Friday, 27 May 2011

Sesekali ku rasa teringin...

I first started my career as an engineer with a state-government agency in Johor back in 1984. I shared a house with a few other bachelor friends from the same workplace. Our office was situated in the tower block of Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak, smack in the middle of Johor Bahru town.

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.

4 comments:

Lili said...

Ingatkan apalah yang di ingini tu!

Nasi beringin ni macam nasi kebuli ke/kot? hehe...but looks nice especially with gulai telur rebus.

Oldstock said...

Lili,

Sesekali teringin nak makan nasi beringin, hehe..

Err... nasi kebuli camne pulak tu? Tak pernah dengar la. But a friend did mention about nasi lemuni up there in Penang, tapi tak pernah try. Satu hari nanti mesti nak try cari jugak ni...

Nurie said...

How come you are always 'connected' to beringin...dulu citer pokok beringin, now nasi beringin pulak!

My late mom made yummylicious nasi lemuni. Nasi lemuni ni dicampur dengan helba and daun lemuni (purplish colored leaves). Nasi pun kaler ala ala purple. Usually we all makan dgn kari ikan kering or kari ikan bilis. Heaven!!!

Now I dunno where to find nasi lemuni...kalau u jumpa, let me know ya!

Oldstock said...

Noor,

I've never heard of nasi lemuni although I was a regular visitor to Penang during the time I handled a project at Butterworth. It was a friend who had lived in Penang for more than 20 years who told me about it.

Nanti I tanya dia kat mana ada jual. Hopefully you can find the place when you come back for holidays soon.