Friday, 25 November 2016

40 days mutton curry

If you are traveling on the North-South Expressway from Johor Bahru heading north, you would reach the Ayer Hitam exit at around the 80km mark. From this interchange onwards, you would notice that the old trunk road known as Federal Route 1 running parallel to the highway on your left. This visible parallel stretch goes on for about 10 km, at times so close to each other that I would think they share a common boundary.

At almost exactly the 88km mark, an intriguing shop signboard on the old road would catch your eye. The signboard is large, with a nice typeface design, obviously intended to grab the attention of the highway users. It proclaims : `Restoran Kari Kambing 40 Hari'.

On my regular drives to Kuala Lumpur over the years, I have always wondered why the restaurant is named as such and why it is so popular. Even from the highway, you can see the many cars parked along the roadside, an indication of the large number of customers. The fame of the place grew with many reviews appearing in Facebook and personal blogs.

Two weeks ago, I decided to satisfy my curiosity and make a visit. A friend in KL had invited us to his son's wedding on Saturday so I decided to start our journey on the Friday, one day earlier. This allowed us to drive at a leisurely pace and make a number of stops along the way, the first of which was at 40 Hari for our breakfast.

For breakfast, the restaurant offers nasi arab and roti canai, accompanied by their trademark dish, the mutton curry. They run on a self-service concept where customers queue at the serving counter, place their order for food and drinks, collect the food and drinks, and pay at the cashier's counter down the line.

The seating area is large and spacious. From what I can see, the roof is newly renovated with a high ceiling level to reduce mid-day heat. Turnover of tables is brisk with a team of workers clearing and cleaning the tables as soon as customers finish their meals.

Okay then, what about the taste, I hear you ask? Before I answer that, let's find out about the restaurant's name. As we placed our order, my wife asked the girl at the counter, why 40 Hari? The girl surprisingly replied that there's no particular reason, the boss chose it to be so (which I don't entirely believe but we'll just leave it at that). I then remarked that she must be bored to face the same question every day. This drew a sweet smile. I suggested to her, get her boss put up a smaller sign so that whoever asks the question can read the answer for themselves. Save a lot of trouble, no?

I tried their nasi arab kambing (RM13) while my wife had roti canai with the mutton curry (RM2 for 2 pieces of roti + RM7 for the curry). Overall the taste of the mutton curry is not bad. A tad on the sweet side for me but I guess it works for the general Malay taste-buds. As for the nasi arab, the taste and texture is no where near mandy or kabsah. Again, I guess it works because the chef has modified it to suit local tongues. So I would still give the place a `can come back again' rating.

To reach this restaurant from south, you exit the highway at Ayer Hitam, travel towards Yong Peng on the old trunk road. If you are from the north, then do the reverse. Exit at Yong Peng Utara and travel on the old trunk road towards Ayer Hitam. The place is about 10km from either direction, you can't miss it.

Note : Open daily from 7.30 am to 3.00 pm.

Front ordering counter

Nasi arab kambing

The truck in the background is on the N-S Highway


Amelia said...

Hi Old Stock, that's a very interesting and unforgettable restaurant name. The nasi arab kambing look inviting. Will keep on eye when I next past Air Hitam, thanks for sharing.

Best regards,

Oldstock said...

Hi Amelia,

Sorry for the late reply. Was away for one week in Sabah, taking a break and enjoying the scenery. Will probably post on that trip a bit later. Thanks.