Friday, April 3, 2009

Nasi Lemak @ CT Roses

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 That night, as we passed by the same place, I realised that it has been replaced by a convenience stall.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
Kampung Baru
Kuala Lumpur

Check out Boolicious' review here.

35 comments:

UnkaLeong said...

*sigh* I so yearn for a dose of Nasi Lemak now, but am afraid my throat is screaming out, "Nooo, nooo..." Heheh

Selba said...

I'm interested to try the pucuk paku goreng... sounds yummy :)

Faye fly said...

cow lung @.@!!!!! tis thing i really scarely lor ... aik ..>_<

Xiu Long Bao said...

That reminds me bout nasi lemak ala SG style that comes with fried fish ball, cheapo sausages and sometimes acar. Erm, and the sweet sambal.

J2Kfm said...

Kampung Baru's nasi lemak really is legendary eh?

the Antarabangsa (wonder which portion of it is international?) one even has outlets in posh-ier parts of KL.
havent try yet, but may do so someday.

Shell (貝殼) said...

i like this kind of red2 sambal, looks so spicyhot & nice^^

Snow White said...

I love Nasi Lemak. When I used to stay with my parents, I had it for breakfast EVERY Sunday. Even nowadays there are times when I have it 3 days in a row. So when I read this I was in total Nasi Lemak heaven :)

Hairy - another place we need to go makan-makan. Haihs...always hafta wait for weekends before can do so :P

qwazymonkey said...

now got cravings for nasi lemak... all your fault

mimid3vils said...

Too bad the rice is cold...But such a heavy supper still can sleep well ar? If me sure cannot sleep coz stomach very full~~ ^.^

Life for Beginners said...

The best part about nasi lemak is reading yesterday's (or the week before, sometimes) news on its wrapper. See, delicious AND educational at the same bite! :D

Precious Pea said...

My colleague just told me she is going to buy me nasi lemak from kampung baru as my farewell gift! I hope she will be getting it from CT roses...sambal looks sooo good.

jasmine said...

ooh nasi lemak with pucuk paku sounds just divine.

ToyBoy & ToyGirl said...

Another place to go after a night of bingeing and carousing =)

ck lam said...

The outer appearance of the nasi lemak looks different as it is wrapped in banana leaves and newspaper whereas those sold in Penang only comes with banana leaves.

GFAD said...

I so miss pucuk paku lerr!! Lucky I can still make nasi lemak. Goody.. I still have some frozen sambal in the fridge!

After reading so many horror stories abt crimes in kl at night, it's good to see that ppl can still go out late at night and come back safely!!

ladyironchef said...

cow lungs! did i see correctly? hahaha. not bad eh, nasi lemak with the twin tower view

lets meet up for another round of food outing soon! :D

Little Inbox said...

You make me drooling. I longed for spicy food, which I'm not allowed, cuz I'm on my detox program.

CUMI & CIKI said...

i lurp u wiv all my paru-paru!! i do! hahahaha:P

backStreetGluttons said...

There are a couple of Malay restaurants in Jln Dewan Suleiman near Kin Kin the spicy pan mee here which we came too early once before the full spread was ready . Surely this entire Malay city area here up to Kg Baru will have good nasi lemaks plus those other pungent curries and many strange belacan veges so its good you have stumbled here. We have at one time or other peeked at the nonsensical lunch time crowds here in some stalls reminiscent of a starving refugee camp ! And has since learnt & clearly understood that a long Q for food in Malaysian Restaurants( esp ikan bakar shops)either means a very hungry crowd , a damn slow cook/helper AND not necessarily because of great or cheap food .QED !

teckiee said...

eh.. did i read cow's lung? hohoho!

sc said...

i like my sambal sweet and spicy..we were just having nasi lemak bungkus friday morning, and our main discussion was where to get the cheapest nasi lemak bungkus..hehe..RM0.50 was the cheapest we could get ;)

thenomadGourmand said...

hahah..i'm on a nasi lemak trail too..cos i'm setting myself up to try every stall that is featured on the friedchilies AFA..so far VP done, missed the KJ cikgu this mornin ;( . But yeah..will b hitting this, RA, Tjg Puteri and Tanglin soon soon soon!

Jaime-La-Nourriture said...

oh gawd, the nasi lemak and sambal is making me so hungry in the middle of the night! haha!

Nic (KHKL) said...

unkaleong, aiyoh, bad sorethroat ar? i hope u are ok by now... must be due to those graveyard shifts la...sabar for a few days la, then eat nasi lemak habis-habisan..hehe

selba, oh, i lurve pucuk paku, especially when stir-fried. there's an alternative lemak version as well but i thought the stir-fried one goes well with nasi lemak. ;D

faye fly, hahaha! no lar, it's actually quite delicious. ;D i guess like what the Chinese say, yi xing bu xing. so, it should be good for our lungs too. ;D

xiu long bao, ya lor. come to think of it hor, we've not had a really solid nasi lemak here hor? i've had a good chinese style one la, but not the Malay version. bila mau pergi cuba? ;P

j2kfm, well, i guess it has got to do with the history as well la. i find antarabangsa just so-so. ct roses' version is not too far behind (heheh). i'm sure there are many other good nasi lemaks out there as well. you now, i like that feeling when you just grab a packet of unknown nasi lemak and be surprised by it's deliciousness! ok lar, most of the time not so good one..hehe

Shell (貝殼), yupe yupe. there's something about the redness of dishes that make them very appetising! hehe, even watermelon. ;D yupe, a red sambal is definitely a turn on. ;D

snow white, woah! yeah, now i know of another good nasi lemak stall d, thanks 2 last saturday's outing! ;D yeah, there are many other nasi lemak stalls in town. we just need to find time to jalan-jalan makan-makan nasi lemak-nasi lemak..hehe...weekends are for indulgences! ;D

qwazymonkey, oooppsss...hahahha! aaiyah, i oso got craving already lah. hey, i'm sure near your place got some good nasi lemak stall, right? do blog about them la, ya! ;D

mimi, ya lor, i like nasi lemak served piping hot! more fragrant that way, me thinks. ;D hehe, i like to sleep with a full stomach, especially in the afternoons (weekends only la..haha). but not too full though, then it's like having cups of coffee d...just nicely full and then zzzzz....yay!

kenny, yesssss sirrrrr! i guess that was the inspiration behind this whole post. from advertisments to obituaries, we just lurve to read what's beneath that layer of plastic when we chomp our nasi lemak or any other thing tapau-ed...hehe..the best part is, no need to do washing. ;D

precious pea, OMG! that's so cool!!! you should ask them to tapau from a few famous stalls and have a nasi lemak party! i think those famous ones are nearby each other! the sambal at ct roses to me, was kinda normal but it's not too diluted and that's a good thing! ;D

jasmine, yes indeed! ;D especially when it's stir-fried. the lemak style is more for nasi campur, me thinks. hmm, actually, the combo does resemble the Chinese dai chow, right? ;D

fatboybakes said...

i just had the most awful nasi lemak antarabangsa in their bangsar branch. alas, i've only ever tried NLA under the severe influence, when everything tastes divine. however, CT Roses sounds good even when sober....

Nic (KHKL) said...

toyboy & toygirl, yes yes yes! ;D i think they are open 24/7. not sure about antarabangsa though. woah, nasi lemak and a tea tarik panas before tidur-ing...shiok!

ck lam, oh, i think nasi lemak wrapped solely with banana leaves are quite common here in kl as well. the leaves do provide a nice scent to the nasi lemak, i think. just like the lotus leaves. ;D

GFAD, woah, best nyer!!! may i suggest sambal udang with lotsa onions? shiok nyer!!! on the crimes, oh yes, you are right! i recently watched this video of how a bunch of men crashed into a house in cheras, armed with long parangs! i seriously seriously hope it was just a hoax. it's so sickening scary!

ladyironchef, yupe. cow lungs there were. ;D i guess it's like kway chap with intestines and stomach linings la. yummy! ;D haha, the view of the twin tower is somehow restricted but still, it's a good way to end the night. and yes, let's go eat!!! we should make full use of the 1-1..heheh

little inbox, oh, you are in a detox program? no worries. patience is a virtue. after your detox program, indulge in a some good old nasi lemak. it's the cycle of life. we gotta embrace it. with food. ;D

cumi & ciki, huh? paru-paru only ar? how about hati and ginjal and hempedu and pankreas and jantung etc etc...heheheheheh...

backstreetgluttons, oohhh, you have just reminded me of those stalls near pizza hut which open at night. yes, the nasi kerabu, the kuihs, the laksa, the padpriks, the nasi goreng kampung and yes, more parking-but-still-have-to-pay-eventhough-no-need-near-kin-kin. sigh. u r right, lunch time is definitely madness and the momentum is max on mass but extremely low on velocity. where is technology and motivation when you need them, eh? sigh....

teckiee, yes, cow's lung! i'm sure you are intrigued...hehehe..actually, a lot of stalls or restaurants selling Malay dishes do offer parus. it does look a bit like tempe, hor? hehe..

sc, omg!!! lima puluh sen!! kat mana??? i think the cheapest i found was satu ringgit. that one oso like 1/10 of an egg, a teaspoon of sambal and less than 5 kacangs and ikan bilis...hehe...post about your lima puluh sen sambal ya! ;D

thenomadGourmand, cool stuff! i think friedchillies is an excellent guide to good food, not just nasi lemak. do check it out! ;D ohh, i've not tried tanglin as well (shame, nic, shame). i hope it opens at night. i need 'sleeping pills'..hehe

jaime-la-nourriture, heheheheh...nasi lemak is such an appetising dish, isn't it. the colour, the scent, the taste. all wrapped into one yummy dish. oh, banana leaves are a bonus too! ;D

Nic (KHKL) said...

fatboybakes, haha, you have a point about eating em under the influence! well, i was sober when i tried both and i must say i find ct roses a better choice. and it's so much more affordable! hmmm, maybe i should check out one of the NLA branches. the price quite amazing hor, i heard.

Leonard Loh said...

You guys should really try to paru-paru, i totally love 'em.

Don't get intimated, and more importantly, don't let your eyes do the tasting!

Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy said...

YUM! ;-) Cannot eat la this month. ;-) Have a target to meet ;-)

Simon Seow said...

I tried nasi lemak angtarabangsa outlet in bangsar, taste so so only. I think must go to the one in Kampung Baru only can get the good taste.

Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy said...

OK, this is going to be one of those "old time when I was young" stories. ;-)

Mum used to work at Denmark house. Wat is now Wisma Denmark. On some Saturdays as a treat, I'd follow her down and sit in her office. Jardine Waugh, then it became Matheson.

Anyway, we always used to stop off behind Yut Kee on Campbell Road (now Jalan Dang Wangi) in the lane and pick up this absolutely divine Nasi Lemak.

It had janggut sotong, ikan bilis sambal, and melt-at-a-glance rendang which you KNOW was cooked with properly slow fried kerisik.

I haven't found better since then.

It's almost like having mind blowing sex (although at the tender age of 7 I didn't know this yet) and then never having it again. ;-)

Nic (KHKL) said...

leonard loh, hi! thanks for stopping by! oh yes, i think the paru's great! and it goes well with lotsa sambal too! cos i like my nasi lemak drenched in sambal! ;D

Allan & Nigel, hey, nice to see you guys here! ;D what target to meet? the nasi lemak comes in a small packet, which i think should be fine. ;D psst, i had 2 that day!

thanks for sharing the fantastic story of the nasi lemak! it musta been one memorable nasi lemak for you!

sounds good to me. ;D i wonder if it's still around. omg, kerisik in rendang! doesnt that give the whole rendang a fantastic sweetness and colour! yummy! you'll be surprised to know that i've not been to yut kee before..hehe...

oohhhh, definitely agree on that mind-blowing-sex-and-then-never-having-it-again thingy. that's why it's feels extra good, me thinks. i had mine at the old pekeliling flats in the 80s. with hokkien mee! hehe..

Nic (KHKL) said...

simon, i tried the one at kampung baru. it's nice but not over the top fantastic la. hey, u know that the market at jalan ipoh (opposite the danthayuthapani school)? it used to serve quite a good nasi lemak!

ling239 said...

pucuk paku goreng with belancan is very good leh! ^_^

Nic (KHKL) said...

ling239, i agree!!! pucuk paku masak lemak oso very nice! ;D