"breakfast, lunch, dinner;
'creamy' rice, spicy sambal;
village park restaurant nasi lemak.
this place needs no introduction.
the proof is in the constant crowd inside and outside the restaurant throughout the day although i can only really vouch for weekend mornings.
in fact, it is one of the top searches for the argubly best nasi lemak in klang valley.
i've got to admit that i was a little very late to the party and yes, i finally had my plateful a few weeks ago to try for myself what draws the malaysian crowd back for many years. trust me, malaysians are huge on nasi lemak - they take the art of this delicious local favorite very seriously!
i was lucky on both visits - i managed to get a table in under five minutes, granted you have to be a little quick to snap up a table as diners leave. or perhaps be willing to share the table with strangers - a necessitated communal dining experience, if you will ;)
although village park restaurant seems synonymous to nasi lemak, there are other offerings as well ranging from noodles, kaya-butter toasts and rice with dishes for your choosing. but why not try their most popular signature dish especially if it was my first time there. and yes, this entry will be dedicated to just that one dish.
15 - 20 minutes of after watching many plates of nasi lemak whizzed past us (and not without me staring at the staff expectantly, hoping it was ours), it was finally here - the moment of truth. village park is famous for its nasi lemak but their speciality lies in the nasi lemak ayam goreng (rm 9) or literally translated 'fatty rice with fried chicken'. for variety sake, we also tried the rendang daging ('beef rendang') (rm 8.50) rendition.
all the fixin's made their appearances - the chili sambal, the fragrant rice, half a hard boiled egg, a handful of crunchy fresh ground nuts and cripsy, salty anchovies, a couple slices of fresh cucumber and of course the huge piece of dark meat, leg quarter, all strewn almost in an organized haphazard manner.
one of the main stars that makes it nasi lemak is the chili sambal (chili paste with blended onion). my personal preference is a fiery spiciness balanced with the slight sweetness mingled with the onions. unfortunately, village park's had a milder disposition that was decent but not memorable. it was one that i didn't find myself reaching for with every spoonful of rice.
speaking of which, the essence of a great nasi lemak is the rice itself, which only a handful has mastered that skill in the many different nasi lemaks i've tried. soft, fluffy yet you can taste each grain of rice with the fragrance of pandan and ginger whispering its presence softly in the midst the subtle creaminess of the coconut milk, finished with salt to bring out its flavors. the rice was yummy that i would have happily wolfed down the rice on its own although i wouldn't have mind a bit more decadence of the coconut milk.
the signature of the nasi lemak ayam goreng - a generous portion of the leg quarter, fried in secret blend of spices. warm, succulent and juicy meat encased in a golden brown shell of a skin seasoned and marinated generously with spices which i detected notes of tumeric, garlic, ginger and perhaps lemongrass.
i loved the little, runaway, savory crispy bits of batter that gave it that occasional punch of salty in between bites of the mildly seasoned meat. yum.
the beef rendang was definitely overshadowed by the fried chicken. while the flavors had the makings of a great rendang, my mom thought the kaffir lime leaves would have elevated the fragrance and added another dimension of mild tangy-ness to the dish. on the other hand, i thought the parts of the beef pieces were a tad chewy, overcooked and borderline dry. sad face.
the plain nasi lemak had most
of the foundation right while the fried chicken takes it to another level. the serving size is huge that it held me over breakfast and lunch. [#protip] if you are a smaller eater, one option is to share one piece of chicken (rm6) between two plates of plain nasi lemak (rm3) oh, take away here also means queueing up in the very long line to get your orders and then moving into another line at the payment counter. so be prepared to wait even if you were here to get a to go meal.
my parents opined village park restaurant serves above average nasi lemak but they've had better and my parents has had their fair share of nasi lemak. i'd concur with them since there were some room for improvement but so far this is one of the better ones i've tasted. (my next project is to try out the nasi lemak my parents love!) however, there was probably added msg in the dishes since we were gulping down glasses of water to quench the thirst after our meal there.
a good plate of nasi lemak this is, definitely worth a visit to try it for yourself if you are willing to wait for just a bit..
nasi lemak ayam goreng berempah Other Ratings:
Value for Money 3