[Food Review] No. 78 Aba’s Nasi Lemak, Wai Sek Kai [Non-Halal] @ SS2, Petaling Jaya

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Food courts are great places to go to if you’re looking to try local food at low prices. Wai Sek Kai is no different. It has been around for a long time, and has a good reputation for its huge varieties of good food at cheap prices. It’s a popular spot for locals especially during the weekends and Mondays (weekly night market night)!

It houses over 80 stalls selling a variety of foods (though they might get a little repetitive – especially fried kueh teow!). On weekdays, the stores operating hours differentiate depending on where they are located. But generally, all are open during the weekends.

Parking is generally easy to find, except on Mondays where there is a weekly night market. I generally avoid SS2 on Mondays, because the jam is just crazy, except on occasions where I decide to go for the night market food… but that’s another story for another day.

One that I often frequent to is No. 78 Aba’s Nasi Lemak! Don’t let the name fool you, it doesn’t sell your standard nasi lemak, but rather dishes that are more like of those normal economy rice stalls… just that this isn’t like the others.

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Like most run off the mill economy rice stores, they have a wide variety of over 30 kinds of dishes to choose from. But unlike the others, they are more “up market”. They have fancier dishes like sambal prawns, steamed fish, marmite mantis prawns, wild boar curry, and others. As their name suggests, the style of the dishes are closer to Nyonya cuisine. So do expect a good mixture of spicy dishes mixed with traditional Chinese food preparation methods. They also sell soup dishes that are available upon order.

As a long patron to the stall, I’ve tried most of their dishes, and most of them were superb! I especially like the chicken curry (my rice is usually banjir-ed with their curry)! My other favourites are their marmite mantis prawns, sweet and sour pork, steamed fish, and their braised pork (“sam zham bak”). Those dishes that I didn’t like weren’t because of the taste, but because I didn’t like the thing itself, like bitter gourd (but their salted egg bitter gourd is one their popular dishes!).

They are only open for dinner, and are closed on Thursdays. They usually start setting up at about 6 PM, and start taking orders at around 6.15 PM – 6.30 PM. They will bring some of the dishes in their pick-up truck, and cook the rest of the dishes at the hawker store itself. Unlike other economy rice stalls, it isn’t self service. The two aunties that run the store will scoop the dishes you want for you. It’s slower, but I guess it’s more orderly since there are so many people who want their food.

The queue is usually all the way to Wai Sek Kai’s entrance or to the other side.

Do note that most of the time, there is a queue even before they start setting up! The queues are often relentless long. If you’re there late, do expect to wait up to 30 minutes for a plate economy rice. But if you have the time and patience, it’s definitely worth the wait. Though they have quite a spread, most dishes will be sold out by 7.30 PM, especially the popular dishes. So, do go early.

Price-wise, it’s a little pricy given the dishes are more “up market”. A plate of economy rice with sweet and sour pork, mantis prawn and veggie will cost you RM12 onwards (not your typical economy rice price). Although the premium price, many people still flock to the store for the good food… and so will I.

My rating:
70%: Ambiance
75%: Price (value of money)
90%: Taste
80%: Location
70%: Service
77%: Overall rating

Opening hours:
6 PM – 10 PM (Fri to Weds)
(Closed on Thursdays)

Location:
Store No. 78
Wai Sek Kai
Jalan SS 2/61
47300 Petaling Jaya

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