasi kerabu. But I must remember to take a photo to show or post in my blog. Lots of veggie, herbs and sambal.

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    1. Yes, please take picture hah..hah..I want to see the nasi kerabu that you have over there :)

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  17. The gravy for the ayam percik look so good, great to go with rice!

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    1. The gravy is delicious. Can eat lots of rice with it!

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