Those days, the town's central wet market was situated next to Komtar. At the end of each working day when the market closes for business, the lanes surrounding it are taken over by push-cart hawkers and night vendors selling a variety of cooked food items and other knick-knacks. Among those selling the foodstuff is this one stall that sells nasi beringin. My housemates and I used to frequent this stall after work because the food is very tasty.
The central market was later torn down and shifted to another site in Larkin. In its place they built a shopping mall and office block now known as City Square. With the demolition of the market, the temporary night traders had to make way too. I didn't know where the nasi beringin seller moved to... and so ceased eating this dish for some time. There wasn't any other makan place in JB that sells the same stuff.
Many years later, a friend from Muar told me that there is a shop in the Tanjung Agas area selling nasi beringin. Whenever I have the chance to visit him, he would take me dinner at that place. The rice wasn't as tasty as the one I remember from the stall at JB wet market, but it wasn't too bad either.
During my first working stint in Kuala Lumpur a few years ago, an acquaintance from TNB Hq mentioned that there is a foodstall in Bangsar which sells delicious nasi beringin. I asked him for the exact location and then went to search for the place. The stall is located within a foodcourt inside an office block behind the NST Balai Berita... not really that difficult to find but getting a parking space is near torture. That is why I have been to the stall only once.
Earlier today, I was in the Bangsar area and remembered about the nasi beringin stall again. Since it was not yet quite mid-day, I decided to drop by the place ahead of the lunchtime crowd. But all would depend if I could find a space to park. As luck would have it, I manage to find an empty lot on my second driving lap around Jalan Riong and Jalan Liku. And so my lunch today was nasi beringin with beef rendang and boiled egg curry.
|Today's lunch of nasi beringin and ice-lemon tea|
Nasi beringin is rice flavoured with coconut milk and other spices, not unlike nasi lemak but with a more pungent aroma. It is normally eaten with chicken or beef, cooked in any style... fried, curry or rendang. The name has nothing to do with the pokok beringin (banyan tree), more famously known because of relation to ghost stories.
As far as I know, there is only this one place in KL that sells nasi beringin. Personally, there is nothing really that spectacular about the taste but if you wish to try a slightly different flavour from the normal rice, then it is worth it. This stall is very popular. The guy in front of me placed an order for thirty packs to `tapau'. As I enjoyed my meal, the clock approached lunch hour and the crowd started to form. Very good business.