Isn’t it a wonder how we find ourselves trying to read at the strangest of places? But when time is at your own disposal, you often find yourself letting go of the world around you and well, just fall into a deep sleep instead. It comes quite naturally these days, given our self-inflicted hectic lifestyles. Reading will be the last thing on your mind. Well, my mind, at least. Now, I can only afford to read on those insomniac nights, when everything else (including songs from System Of A Down) fails to warp me into dreamland.
There came a chilling Saturday night when all we wanted was a solid, affordable supper before crawling back to our respective beds to die and be resurrected at eleven or twelve in the afternoon the next day. Now that, my friends, is THE fantasy weekend.
So there we were, drowned by a rambunctious crowd, mostly soccer fans who came much earlier to watch the match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield. Or was it Newcastle United and Everton?
Outside, the street was dark and quiet. The neon lights that formed the name of the restaurant were unlit. Perhaps the only trail that could lead one to the entrance was the impressive number of cars parked coherently along Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman. Unless you are a local, one would not have figured that this semi-roofed enclosure offers a good, or some might say the best nasi lemak in Kampung Baru.
I vaguely remembered this place being located opposite Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa. Their fading yellow signboard had never failed to distract me from my conversations as we strolled along Jalan Raja Muda Musa. That night, as we passed by the same place, I realised that it has been replaced by a convenience stall. My buddies said that it was never in this part of Kampung Baru to begin with. So, were they wrong or has the lack of sleep added to the seriousness of my hallucinations?
Back at CT Roses, the queue to choose the dishes was rather long. It's self-service here. A quick five minutes later, our trays were filled with a few packets of nasi lemak and some side dishes to go with it. The selection of side dishes offered was a colourful blend of red rendangs, green vegetables, turmeric-coloured lemak dishes and golden brown deep-fries. Absolutely appetising.
We loved the beef rendang here, which was surprising as the appearance certainly didn't do it justice. The bolognaise sauce resemblance was not very convincing but I changed my mind instantly as I took a bite. The meat was very soft and flaky. The caramelised gravy was a flavourful mixture of lemongrass, turmeric and chillies; the fundamentals of a rendang. Simple and most delicious.
The paru (cow's lungs) here was very well done too. Tender and slightly smoky, it definitely went well with the nasi lemak.
Which brings us to the compulsory highlight (compulsory because I loved the rendang more), CT Roses' nasi lemak. What makes a good nasi lemak? To me, it's the sambal. And I like mine salty, spicy and slightly sour (if that is possible). It has to come with lots of onions for that sweetness and crunch. Their version was slightly sweet and spicy. Not too bad, honestly. The gone cold rice was still fluffy of course, thanks to the coconut milk. To me, it was a good nasi lemak that didn't go beyond average.
And we ended with some pucuk paku goreng which was fantastic. I enjoyed the sweetness of the leaves very much. Oh, the fibres were good help too! Again, simplicity at its best.
As we sipped our cups of tea, we realised how close we were to the Twin Towers. And that view of the towers, was our dessert before calling it a night.
I had a really good sleep that night.
Nasi Lemak CT Roses
Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman
Check out Boolicious' review here.