Nasi Lemak Ong is one the must try foods in Alor Setar! Although Alor Setar is not a food haven, if you know where to look, you’ll be able to find hidden food gems, like Nasi Lemak Ong!
Nasi Lemak Ong
Usually when we talk about nasi lemak, we automatically equate it with being a breakfast dish. But Nasi Lemak Ong gives nasi lemak a twist by having a wide variety of side dishes to add on, and they are only available for lunch. One more thing, nasi lemak is typically considered a Malay food and hence, most places that sell good nasi lemak is usually run by Malay operators. But this place is actually operated by a Chinese.
|Did you know?|
Nasi lemak is a dish originated in Malay cuisine that consists of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, usually served with egg, cucumber, ikan bilis and sambal on a banana leaf. It is considered as Malaysia’s national dish.
The store operates like a chap-fan store, where you can choose your protein (or not) and your other side dishes. The only difference is that rather you taking it yourself, the owner will scoop the sides for you.
They serve a wide variety of dishes – various proteins and vegetables. The proteins include fried chicken, honey chicken, ayam merah, squid, prawn, fish, mutton and beef. I personally like their honey chicken and mutton. These choices also mean that you get to put a little of each protein’s curry onto your rice and you get a really awesome outcome where all these tastes come together and give your a tantalising flavour. That is what makes curry fans like me go back for it again and again.
They have two kinds of rice available too – white rice (nasi lemak) and yellow rice.
Where is Nasi Lemak Ong located?
Over the years, they have moved location a few times. Currently, Nasi Lemak Ong is located at Jalan Putra, but they will be moving again to a new venue soon. The current place is located in a row of shop lots, where parking is scarce. Often, you’d need to park quite a distance away. But the long lines that you find on most days attest to the fact that despite that, there are many diehard fans like me who still go there. This is a little piece of Alor Setar the many Alor Setarians can identify with.
One good piece of news though. They are moving again and their new location is a standalone building! Their new place is somewhere near their original place near Jalan Pintu 10 area. The renovation is still ongoing at the time of writing and seems to have ample parking space!
|Their new location address is:|
05100 Alor Setar
For you KL folks, you might know that they actually have a branch in Pavilion Elite, which is run by the owner’s son. But of course, if you ask me which I prefer, it’s hands down this branch. Nothing beats the original taste. This is possibly because the ingredients used are sourced differently.
Places like Alor Setar have their own unique blend of curry ingredients which are different from those down south. And here too, the cultural history probably influences how the curry ingredients are blended. After all, Kedah was the seat of the Hindu civilisation and was the one of the early focal entry points to this part of the world for centuries. Indian curries are unsurpassed in their own ways. Hence, this gives the food here their own special places.
Come early, or be prepared to queue
During pre-pandemic periods, you’ll need to come early, or be prepared to queue. It’s common to see long queues, especially during lunch hours. The queue is so long that the restaurant has put up poles to guide the queue line!
It’s common to see people tapao-ing 6-7 packets at one go. And there are diehard fans who actually tapao to take to Penang too. Hence, sometimes the long wait. But generally, the queue moves along at a reasonable speed as they have enough hands to serve the customers.
Or just order through Grab
Alternatively, if you’re too lazy to drive out to tapao Nasi Lemak Ong, they are now on Grab. Any set you order through Grab comes with the standard yellow rice, hard boiled egg, anchovies and curry.
The problem with ordering through Grab is that you cannot customise the side dishes you want to add-on. They do not even have an option to add an extra portion of rice, or change the type of rice to white rice (by default you’ll get yellow rice). This is one of those places where you still need your own participation in getting the full experience of the food. I guess you can call it a place which still require a personal touch to maximise the experience. These days, food delivery has taken out that sort of feel and make a lot of food feel manufactured.
The portion also seems to be smaller as compared to dining in or if you tapao yourself at the store, and slightly pricier too.
Verdict – Must try!
Generally, the dishes might seem unspectacular when you compared it to the mamak curry rice, which is how Nasi Lemak Ong is styled after. However, their curries pack their own kind of punches, which is why people keep going back in droves.
For me their mutton deserves a special mention. The meat is soft and tender, making it a great compliment to the curry rice. It is also very flavourful and just chewy enough at times and seemingly melting in your mouth at other times. A dish with chicken, okra and potatoes would set you back for about RM9. The curries, however, are their main selling point. When my mom buys it, she sometimes will ask that the mixed curry be separately packed. We keep the extra in the fridge and reheat it for dipping bread too! Imagine roti canai with their curries, yum!
If you love curries, this is definitely the place that you must try! The curries are aromatic and is flavourful. The owner is still the one who serves you and will drench all the various curries onto your rice. He will ask every customer whether they want a spicy or non-spicy mix of curries. Just be warned that spicy is really spicy!
This restaurant has collected a lot of media coverage both locally and internationally over the years. You can see it plastered against the walls. The place is also pork free, so all can come to enjoy it.
70%: Price (value for money)
65%: Location (ease of parking)
76%: Overall Rating
Open daily from 9.30 AM to 3 PM (Closed on Wednesdays)